Is My Soul Like a Weaned Child?

[caption id="attachment_2085" align="alignleft" width="300"]Weaned for finer things. Picture from sacredsandwich.com Weaned for finer things.
Picture from sacredsandwich.com[/caption]

Yesterday I decided to do a little splurgin’ with Spurgeon. So I cracked open one of the volumes from The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit series that my granddad handed down to me. I decided on the sermons from 1875, and the very first one intrigued me. The sermon was on Psalm 131:2, “My soul is even as a weaned child.” Well that’s a curious analogy! Immediately I’m wondering what it is about a weaned child that is admirable, and if I could say like David, “My soul is even as a weaned child.”

Spurgeon first tackles the context. This is a short Psalm consisting of a mere 3 verses. In the 1st verse he says that his heart is not haughty, his eyes are not lofty, and he doesn’t concern himself with matters that are too profound for him. I felt like I struck out on the 1st three pitches. I was in awe that David could say this about himself. About this, Spurgeon said:

…for a weaned child thinks nothing of itself. It is but a little babe; whatever consciousness it has at all about the matter, it is not conscious of any strength or any wisdom, it is dependent entirely upon its mother’s care; and blessed is that man who is brought to lie very low in his own spirit before the Lord, resting on the bosom of infinite love (3).

I’ve weaned three children, so I know a little about the process. Some are easier to wean than others. Spurgeon rightly points out that weaning is one of the first struggles that a person encounters in life. Before they are weaned, they have a perpetual anxiety about their next feeding. They have no idea about the much tastier array of food that is before them. Before weaning, a baby cries to have its desires met, and mom is there to meet them. So this is also a challenge to their self-centeredness. A new kind of trust in mom develops when a child is weaned. Some mom’s delay this process because it can be hard on both the mother and the child. But the reward is great. Spurgeon describes the condition of a weaned child’s heart:

David… was like one who was able to give up his natural food, which seemed to him absolutely necessary, and which he greatly enjoyed. The weaned babe has given up what it loved. By nature we hang on the breasts of this world, and only sovereign grace can wean us therefrom, but when we give up self-righteousness, self-confidence, the love of the world, the desire of self-aggrandizement, when we give up trusting in man, trusting in ceremonies, trusting in anything but God, then has our soul become like a weaned child. It has given up what nature feeds upon, that it may feed upon the bread of heaven (8).

What a long way I have to go.

I still struggle with what nature feeds upon. I still whine with anxiety for my next feeding. But this illustration paints a clear picture of contrast. After a child is weaned and feasts on the delights of a real meal, the thought of breast milk becomes repulsive. This is how I want my heart to think of my own self-righteousness and all that the world has to offer me. I want to trust in what God gives to me each day, and crave that heavenly banquet that is to come. What could possibly be more desirable than sitting at the table with my Lord and all his righteous ones?

Thankfully, God is weaning me. Because of this, I know that he will finish the work he has begun in me. I know that I will persevere in this great struggle because he is the one doing the work.

Spurgeon encourages us that when we are weaned from worry and self-seeking, we are then freed to  “undertake the Lord’s business…You have sought the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all other things have been added to you, so that you are as happy as the days are long in June” (9).

Happy is the man who comes to that condition! God brings us there (9).
 
May the Lord wean you from earth and wed you to heaven. Amen (12). 

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5 Comments

I read once that this word

I read once that this word (in Hebrew) can be interpreted (and I am paraphrasing as "removed or taken away from the breast". Not weaned in the sence we use it. My wife nursed all 4 of our children, and I remember well how that hungry, unhappy baby changed during the nursing and became happy, peaceful, sleeping with milk running out of its mouth, down its chubby cheaks and into its ears, as if it were to content to swallow another drop. God is called El Shaddi- which in its roots means the "breasty". Maybe similar to our word "mammal", when it refers to the fact that mammals nurse their young. Dont misinterpret- God the Father is not female, and he is mot an animal. He is YHWH! But it implies that we are supplied with everything we need; quieted, stilled and given a peace that passes all understanding like a babe that once fussy baby, not at perfect rest, asleep it its Mamma's arms.

Love that Chuck Norris one so

Love that Chuck Norris one so much I went back to read it again (http://sacredsandwich.com/archives/5207). SO much fun!

Have you seen the Chuck

Have you seen the Chuck Norris Bible? I've gotta work that on into the blog somehow. :)

P.S. I love sacredsandwich

P.S. I love sacredsandwich too!

Being weaned from earth and

Being weaned from earth and wedded to heaven sounds like a great summary of God's work in his people's lives. Thanks for guiding me through this psalm's analogy, Aimee.

Tim

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