Yesterday God was a mom. Today God is still a mom, but he is also a bird. A bird made out of rocks.
Going by Brueggemann’s classification scheme, we’ve got a psalm of disorientation on our hands today. The author isn’t identified, but it certainly sounds like David: he’s afflicted and insulted by enemies, threatened by ruthless men, crying out to God for deliverance. It’s a funny thing about disorientation, though. It comes in degrees.
Psalm 62 has a chorus, of sorts. David opens the psalm with the following lines: “My soul waits in silence for God only; From Him is my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken” (1-2). He repeats them in verses 5-6, with two differences: the first line becomes a command, “My soul, wait in silence…” (5), and the second line becomes “For my hope is from Him” (5). This is a tall order; how exactly are you going to rely on an invisible, intangible entity to be something so solid as a rock and a stronghold and save you from your enemies? Wouldn’t you be better off counting on, say, an actual rock or stronghold?
You know, I could swear David has described God as a tower before. But no: the Hebrew word for “tower,” migdal, only appears twice in the Psalms. We’ve seen it once before in Psalm 48, which says, “Walk about Zion and go around her; count her towers” (48:12). That’s not a metaphor for God! Those are the literal towers of an actual physical location! And Psalm 48 isn’t even by David; it’s a psalm of the sons of Korah! And like me, you might think that the well-known verse “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe” is from the Psalms, but like me, you would be wrong. It’s Proverbs 18:10.
Psalm 31 is basically a praise sandwich. Are you familiar with compliment sandwiches? When you have to give a critique, you can deliver a compliment before and after your criticism. The compliments make it more likely that your criticism will be well-received and actually help the person improve. Similarly, David comes to God with a request, but not before he praises God first, and he follows up the request with more praise. It’s a praise sandwich.