Bible Commentaries
Psalms 62

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Verses 1-2


The subject of this psalm is waiting for God. It is not wait and see, but expect. It is putting one’s trust in God, and to do so in the strongest terms. The psalm is written in the first person singular, which means that it is a personal psalm. That is why it is one of the favorite psalms of many believers of all times.

Expectation implies dependence based on the understanding that we can do nothing without Him. It also implies trust in faith that God’s time is the best time and therefore we wait for Him and expect it from Him. It is trusting in Him that He will certainly come and in the right time, way and place. Through this, perseverance also gets a perfect work in us (James 1:4).

The core of the psalm is found in Psalms 62:8, where the people are exhorted to follow the example of the psalmist. This exhortation also applies to us, as well as to the faithful remnant.

Rest in God

For “for the choir director” (Psalms 62:1) see at Psalm 4:1.

It is a psalm “according to Jeduthun”. Jeduthun is the man appointed by David to prophesy with lyres, harps and cymbals to praise the LORD (1 Chronicles 16:41-Luke :; 1 Chronicles 25:11 Chronicles 25:3; 1 Chronicles 25:6). Jeduthun means “choir of praise”. See further at Psalm 39:1.

For “a Psalm of David” see at Psalm 3:1.

The word “only” in Psalms 62:1, used by David, or the God-fearing, can also be translated “sure”. He uses similar words six times in this psalm, in Hebrew each time at the beginning of a verse (Psalms 62:1; Psalms 62:2Psalms 62:4; Psalms 62:5Psalms 62:6; Psalms 62:9). Four times it characterizes the saints and twice the wicked.

The first “only” or “sure” he is spoken by him in relation to his trust in God. Here he testifies to the certainty of his soul’s silence or rest before God, in His presence. This rest is in God only and in no one else. This rest marks Christ during His life on earth. He has rest in His God and the way that God has determined for Him. Much in this psalm we recognize in the life of the Lord Jesus.

The certainty that the psalm breathes comes from a heart that has a free intercourse with God. The soul is “in silence”, or comes to rest, “for God”, that is in His presence. This silence and rest, this trustful waiting for God, comes from knowing that from God is his salvation (cf. Isaiah 26:3; Isaiah 30:15).

This is not passive, but active. It is not ‘navel-gazing’, but a conscious being in God’s presence in trustful waiting for what He is going to do and that whatever He does is always good. It is a silent surrender in which no personal initiative is present. It is the silence of inner rest after the struggle in Psalm 42 and Psalm 43 (Psalms 42:5; Psalms 42:11Psalms 43:5). What remains is God only. On the mountain of transfiguration, the disciples see “no one except Jesus Himself alone” (Matthew 17:8). And Paul testifies: “To me, to live is Christ” (Philippians 1:21).

To be in silence for God means to be focused on God in the peaceful awareness that salvation is “His”. It is the inner peace through the consciousness of God’s nearness. It is the rest of a weaned child with its mother (Psalms 131:2). Salvation means deliverance from affliction and bringing into blessing. This refers both to present situations and to the final blessing in the realm of peace. That situation is brought about by Christ. Faith therefore looks upward for deliverance from a situation of distress in the present. Faith also looks forward, to the future, for the final deliverance from all distress and the bringing into the blessing of the realm of peace.

In the previous psalm, David asked God to lead him to the rock (Psalms 61:2). Here he is the rock (Psalms 62:2). There he sees, as it were, the glory of God (Exodus 33:21-Song of Solomon :). God is his rock. As a result, he is sure of his salvation in view of the future. He will attain it. In view of the present, God is his “stronghold“ because of the adversaries that are still around.

Because of all this, he can say: “I shall not be greatly shaken.”. In Hebrew it says he shall not be shaken ‘much’, that is, he will not be shaken to death. Because of the presence of enemies, he is not yet free from all danger. Nor is he yet completely free from their influence. Further down in the psalm (Psalms 62:6) he expresses the assurance that he shall not be shaken at all. Here he is still mindful that circumstances may still cause him to be shaken. However, he immediately adds that this being shaken shall be “not be greatly”, indicating that he will not fall badly.

Verses 3-4

Devisers of Evil

What is described in these two verses of the devisers of evil, the Lord Jesus experienced in the fullest way. He is the “man” Whom they assailed constantly. We should not be surprised if the world also hates us (1 John 3:13). The world hated the Lord Jesus (John 7:7) and therefore will also hate us (John 17:14). The believing remnant in the future will also experience this.

Against the Lord Jesus there have been constant deliberations to thrust Him down from His high position. With David, his kingship is the high position from which they want to thrust him down. With the Lord Jesus it is His perfectly pure, sinless conduct and His perfect words, by which they have been brought into the light. That light they hated (John 7:7) and so they sought to thrust him down from his high position (Luke 4:29).

The question “how long” (Psalms 62:3) here is not the sigh of someone burdened by enmity. It is the expression of one who is in silence for God. From God’s presence he asks the assailants how long they think they can go on doing it. It is not a fearful, but an almost challenging question: “How long do you think you can continue with your senseless assails?

The enemies think they are strong and will achieve their goal. But David knows the reality and holds it out to them that they will all be killed. They may seem strong as a wall and a fence, but David sees that they are “like a leaning wall” and “like a tottering fence”. The impression of their strength is pretense. Soon they will topple and collapse (cf. Isaiah 30:12-2 Chronicles :).

The assailants of the God-fearing are counseling “only” or “sure” – there is no doubt about this – how they will thrust him down from his high position (Psalms 62:4). This concerns David in his high position as king. They are nothing but foolish deliberations that are bound to fail.

They look only at his position. They are blind to the fact that his “high position”, and that of every God-fearing, is the high position of the rock. That rock is God. The very idea of trying to thrust him down from that is ludicrous. The application for us is that the devil wants to try to deprive us of our heavenly position in Christ. That is also a foolish attempt. He cannot take that away from us because it is anchored in Christ. What he does succeed in doing sometimes is to deprive us of the peace and enjoyment of our heavenly position.

They like to lie, “they delight in falsehood”. It is not about lying, it is about lying about God. Lying is their nature. They are true children of their father, the devil, who is “a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). Therefore, when they “bless with their mouths”, they are in reality lying, for “inwardly they curse”. Besides being liars, they are also hypocrites who in their hearts hate the believers. They do not wish the believers good, but evil.

Verses 5-8

Trust in God

The confrontation with the assailants (Psalms 62:3-Numbers :) forces David to say to his soul, to himself to “wait in silence for God only” (Psalms 62:5). David uses this powerful word “only” or “sure” for the fourth time. This is stronger than what he says in Psalms 62:1. It shows a growing confidence in God, as we also see in Psalms 62:6. This in turn leads to encouraging others to put their trust in God as well (Psalms 62:8).

David does not bring the assailant before God, but himself. He tells himself that his expectation is from God only. Everything in him is directed toward God in the confidence that he and his future are in God’s hand. In doing so, he silences the opponents, as well as any potentially emerging doubt in his soul.

With another powerful “only” or “sure” (Psalms 62:6), he adds what God is to him. God is his unshakable “rock”, his present and future “salvation” and his impregnable “stronghold”. When he thus says Who God is to him, he comes to the statement: “I shall not be shaken.” As already mentioned, we see here a growing trust in God. A few verses back he spoke of “not be greatly shaken” (Psalms 62:2). Now he says with certainty “I shall not be shaken”. This growing in certainty will also be found in the believing remnant in the end times.

This growing certainty is also reflected in what David has “on God” (Psalms 62:7). Here it is no longer so much about Who God is to him, but Who God Himself is. When he says that his “salvation” and his “glory” rest on God, the emphasis is not on his own salvation and his own glory, but on God. His salvation, honor, glory, or position have their origin and meaning in God. They are in Him and have value only because of that.

The same is true of his “rock” and his “refuge”. The emphasis is not on their usefulness to him – and that usefulness is great! – but on God, in Whom these things are present. Neither his protection nor his safety are in the foreground anymore, but God in Whom these things are found.

God is always what David says of Him here. God uses the various circumstances in which His own may be to reveal more and more of Himself. He wants to focus our eye beyond redemption or through redemption on Himself. All His actions in our favor must bring us to admire His Person and not the actions themselves.

When the eye is thus fixed on God, the believer bears witness of this to encourage others to trust God in this same way (Psalms 62:8). In what David says here, we hear the Messiah speaking, inviting the people, the remnant, to also trust in God and to do so “at all times”. It is about constant trust and that in all circumstances, of prosperity and of adversity. If we believe that He is perfect in His ways, we will not wish to do anything without Him.

This does not mean that there are no more exercises and trials. Waiting for God also does not mean that we do not need to cry out to Him. It is precisely because there is trust in God that the exhortation to pour out their hearts before Him follows. Everything that is in the heart may be said to Him. God’s answer to this is that He gives His peace in the heart (Philippians 4:6-Judges :). Whether He gives what we ask for, and at what time He gives it, we will leave to Him if we remember that He is full of goodness and love for those who wait for Him.

Christ poured out His heart for God throughout His life. We see this every time we read in the Gospels that He is in prayer. He is prayer (Psalms 109:4). We see this particularly in the Gospel according to Luke where He is presented as the perfect Man. We find Him there eight times in prayer (Luke 3:21; Luke 5:16Luke 6:12; Luke 9:18Luke 9:29; Luke 11:1Luke 22:41; Luke 23:34). The seventh prayer, the one in Gethsemane, is very impressive. There He pours out His heart before God because it is full with the work that He will accomplish on the cross of Calvary where He will be made sin.

Then He says not only “my refuge is in God” (Psalms 62:7), but “God is a refuge for us”. By the word “us” He connects Himself with the remnant. He does the same when He allows Himself to be baptized and says: “In this way it is fitting for us [He and John the baptist] to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15).

Verses 9-10

Unfounded Trust

After David points out that we are to trust God at all times, he warns against trust in people and human resources. By the “men of low degree” (Psalms 62:9) – Hebrew bene adam, which is sons of men, children of men – are meant ordinary people. They are only “vanity” or a “sigh”, in Hebrew hebel. From that the name Abel is derived. When Adam and Eve name their son Abel, it is an act of faith. We find the same thing in Psalm 90, where it says that we finish our years “like a sigh” (Psalms 90:9).

A sigh is something intangible and extremely volatile. That is how a person is: today he is there, tomorrow he is no longer there. It is the greatest folly to expect any support from something so uncertain. God, on the other hand, always remains the same, He has all power and with Him everything is certain.

The “men of rank” are “a lie”. Here we are talking about dignified people – Hebrew bene-isch –, people, whom other people look up to expectantly. David, that is, God’s Spirit, wipes out that expectation with one word: they are a “lie”. It is not about their personal character, as if they were always false and traitorous, but about the idea that any expectation of their help instead of that of God is “a lie”.

When all people are weighed together in a scale, they are even lighter than breath. The picture is that of the old-fashioned balance scale, the scale with two arms with a scale on each arm. If on one scale all the people are placed and on the other scale breath, the balance tips over to the side of the scale with breath. All the people together have no weight at all. How foolish, then, to expect from them, whether simple or considerable, any help. It is meaningless, without any weight. You must have the right scale, God’s scale, to come to that conclusion (cf. Daniel 5:27).

After the vanity of trust in people, David points out the vanity of trust in wrong means (Psalms 62:10). “Trust in oppression” means that we pressure people to help us, for example, by manipulating them. We then improperly and cunningly bend the resources to our will. Following on from this is the robbery of another person’s property. Then we appropriate resources in an illicit and brutal manner. Any trust in what has been robbed is “vain hope”. It is hope that perishes like a sigh. In addition, God will judge this.

Trust in wealth is also wrong. If it increases – even without oppression and without robbery – the heart should not be set upon it. Between wealth and uncertainty, an ‘equal to’ sign should be placed: wealth = uncertainty (1 Timothy 6:17). It can simply vanish, it can simply dissolve into nothing (Proverbs 11:28; Proverbs 23:5Proverbs 27:24).

People and resources can never save a man’s life for eternity, nor can they ever give true satisfaction to his existence. Only God can satisfy the deepest needs of a human being.

Verses 11-12

God Rewards Each According to His Work

God calls His own to trust in Him, for the power is His, and not man’s, whoever that man may be (Psalms 62:11). The power that a man needs – to protect and save him – is found only in God. Everyone and everything fails, but not God. This should lead us to place our trust in God only.

This is once spoken by God. David heard it twice, which is to say that he was absolutely sure of it. Christ always had an open ear for all that God spoke (Isaiah 50:4). What God spoke once, He heard twice. That determined His whole life. God also speaks to man once or twice, but his response is completely different, for he takes no notice of it (Job 33:14).

Not only power is from God, but also lovingkindness is from God (Psalms 62:12). God’s lovingkindness means His covenant faithfulness. God is called “Lord” here, that is Adonai, the sovereign Ruler. It means that God, the Creator and sovereign Ruler, uses His power to act in accordance with His covenant. He will bless and preserve all who trust in Him, but judge all who reject Him.

This rare combination of power and lovingkindness is only present with God. The God-fearing therefore knows that God is using His power for him in love. When God demonstrates His power in the judgment of evil, it means the deliverance of the righteous. He has gone God’s way on earth amidst evil and has waited in trust for God’s intervention. God’s recompense of evil is its reward. For us, this means the encouragement that we can count on Him and wait on Him.

Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Psalms 62". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniël', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.