Daily Devotional Psalm 131:1–3
The most common parental image of God in the Bible is as a father. In Scripture, God is never called mother. The authors of Scripture are intentional about how they use language and so we should respect that omission. However, there are several places where maternal imagery is used to help us understand God as a parent. Through the prophet Isaiah, God says, “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you” (Isa. 66:13). Isaiah asks, “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast?” God speaks through Isaiah, saying that even if an earthly mother could disregard her child, God will never forget His children (Isa. 49:15).
As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.
In Psalm 131, David uses a similar word picture to describe his relationship with God. He says, “I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content” (v. 2). Here David compares himself to the infant who finds comfort and security in the arms of the mother. David is not saying that God is his mother. Rather, the psalmist is emphasizing our intrinsic need for God. Because we depend on God, we should approach Him with humility. David confesses, “My heart is not proud, LORD, my eyes are not haughty” (v. 1).
Just like a baby depends on a mother for nourishment and protection, so are we utterly dependent upon God. We can do nothing without God’s help. This knowledge should give us a spirit of humility before God. In the book of Isaiah, God affirms this attitude: “These are the ones who I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word” (Isa. 66:2).
>> When you place your faith in Jesus, you become God’s child! As His children, we have hope, not because of our ability or efforts to please Him, but because of His grace and compassion (v. 3). Humbly come to God, recognizing our complete dependence on Him.
Pray with Us
In humility we depend on You for everything! Only through the work of Your Spirit do we experience spiritual growth. Only through Your tender care do we enjoy a world hospitable to life. Remind us always to thank You!