“Only God is my rock and my salvation – my stronghold!
I won’t be shaken anymore.
How long will all of you attack others;
how long will you tear them down
as if they were leaning walls
or broken-down fences?
The only desire of this people
is to bring others down low;
they delight in deception.
With their mouths they bless,
but inside they are cursing.
Oh, I must find rest in God only
because my hope comes from him!”
Psalm 62 reveals the nature of both our propensity to judge others and tear them down and also its origin. At its root, we judge others and tear them down when, we for a a variety of reasons, feel disappointed by them or disapproving of their actions, decisions, beliefs, attitudes etc. Have you ever stopped to ask why they would bother us so? Psalm 62 connects our tearing down of others to our false hope in others ability to be our rock and stronghold. We are threatened by others when they fail us, or disagree with us, or even choose to value things that we do not value, because they have undermined the way we make sense of the world, ascribe meaning to the world, and choose to live in the world. The ways we make meaning of the world and order our lives around that meaning is a form of security for us. So in many ways, we seek our security and foundation in this world in our own ability to make meaning in the world and we look to others to confirm and affirm the meaning we have made through consent and agreement through life-meaning-alignment.
Psalm 62 exposed this as idolatry. If we turn to ourselves to make meaning of the world then we are worshiping ourselves. If we turn to others to make meaning of the world then we are worshiping others. Instead, Psalm 62 invites us to turn to God and allow God’s word, presence, and Spirit to make our meaning and allow God (not ourselves and not others) to be our security. Psalm 62 invites us to allow God to be our rock, our salvation, our stronghold, and our hope. When we stop requiring others to serve the function of being our various rocks by confirming the foundation we have created we will not feel so threatened when they do not simply confirm and affirm the meaning we have made. But when God is our rock and we allow the truth of God’s presence, being, love, and Holy Spirit to make our meaning then we will not be threatened when others seem undermine or challenge the meaning God has made for us.