Psalms 31

1 I come to you, Lord, for protection; never let me be defeated. You are a righteous God; save me, I pray!
2 Hear me! Save me now! Be my refuge to protect me; my defense to save me.
3 You are my refuge and defense; guide me and lead me as you have promised.
4 Keep me safe from the trap that has been set for me; shelter me from danger.
5 I place myself in your care. 1 You will save me, Lord; you are a faithful God.
6 You hate those who worship false gods, but I trust in you.
7 I will be glad and rejoice because of your constant love. You see my suffering; you know my trouble.
8 You have not let my enemies capture me; you have given me freedom to go where I wish.
9 Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in trouble; my eyes are tired from so much crying; I am completely worn out.
10 I am exhausted by sorrow, and weeping has shortened my life. I am weak from all my troubles; even my bones are wasting away.
11 All my enemies, and especially my neighbors, treat me with contempt. Those who know me are afraid of me; when they see me in the street, they run away.
12 Everyone has forgotten me, as though I were dead; I am like something thrown away.
13 I hear many enemies whispering; terror is all around me. They are making plans against me, plotting to kill me.
14 But my trust is in you, O Lord; you are my God.
15 I am always in your care; save me from my enemies, from those who persecute me.
16 Look on your servant with kindness; save me in your constant love.
17 I call to you, Lord; don't let me be disgraced. May the wicked be disgraced; may they go silently down to the world of the dead.
18 Silence those liars - all the proud and arrogant who speak with contempt about the righteous.
19 How wonderful are the good things you keep for those who honor you! Everyone knows how good you are, how securely you protect those who trust you.
20 You hide them in the safety of your presence from the plots of others; in a safe shelter you hide them from the insults of their enemies.
21 Praise the Lord! How wonderfully he showed his love for me when I was surrounded and attacked!
22 I was afraid and thought that he had driven me out of his presence. But he heard my cry, when I called to him for help.
23 Love the Lord, all his faithful people. The Lord protects the faithful, but punishes the proud as they deserve.
24 Be strong, be courageous, all you that 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.

Cross References 1

  • 1. 31.5Luke 23.46.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. [Some ancient translations] troubles; [Hebrew] iniquity.

Chapter Summary

Psalms 31 Commentaries