“A Song of degrees of David. LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.
Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul [is] even as a weaned child.
Let Israel hope in the LORD from henceforth and for ever.” (Psalms 131:1-3)
In today’s time, there are many views held concerning indications of genuine spiritual maturity. These can range from possession of a large body of Scriptural knowledge, to many outward displays of “religiosity”, or the performance of many works of charity aiding the poor and downtrodden, to the possession and exercise of many “sign gifts”, the possession of great speaking skills, etc etc etc … the list is endless.
Although man has many ideas about spiritual maturity, within a few short verses we can find three Scriptural indications of spiritual maturity presented in a very clear and concise way. We find these presented in a small, and little studied Psalm, Psalm 131.
In this three part series, by God’s grace, we will see that three outstanding marks of true Scriptural maturity are:
1. A spirit of Godly humility (vs 1)
2. A spirit of contentment and peace (vs 2)
3. A spirit of faith and hope (vs 3)
Let’s begin our study by looking at Psa 131:1 for this morning….
A Song of degrees of David.
What does “song of degrees”, or “the song of exaltation” refer to? The Psalms 120-134 all carry this title upon them. It is a title that separates these Psalms into a grouping all their own. There are MANY differing ideas concerning the meaning of this title, so I will just share with you my understanding of this title, and ask that you seek out the ideas of others as well.
The word translated “degrees” is a Hebrew word that basically means “to ascend”, “to be high”, “chiefest” or “supreme”. If we notice all of the Psalms given this title, when looked at together involve fallen man’s absolute need of the Lord for all aspects of living. This points to the Lord as the “chiefest”, “highest”, “supreme” need of all mankind…
1. Psalms 120 – David’s struggles against the sinful powers of the world
2. Psalms 121 – Safety found in the Lord
3. Psalms 122 – Joy in Worship and The Peace from God
4. Psalms 123 – Looking To the Lord for Deliverance
5. Psalms 124 – Praising the Lord for His Protection
6. Psalms 125 – Praying For The Protection Of God’s People
7. Psalms 126 – Praising For Deliverance and Praying For Future Blessings
8. Psalms 127 – The Lord is The Sure Foundation For Salvation and Family
9. Psalms 128 – The Fear of The Lord and His Many Blessings
10. Psalms 129 – The Afflictions Of God’s People and His Curse Upon Them
11. Psalms 130 – Patience Waiting For Forgiveness and Deliverance
12. Psalms 131 – Humility, Contentment and Faith
13. Psalms 132 – God’s Intervention and Blessings UponThe Ark
14. Psalms 133 – Blessing of Unity Among God’s People
15. Psalms 134 – The Need To Praise The Lord.
Most historians believe these Psalms were song by the Israelites as the traveled up to worship in the temple on several religious holidays. If this is the case, we can see how these Psalms would be used by God to prepare the people’s heart for worship and adoration of Him. This Psalm helped them to develop humble, peaceful and hopeful attitudes as they prepared to worship Him.
1. Indication of Spiritual Maturity – #1 – Humility
David now approaches the Lord in a spirit of prayerful humility…
LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty:
“LORD” – comes from the Hebrew word Jehovah which means “The Self-Existent One”. Jehovah is the personal name that was not shared with any deity of man. It was a title that clearly points to Him as the ONLY TRUE GOD.
David is saying … “I recognize you are the only true God, and I come before you with desires and intents are not pointed towards exalting myself. I do not look above others out of pride or arrogance. My desires are for your will to be done and your person to be exalted. ”
neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.
David continues to explain his spirit of humility… “ I have not walked down the path of interfering in issues that are beyond my understanding, ability, or position in life.” In other words, David recognized his limitations and abilities and refrained from areas of life that he was not equipped, nor able to properly handle.
A genuine spirit of humility:
1. recognizes the greatness of God,
2. desires for God alone to be glorified
3. submits to His desires for our lives
4. recognizes our God-given abilities
5. recognizes our God-given limitations
6. seeks to step in and take responsibilities they are equipped to handle.
May we all seek to develop within us a spirit of genuine Godly humility as we seek to serve Him in greater ways!
May we all get a clearer picture of our Lord and Savior, and the great grace He has shown to us. Let us be always watchful to keep His great acts of grace on our behalf in the center of our attention… In doing so, may we be motivated to LOVE Him more, APPRECIATE Him more and SERVE Him more!
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