Psalms 31

1 For the leader. A psalm of David: In you, ADONAI, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in your justice, save me!
2 Turn your ear toward me, come quickly to my rescue, be for me a rock of strength, a fortress to keep me safe.
3 Since you are my rock and fortress, lead me and guide me for your name's sake.
4 Free me from the net they have hidden to catch me, because you are my strength.
5 Into your hand I commit my spirit; you will redeem me, ADONAI, God of truth.
6 I hate those who serve worthless idols; as for me, I trust in ADONAI.
7 I will rejoice and be glad in your grace, for you see my affliction, you know how distressed I am.
8 You did not hand me over to the enemy; you set my feet where I can move freely.
9 Show me favor, ADONAI, for I am in trouble. My eyes grow dim with anger, my soul and body as well.
10 For my life is worn out with sorrow and my years with sighing; my strength gives out under my guilt, and my bones are wasting away.
11 I am scorned by all my adversaries, and even more by my neighbors; even to acquaintances I am an object of fear when they see me in the street, they turn away from me.
12 Like a dead man, I have passed from their minds; I have become like a broken pot.
13 All I hear is whispering, terror is all around me; they plot together against me, scheming to take my life.
14 But I, I trust in you, ADONAI; I say, "You are my God."
15 My times are in your hand; rescue me from my enemies' power, from those who persecute me.
16 Make your face shine on your servant; in your grace, save me.
17 ADONAI, don't let me be put to shame, for I have called on you; let the wicked be put to shame, let them be silenced in Sh'ol.
18 May lying lips be struck dumb, that speak insolently against the righteous with such pride and contempt.
19 But oh, how great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you do for those who take refuge in you, before people's very eyes!
20 In the shelter of your presence you hide them from human plots, you conceal them in your shelter, safe from contentious tongues.
21 Blessed be ADONAI! For he has shown me his amazing grace when I was in a city under siege.
22 As for me, in my alarm I said, "I have been cut off from your sight!"Nevertheless, you heard my pleas when I cried out to you.
23 Love ADONAI, you faithful of his. ADONAI preserves the loyal, but the proud he repays in full.
24 Be strong, and fill your hearts with courage, all of you who hope in ADONAI.

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.

Chapter Summary

Psalms 31 Commentaries

Complete Jewish Bible Copyright 1998 by David H. Stern. Published by Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.