Knowing Who We Are

Jeff Munroe

Read: Psalm 131

Lord, my heart is not haughty . . . (v. 1 KJV)

May I make a suggestion? Read the passages in this set of devotionals aloud. Poetry (like preaching) is an oral art form and is meant to be read out loud. You hear the rhythm and cadence of the words when they are spoken. In this psalm, for example, there is a string of words that begin with the letter h: “heart,” “haughty,” “high,” “hope” and “henceforth” are among the most important words in the psalm, and reading them aloud helps you recognize their unique sound.

Another important aspect of poetry is conciseness. Poets use an economy of words, and that is certainly the case in this three-verse psalm. The psalm is attributed to David, and he was a man whose blood ran hot. Yet here is this beautiful psalm about peace, contentment, and trust. Like all of us, David was a complicated person and had conflicting feelings. He expresses the depths of his soul with great beauty.

The dark side of a psalm like this is that it feeds into the sense of shame so many of us carry. There is a difference, though, between shame and humility, and this psalm is about humility. It’s about having a realistic sense of who we are and who God is. “I’ve settled down,” is another way to put it. Augustine famously said in his Confessions that “our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” That sentiment finds its inspiration here. —Jeff Munroe

As you pray, thank God for passages that help us love the Bible and its beautiful words that feed our souls.