Psalms 31

Psalm 31

1

For the music leader. A psalm of David.

1 I take refuge in you, LORD. Please never let me be put to shame. Rescue me by your righteousness!
2 Listen closely to me! Deliver me quickly; be a rock that protects me; be a strong fortress that saves me!
3 You are definitely my rock and my fortress. Guide me and lead me for the sake of your good name!
4 Get me out of this net that's been set for me because you are my protective fortress.
5 I entrust my spirit into your hands; you, LORD, God of faithfulness— you have saved me.
6 I hate those who embrace what is completely worthless. I myself trust the LORD.
7 I rejoice and celebrate in your faithful love because you saw my suffering— you were intimately acquainted with my deep distress.
8 You didn't hand me over to the enemy, but set my feet in wide-open spaces.
9 Have mercy on me, LORD, because I'm depressed. My vision fails because of my grief, as do my spirit and my body.
10 My life is consumed with sadness; my years are consumed with groaning. Strength fails me because of my suffering; my bones dry up.
11 I'm a joke to all my enemies, still worse to my neighbors. I scare my friends, and whoever sees me in the street runs away!
12 I am forgotten, like I'm dead, completely out of mind; I am like a piece of pottery, destroyed.
13 Yes, I've heard all the gossiping, terror all around; so many gang up together against me, they plan to take my life!
14 But me? I trust you, LORD! I affirm, "You are my God."
15 My future is in your hands. Don't hand me over to my enemies, to all who are out to get me!
16 Shine your face on your servant; save me by your faithful love!
17 LORD, don't let me be put to shame because I have cried out to you. Let the wicked be put to shame; let them be silenced in death's domain!
18 Let their lying lips be shut up whenever they speak arrogantly against the righteous with pride and contempt!
19 How great is the goodness that you've reserved for those who honor you, that you commit to those who take refuge in you— in the sight of everyone!
20 You hide them in the shelter of your wings, safe from human scheming. You conceal them in a shelter, safe from accusing tongues.
21 Bless the LORD, because he has wondrously revealed his faithful love to me when I was like a city under siege!
22 When I was panicked, I said, "I'm cut off from your eyes!" But you heard my request for mercy when I cried out to you for help.
23 All you who are faithful, love the LORD! The LORD protects those who are loyal, but he pays the proud back to the fullest degree.
24 All you who wait for the LORD, be strong and let your heart take courage.

Psalms 31 Commentary

Chapter 31

Confidence in God. (1-8) Prayer in trouble. (9-18) Praise for God's goodness. (19-24)

Verses 1-8 Faith and prayer must go together, for the prayer of faith is the prevailing prayer. David gave up his soul in a special manner to God. And with the words, ver. 5, our Lord Jesus yielded up his last breath on the cross, and made his soul a free-will offering for sin, laying down his life as a ransom. But David is here as a man in distress and trouble. And his great care is about his soul, his spirit, his better part. Many think that while perplexed about their worldly affairs, and their cares multiply, they may be excused if they neglect their souls; but we are the more concerned to look to our souls, that, though the outward man perish, the inward man may suffer no damage. The redemption of the soul is so precious, that it must have ceased for ever, if Christ had not undertaken it. Having relied on God's mercy, he will be glad and rejoice in it. God looks upon our souls, when we are in trouble, to see whether they are humbled for sin, and made better by the affliction. Every believer will meet with such dangers and deliverances, until he is delivered from death, his last enemy.

Verses 9-18 David's troubles made him a man of sorrows. Herein he was a type of Christ, who was acquainted with grief. David acknowledged that his afflictions were merited by his own sins, but Christ suffered for ours. David's friends durst not give him any assistance. Let us not think it strange if thus deserted, but make sure of a Friend in heaven who will not fail. God will be sure to order and dispose all for the best, to all those who commit their spirits also into his hand. The time of life is in God's hands, to lengthen or shorten, make bitter or sweet, according to the counsel of his will. The way of man is not in himself, nor in our friend's hands, nor in our enemies' hands, but in God's. In this faith and confidence he prays that the Lord would save him for his mercies's sake, and not for any merit of his own. He prophesies the silencing of those that reproach and speak evil of the people of God. There is a day coming, when the Lord will execute judgment upon them. In the mean time, we should engage ourselves by well-doing, if possible, to silence the ignorance of foolish men.

Verses 19-24 Instead of yielding to impatience or despondency under our troubles, we should turn our thoughts to the goodness of the Lord towards those who fear and trust in Him. All comes to sinners through the wondrous gift of the only-begotten Son of God, to be the atonement for their sins. Let not any yield to unbelief, or think, under discouraging circumstances, that they are cut off from before the eyes of the Lord, and left to the pride of men. Lord, pardon our complaints and fears; increase our faith, patience, love, and gratitude; teach us to rejoice in tribulation and in hope. The deliverance of Christ, with the destruction of his enemies, ought to strengthen and comfort the hearts of believers under all their afflictions here below, that having suffered courageously with their Master, they may triumphantly enter into his joy and glory.

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. LXX, Syr; MT my sin
  • [b]. Heb Sheol
  • [c]. Correction; see Ps 61:5; MT in the hiding place of your face

Chapter Summary

Psalms 31 Commentaries

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