The mother of all Psalms, literally, in that Psalm 131 distinctly among Psalms presents the image of God as mother. “Like a weaned child upon his mother’s breast,” is how the Psalmist self-describes in the middle verse. A weaned child no longer needs to suckle for nourishment and yet, snuggles on the familiar chest finding comfort, security, and contentment.
Rashi, the 11th century French Biblical commentator, translated “weaned/gamul” instead as “a nursing child.” When the Vilna Gaon (Lithuania of 18th century) was asked, “What does it mean to trust God?” He answered by quoting verse 2 and explained: After a child has finished suckling and rests contently, the child does not consider whether there will be milk the next time that I am hungry. Rather the child abides in contentment. This is what it means to trust in God.
This three-line Psalm has one key image, a mother’s nurturing love as the image of relationship with God.
Join me for words of contentment.
This morning’s study is dedicated to Nancy and Arnold Raymon.