Psalm 62 – “Homily of Trust”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The psalmist addresses his enemies and tells his audience to shun evil and trust in God.

II. Photo
The psalmist addresses his enemies: “How long will all of you attack a man, to crush him, as though he were a leaning wall, a tottering fence?” (v. 4)

III. Select Verses
2-3 (cf. 6-7): Truly my soul waits quietly for God; my deliverance comes from Him. Truly He is my rock and deliverance, my haven; I shall never be shaken.
10: Men are mere breath; mortals, illusion; placed on a scale all together, they weigh even less than a breath.
11: Do not trust in violence, or put false hopes in robbery; if force bears fruit pay it no mind.
12-13: One thing God has spoken; two things have I heard: that might belongs to God, and faithfulness is Yours, O Lord, to reward each man according to his deeds.

IV. Outline
1. Superscription
2-3. Declaration of trust
4-5. Complaint about enemies
6-8. Declaration of trust
9. Exhortation to trust in God
10-13. Wisdom lecture: shun evil, God rewards/punishes man

V. Comment
The literary theme of Psalm 61 is the word ach “surely” which begins six of the twelve verses. As Gerstenberger points out, the psalm is difficult to classify: “Strangely enough, there is no invocation to start out with, nor do we find clear-cut elements of complaint, thanksgiving, or hymn.” Indeed, the psalm appears to be a homily in which the reciter addresses his enemies and tells his audience to shun evil and trust in God. While some suggest that Psalm 61 is a prayer (see v. 13), it is probably one of the Psalter’s only homiletic speeches.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Craigie, Peter C. “Psalms 1-50” Word Biblical Commentary vol. 19 (Waco, Texas: Wordbooks, 1983).
Gerstenberger, Erhard S. “Psalms Part 1 with an Introduction to Cultic Poetry” Forms of Old Testament Literature (Michigan: Eerdmans, 1988).
Photo taken from http://us.123rf.com/400wm/400/400/sumners/sumners0904/sumners090400041/4760620-very-old-background-image-of-a-brick-wall-that-is-falling-apart.jpg

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