The person who is dependent on God tries to be balanced. As it states in verse two, “I have behaved myself” (KJV). The word in Hebrew for behaved is shavah, meaning “to level, equalize or counterbalance.” The meaning of this word denotes the idea that something is or was unbalanced at some point; or, that something needs to be continually balanced. That something is the human heart and this shavahing towards God is how we begin to find continual balance.
In verse 1 we also see aspects of the human heart that is independent of God, the opposite of a dependent heart. This heart is haughty, proud, lifted up. It is concerned with great matters or things too difficult for a person to handle. It is this heart that does not recognize the futility of and strain on their lives which comes from not practicing shavah, from not being dependent on God.
Conversely, the heart that is dependent on God, the heart that has shavahed or is shavahing itself, is described in verse 2 as being the direct opposite of the independent heart. It is not proud, concerned with great things, or things too difficult for one to handle. It is a heart that has been calmed.
Additionally in verse 2, we are given the reason for the calm or stillness of a person that is shavahing him– or herself. It is because of spiritual sustenance that has been transferred to the individual by God as they quiet-ed their soul in Him. In the verse, the transferring of spiritual nourishment is likened unto a mother breast-feeding her child, the mother being God, and the child being the person dependent on God.
Thus, as we quiet ourselves and look to God in prayer, as we hope in Him, we, as hungry or crying children, receive from the Lord eternal sustenance that balances and calms our hearts and satisfies our souls.
In verse 3 the psalmist solidifies the message of the passage by encouraging us to hope in Him, our stability, our heart’s sustainer, our soul satisfier, our great and wonderful God.
- Jeremy Pataro
First Baptist Church, Lebanon and their pastor Eliot Fay
United Church of Lincoln and their pastor David Wood
Camp Sentinel Ministries and Executive Director Kevin Van Brunt