My heart is not proud, Lord,
my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
or things too wonderful for me.
But I have calmed and quieted myself,
I am like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child I am content.
Israel, put your hope in the Lord
both now and forevermore.
- Psalm 131:1-3
“Aug 30, 1982: This evening while reading in the Psalms, I came to Psalm 131:10, and remembered the work of the Holy Spirit in my heart, when reading this verse on Dec. 5, 1835, and the effect that this had, not only on leading me to found the greatest Orphan Institution in the world, but I thought also on the blessing which has been brought to tens of thousands of believers and unbelievers all over the world. Putting aside the Bible, therefore, I fell on my knees and asked God that He would graciously be pleased to repeat His former kindness, and to supply me again more abundantly with means. Accordingly in less than an hour, I received £50 from a Bristol donor and from Redland a large quantity of fish, in addition to £97 already received today as the result of much prayer. By the last delivery, at 9 p. m., I received £5 more also, and had thus £152 in all, this day, as the result of prayer.”
- George Müller, Answers to Prayer
Yesterday, I asked us not to quibble about how George Müller stated that he had been living for 63 years entirely dependent upon God, when, once you did the math, he had only done that for 62 years and 12 days. But today, I must have a quiet, quick moment to quibble about the quaint quote from George Müller. (Oh, how I love alliteration.) And by the way, his math in this quote is accurate in that the total is £152, not counting the large quantity of fish.
He seems to state that Psalm 131:10 is somewhat of a “life verse” for him. It is the verse that sparked within him his life-long ministry of service to orphans. But the verse does not exist. The entirety of Psalm 131 is shown above. There are only three verses. (See, quiet. No exclamation points.)
Was this a typo by George Müller or a typo in the printing of the book or something else? Does anyone know?
Let’s explore the “something else.” In looking at various editions of Bible translations, the Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition skips one of the Psalms or combines it with another. That makes Psalm 132 in the present Bible Psalm 131 in the Douay-Rheims. The original English translation of Douay-Rheims (through the Catholic church and published in France) had been available for over 200 years. So, what is Psalm 132:10 (NIV) – Psalm 131:10 (DAR)? For the sake of your servant David, do not reject your anointed one. Now, what translation did George Müller read this verse from in his Bible before he recorded the quote above in his ledger? Other English translations, before Rev. Müller’s time (KJV and the 1599 Geneva Bible) and after (NIV, NASB, etc.), use the numbering of the Psalms that we see today.
Psalm 132:10 is obscure regarding the creation of an orphanage, but the Holy Spirit works in mysterious ways. It can be a “life verse.” We may not be the “anointed one of God”, but as we endeavor to serve the Lord according to God’s will for our lives, we can say that we are anointed for the task at hand. It is good to know that God does not reject us. With that knowledge fueling a growing faith in God, we can be unstoppable.
Yet, let’s look back at the entirety of Psalm 131, the one in our present translations. It starts off by stating that we should not be proud, yet George Müller claims to have created the greatest Orphan Institution in the world. That does not seem to be a humble statement at all. I have read recently where we should take pride in our accomplishments, but avoid that boastful pride that makes it seem that we did it alone, without God. In not taking pride in our work, we might be satisfied with a lackluster effort, but Rev. Müller seems to be a little boastful at this point. But the next part of the Psalm is in line with everything that I learned about George Müller in the book. He did not think of things that were too marvelous for himself. He dreamed big dreams, but he got it done.
I know of another person who has a dream to build a great orphanage. He has been stuck on 95% complete for several years, maybe over a decade by now. He wants the job finished in just such a way that there are no volunteers capable in performing the highly skilled task. Thus, with the building not weatherproofed, the 95% that was once complete is starting to deteriorate, and churches upon churches are backing out from doing further support for his project. And oh, how he has traveled the country asking for support from churches – not like George Müller, spending time on his knees, only asking God. The dreamer dreamed something regarding great matters and something too wonderful to be done. If he’d kept the dream simple, or accepted donations from people who wanted their name on the building, he’d be helping orphans now. When we have a dream from God, we must not lose focus on who is glorified by our efforts (God) and who is helped (those that we serve).
Then Psalm 131 speaks of being a weaned child, who is content. I can picture orphans that are in an orphanage with a roof over their heads, well fed, afforded education, well clothed – content.
And what is our response to these three verses? Praising God and putting our hope in God, now and forevermore.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.