Nothing Without God

Yael Eckstein  |  January 9, 2023

A drawing of David being anointed King.

But I have calmed and quieted myself,
    I am like a weaned child with its mother;
     like a weaned child I am content. –
Psalm 131:2

One of the founding principles of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews is God’s eternal promise He made to Abraham in Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you.” This is one of 12 devotions exploring the concept of blessing, barak, which is so important to both Christians and Jews.

Rulers of ancient nations often considered themselves nothing less than gods. Pharaohs had their images forged into idols, and kings throughout history have flaunted their great powers. They believed life and death, wealth and poverty, freedom and slavery, were all in the power of their hands. It’s no wonder these men looked upon themselves as equal to or just below God, and way above all other men.

The kings of Israel did not think this way. We even see in Deuteronomy that the king was warned against letting his heart get haughty, thinking of himself as above his fellow citizens. Of all the kings of Israel, none exemplified this value more than King David, himself. Throughout the Psalms, we see David’s humility on full display.

For example, in Psalm 131, David wrote, “My heart is not proud, LORD… I do not concern myself with… things too wonderful for me” (v.1). King David knew his place — he was a servant of God and of God’s people.

Then David uses a very interesting metaphor for his relationship to God: “But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content.”

Nothing Without God

David describes himself as a baby who has just been weaned, an infant who has always been fully reliant on its mother for everything. Just as a baby is helpless and hungry without his mother, so too, David was vulnerable and lacking without divine assistance from God.

David never thought that he was God; in fact, he knew that he was nothing without God. All that he had and all that he had become were the results of God’s kindness.

This brief psalm ends with David calling us all to put our trust in the Lord because only God can sustain us. David implied that we are all like nursing babies gaining nourishment from a loving mother. It is foolish to trust in anything else when everything that we could ever need is available from our loving parent — God, our Father in heaven.

Just as a mother wants nothing more than to nourish her hungry child, so, too, God wants us to be happy and satisfied. But we can only receive sustenance from God if we remain close to Him.

Your Turn:

We are all God’s children — He nourishes us, He sustains us. He alone is the source of all blessings. Take a moment of prayer time today to thank God for providing exactly what you need.