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Devotion: A Quiet Child in a Parent’s Arms

A Quiet Child in a Parent’s Arms

June 6th, 2018 | Psalm 131

Ruth Haley Barton wrote in Invitation to Solitude and Silence: Experiencing God’s Transforming Presence: “I believe silence is the most challenging, the most needed and the least experienced spiritual discipline among evangelical Christians today. It is much easier to talk about it and read about itthan to actually become quiet. . . . We are starved for intimacy, to see and fee l and know God in the very cells of our being. We are starved for rest, to know God beyond what we can do for him.”

Our psalm for today speaks to this need and desire. The silence at its core is, as seen in the simile of the “weaned child with its mother,” the silence of peacefulness, rest, and complete trust (v. 2). Interestingly, David here has “calmed and quieted” himself, indicating a conscious, self-disciplined choice. But it is the Parent who is the foundation for his faith and thus the actual source of his contentment.

Why specifically a “weaned child”? Because the relationship is not based on need fulfillment, as with an infant. The peace and satisfaction flow from presence and intimacy—a child snuggling close for the sake of closeness and the relationship itself. No wonder this is a “song of ascents,” that is, a psalm composed to be sung during the pilgrimage to Jerusalem and designed to prepare the heart for worship.

How did the psalmist make this choice? By seeking humility and letting God be God (v. 1). It is the nature of human pride to think we can master our own destinies, build a tower to heaven, and discover all the secrets of the universe. We don’t like limits. But as we read yesterday, God alone governs creation. We must trust God to be God and put our hope in Him from now to eternity (v. 3).


No doubt the psalmist had questions to express to God. But in this psalm, he simply rested in Him, enjoying His presence. We need that as well. Don’t go to Him today in a spirit of What have you done for me lately?, but in the peaceful, faith-filled spirit of “a weaned child with its mother.” Enjoy the richness and rest of your relationship with the Lord.

Today in the Word’s Devotion is a production of Moody Global Ministries

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