Psalm 131 has only three verses, but they’re so rich in meaning. David sang to the Lord, “My heart is not proud. … Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself like a little weaned child with its mother” (vv. 1-2). The Hebrew word translated as “quieted,” damam, also means “to cause to die” or “to destroy.”
What I love about the word damam is its brutal honesty. When David felt pride rising up in his heart — when he wanted to question God’s ways, when he wanted to get angry because he couldn’t see what God was doing — he had to put that pride to death. He had to destroy it. And isn’t that what the Christian life is all about? Dying to our need to understand and to control our lives and instead free-falling into a life fully surrendered to God?
The apostle Paul said in Galatians that “those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (5:24). Dying to yourself is raw and painful. Sometimes, it takes everything in us to say no to the things our flesh craves. But this is the call of the disciple of Christ. Daily, we have to pick up our cross, deny our flesh, and follow our Lord.
But God doesn’t call us to die just to die. He knows that with each choice we make to put to death our flesh, we become more alive to God in Christ Jesus (see Romans 6:11). And life in Christ is far, far better than the counterfeits this world offers us.
Are you struggling today with pride that demands to understand? Like David, choose the path of trust instead. Quiet yourself before the Lord, putting to death your desire to control circumstances that are weighing you down.
Will you trust God even if He doesn’t explain what He’s doing, knowing He’s good and loving and faithful?