LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty. Neither do I concern myself with great matters, nor with things too profound for me. Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forever. (Psalm 131 NKJV)
My heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty. David recognizes and states his true spiritual condition; that of being poor in spirit. The word haughty as used here in the Hebrew means to be high, exalted, and arrogant. It describes anything that is literally tall or high. David is saying that he has not built himself up in his pride; he is not seeing himself as anything other than a man who hopes in the Lord and trusts only in Him. As king it would be easy for David to be exalted in his own opinion of himself because of his position as the leader of the nation that brings with it a natural level of stature and respect of the people. But as he addresses the nation in this psalm, rather than looking above or over the people, he looks at them with a sense of unworthiness of his own position before the living God; a position of the need of the LORD to be in control. David sees himself as a man of great limitations. David is a sinner and admits it as his heart is lowly. Before God David has a proper sense of his proportion in relation to the LORD.
Being a man poor in spirit David goes on to state: Neither do I concern myself with great matters, nor with things too profound for me. These great matters and wonderful things are the ways and plans of man – pure worldly endeavors devised on earth, not in heaven. These plans come from man’s pride and high view of his own abilities rather than from his humility. These plans are a sign of his arrogant rebellion against God rather than his humble submission to the Lord. We are continually taught in the Western culture that everything is possible for us. Modern man says in his pride that nothing is impossible; we can do anything through our own effort and hard work. David sees things as they are: the work is not our concern because the work is the Lord’s. Our concern is to submit to His will and become poor in spirit.
With a humble, proper sense of himself, being poor in spirit, David is ready to see God as He truly is. David can enter true rest. Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-29) David came to the same place in this psalm as he says: Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul. David sees things clearly and can become calm and quiet before the Lord. David then describes the sense that he has of himself: Like a weaned child with his mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. Here David finds true contentment. David had become like a more mature child who knows rest and security in the presence of his mother. David’s soul is at rest because he is poor in spirit.
O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forever. The ultimate declaration of the man who is poor in spirit is to place hope in the Lord and not in the hands of the self, or any other man. This is a continual place of blessing for the Believer as he hopes forever in the LORD.
Read and pray through Psalm 131 putting you in the place of David. Pray that the Holy Spirit can develop in you this character of becoming poor in spirit.