Psalms 31

A Plea for Protection

1

For the choir director. A Davidic psalm.

1 Lord, I seek refuge in You; let me never be disgraced. Save me by Your righteousness.
2 Listen closely to me; rescue me quickly. Be a rock of refuge for me, a mountain fortress to save me.
3 For You are my rock and my fortress;[a] You lead and guide me because of Your name.[b]
4 You will free me from the net[c] that is secretly set for me, for You are my refuge.
5 Into Your hand I entrust my spirit;[d] You redeem[e] me, Lord, God of truth.
6 I[f] hate those who are devoted to worthless idols, but I trust in the Lord.
7 I will rejoice and be glad in Your faithful love because You have seen my affliction. You have known the troubles of my life
8 and have not handed me over to the enemy. You have set my feet in a spacious place.
9 Be gracious to me, Lord, because I am in distress; my eyes are worn out from angry sorrow- my whole being[g] as well.
10 Indeed, my life is consumed with grief, and my years with groaning; my strength has failed because of my sinfulness,[h] and my bones waste away.
11 I am ridiculed by all my adversaries and even by my neighbors. I am an object of dread to my acquaintances; those who see me in the street run from me.
12 I am forgotten: gone from memory like a dead person-like broken pottery.
13 I have heard the gossip of many; terror is on every side. When they conspired against me, they plotted to take my life.
14 But I trust in You, Lord; I say, "You are my God."
15 The course of my life is in Your power; deliver me from the power of my enemies and from my persecutors.
16 Show Your favor to Your servant; save me by Your faithful love.
17 Lord, do not let me be disgraced when I call on You. Let the wicked be disgraced; let them be silent[i] [j] in Sheol.[k]
18 Let lying lips be quieted; they speak arrogantly against the righteous with pride and contempt.
19 How great is Your goodness that You have stored up for those who fear You, and accomplished in the sight of everyone for those who take refuge in You.
20 You hide them in the protection of Your presence; You conceal them in a shelter[l] from the schemes of men, from quarrelsome tongues.
21 May the Lord be praised, for He has wonderfully shown His faithful love to me in a city under siege.[m]
22 In my alarm I had said, "I am cut off from Your sight." But You heard the sound of my pleading when I cried to You for help.
23 Love the Lord, all His faithful ones. The Lord protects the loyal, but fully repays the arrogant.
24 Be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord.

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 13

Chapter Summary

Psalms 31 Commentaries

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