“Truly my soul silently waits for God; from Him comes my salvation.” – Psalm 62:1, NKJV
I used to avoid verses like this one. Perhaps understandably, but certainly unjustifiably (considering David’s actual intention), I unconsciously translated “silently waits for God,” to “puts up and shuts up,” which obviously does not bring much comfort to anyone, let alone anyone in deep trouble or distress. David, however, meant to convey nothing of the sort. Understanding what he actually said brings great comfort.
Psalm 62 is David’s contrast of trusting in God versus trusting in man or man’s evil tactics. Few psalmists share David’s expertise on handling trouble, as his wisdom came from a lifetime of experience. From an early age, he endured and overcame much fear, pain, hardship, peril, and betrayal. David learned – sometimes the hard way – that the only ultimate solution to trouble, internal or external, is the Lord. This psalm will see him urge others to, “Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us” (vs. 8).
Pouring out one’s heart before God does not sound like putting up or shutting up. Nor does God, who David describes not only as our refuge but also as holding all power and all mercy (vs. 11-12), sound like His character is consistent with such a callous attitude. What then is waiting silently for God?
The word David uses for “silently,” means stillness, quiet, repose, trust (per Enhanced Strong’s Dictionary). Walvoord (Bible Knowledge Commentary) compares this word to “rest,” conveying the idea that only when waiting on God can David be at perfect peace. In other words, David, knowing that his salvation, his refuge, and his safety ultimately and exclusively derived from the Lord, found rest in his soul when he put his whole trust in Him. That meant David stopped relying on things that let him down and purposefully chose to believe God’s promises. He gave the reins of his life back into God’s hands and let Him lead, waiting on Him, as a servant with his master. Rest naturally followed, because God is indeed all-powerful, loving, and merciful, the Good Shepherd, who cared for David as His beloved child. David could declare, “I shall not be moved” (vs. 6).
Waiting silently for God, then, is nothing like putting up and shutting up. It is much better pictured by a child seeking refuge in his mother’s arms. All his distress melts away when he casts himself on his parent. She cares for all his needs and ensures the best for him (even overriding his own ideas of what is “best,” if necessary). Her child rightly trusts her, and because his trouble is now in her hands, peace descends on his soul.
Like David, all of God’s share the privilege of waiting silently for Him. Our souls find their rest in His loving arms, as we pour out our hearts before Him, trust Him, obey Him, and make Him our refuge.
ed. Olive Tree Bible Software. (2020). Olive Tree Enhanced Strong's Dictionary. Olive Tree.
Walvoord, J. F. (n.d.). Bible Knowledge Commentary (2 Vols.). David C. Cook.