Commentary Ps 62 32A
Psalm 62, with its longing and thirsting and pining, is a very human song, especially when we are experiencing feelings of isolation, struggling “in a dry weary land”, as the psalmist puts it. The ancient scribes put a superscript as an introduction that attributed the song to the scenes when the boy David had run away from King Saul one one occasion or on another when he was hiding from his rebellious son Absolom.
There is an unusual Hebrew word for “seek”. It means to seek eagerly, and it is related to the word for “dawn”. The suggestion is that, if I keep on earnestly seeking, then a sense of God’s presence will eventually dawn on me after the present darkness has passed. The dry mouth, seeking for water in a parched land, eventually gives way to praise and blessings for God, as the singer reflects positively that the God, who has helped in the past, is still close: within the Temple he senses God’s protective wings around him, like a sheltering mother bird. The psalm, in this way, does two things: firstly, it encourages the use of our memory of past blessings to inspire confidence in God’s close presence now.; but secondly, the Temple context is important. Those of us, like the psalmist, who may find it difficult to pray alone, can be lifted up when the community prays around them. Similarly, when it comes to singing, a person who would be uncomfortable singing solo will nevertheless confidently sing strongly in the chorus line! And that chorus resounds with the cry, “Your right hand Lord, holds me fast!”
But the cantor has to sing solo of course. As she approaches the lectern to sing in front of the whole community, it can be good to remember that line: “God’s right hand holds me fast! “ I’m not on my own here!
Words (c) The Grail, England. Music (c) Gerry Fitzpatrick, recorded by Gerry Healy.