Trusting and Obeying
(6) Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to you at a time when you may be found. Surely in a flood of great waters, they shall not reach him. (7) You (are) my hiding place. You will protect me from trouble. You surround me with cries of deliverance. (Selah) (8) I will teach you and instruct you in the way you should go. I will counsel you with my eye upon you. (9) Do not be like a horse or a mule with no understanding which must be restrained with bit and bridle; otherwise, they will not approach you. (10) Many (are) the pains of the wicked, but for the one who trusts in Yahweh, steadfast love shall surround him. (11) Rejoice in Yahweh and be glad, you righteous ones, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
An important repetition found in this segment is the verb “surround,” each use speaking of God’s protection. In the first instance, David writes about being surrounded by the expressions of gratitude that God’s people offer up in praise when they experience his deliverance, a clear evidence of his constant protection (vs. 7). In the second, he states that Yahweh’s steadfast love surrounds those who trust in him (vs. 10).
A remarkable transformation has taken place in the heart of the psalmist by the time he finishes the psalm. Initially he sensed God’s heavy hand of discipline upon him for unconfessed sin. However, he ends with joy using three Hebrew words to express his exuberance: “rejoice...be glad...shout for joy” (vs. 11). What has made the difference? He has confessed and turned from the sin that had previously distanced him from God. He can thus rejoice in God’s pardon, presence, and protection.
I. Seeking God’s protection (6 & 7)
II. Submitting to God’s direction (8 & 9)
III. Celebrating God’s steadfast love (10 & 11)
Those who walk with Yahweh will experience his protection, his guidance, and the joy that comes from the assurance of his steadfast love.
In the late 1800’s the evangelist, Dwight L. Moody, held a crusade in New England. In a testimony meeting following the crusade, a young man stood to tell how his life had been transformed by the Gospel. It soon became apparent that he was not well versed in the finer points of Christianity, but what he said came straight from the heart: “I’m not quite sure of everything I heard, but this I know, I am going to trust, and I am going to obey.”
Moody's song leader, John Sammis, based the lyrics for his Gospel song, Trust and Obey, on that statement. The first stanza effectively summarizes the message of Psalm 32: “When we walk with the Lord in the light of his Word, what a glory he sheds on our way! / While we do his good will, he abides with us still and with all who will trust and obey.” The “glory he sheds on our way” is seen in his protection, his guidance, and his steadfast love which cause our hearts to rejoice. That is why David urges us to depend on God in prayer (vs. 6), to open our hearts to his instruction (vs. 9), and to rejoice in the Lord (vs. 11) so that we might experience all that he desires for us.