Psalms 31

A Psalm of Complaint and of Praise.

1 1In You, O LORD, I have taken refuge; Let me never * 2be ashamed; 3In Your righteousness deliver me.
2 4Incline Your ear to me, rescue me quickly; Be to me a 5rock of strength, A stronghold to save me.
3 For You are my rock and 6my fortress; For 7Your name's sake You will lead me and guide me.
4 You will 8pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me, For You are my 9strength.
5 10Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have 11ransomed me, O LORD, 12God of truth.
6 I hate those who 13regard vain idols, But I 14trust in the LORD.
7 I will 15rejoice and be glad in Your lovingkindness, Because You have 16seen my affliction; You have known the troubles of my soul,
8 And You have not 17given me over into the hand of the enemy; You have set my feet in a large place.
9 Be gracious to me, O LORD, for 18I am in distress; My 19eye is wasted away from grief, 20my soul and my body also.
10 For my life is spent with 21sorrow And my years with sighing; My 22strength has failed because of my iniquity, And 23my body has wasted away.
11 Because of all my adversaries, I have become a 24reproach, Especially to my 25neighbors, And an object of dread to my acquaintances; Those who see me in the street flee from me.
12 I am 26forgotten as a dead man, out of mind; I am like a broken vessel.
13 For I have heard the 27slander of many, 28Terror is on every side; While they 29took counsel together against me, They 30schemed to take away my life.
14 But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD, I say, "31You are my God."
15 My 32times are in Your hand; 33Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me.
16 Make Your 34face to shine upon Your servant; 35Save me in Your lovingkindness.
17 Let me not be 36put to shame, O LORD, for I call upon You; Let the 37wicked be put to shame, let them 38be silent in Sheol.
18 Let the 39lying lips be mute, Which 40speak arrogantly against the righteous With pride and contempt.
19 How great is Your 41goodness, Which You have stored up for those who fear You, Which You have wrought for those who 42take refuge in You, 43Before the sons of men!
20 You hide them in the 44secret place of Your presence from the 45conspiracies of man; You keep them secretly in a shelter from the 46strife of tongues.
21 47Blessed be the LORD, For He has made 48marvelous His lovingkindness to me in a besieged 49city.
22 As for me, 50I said in my alarm, "I am 51cut off from before Your eyes "; Nevertheless You 52heard the voice of my supplications When I cried to You.
23 O love the LORD, all you 53His godly ones! The LORD 54preserves the faithful And fully 55recompenses the proud doer.
24 56Be strong and let your heart take courage, All you who 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 56

  • 1. Psalms 31:1-3; Psalms 71:1-3
  • 2. Psalms 25:2
  • 3. Psalms 143:1
  • 4. Psalms 17:6; Psalms 71:2; Psalms 86:1; Psalms 102:2
  • 5. Psalms 18:2; Psalms 71:3
  • 6. Psalms 18:2
  • 7. Psalms 23:3; Psalms 25:11
  • 8. Psalms 25:15
  • 9. Psalms 46:1
  • 10. Luke 23:46; Acts 7:59
  • 11. Psalms 55:18; Psalms 71:23
  • 12. Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalms 71:22
  • 13. Jonah 2:8
  • 14. Psalms 52:8
  • 15. Psalms 90:14
  • 16. Psalms 10:14
  • 17. Deuteronomy 32:30; Psalms 37:33
  • 18. Psalms 66:14; Psalms 69:17
  • 19. Psalms 6:7
  • 20. Psalms 63:1
  • 21. Psalms 13:2
  • 22. Psalms 39:11
  • 23. Psalms 32:3; Psalms 38:3; Psalms 102:3
  • 24. Psalms 69:19
  • 25. Job 19:13; Psalms 38:11; Psalms 88:8, 18
  • 26. Psalms 88:5
  • 27. Psalms 50:20; Jeremiah 20:10
  • 28. Lamentations 2:22
  • 29. Psalms 62:4; Matthew 27:1
  • 30. Psalms 41:7
  • 31. Psalms 140:6
  • 32. Job 14:5; Job 24:1
  • 33. Psalms 143:9
  • 34. Numbers 6:25; Psalms 4:6; Psalms 80:3
  • 35. Psalms 6:4
  • 36. Psalms 25:2, 20
  • 37. Psalms 25:3
  • 38. 1 Samuel 2:9; Psalms 94:17; Psalms 115:17
  • 39. Psalms 109:2; Psalms 120:2
  • 40. 1 Samuel 2:3; Psalms 94:4; Jude 15
  • 41. Psalms 65:4; Psalms 145:7; Isaiah 64:4; Romans 2:4; Romans 11:22
  • 42. Psalms 5:11
  • 43. Psalms 23:5
  • 44. Psalms 27:5
  • 45. Psalms 37:12
  • 46. Job 5:21; Psalms 31:13
  • 47. Psalms 28:6
  • 48. Psalms 17:7
  • 49. 1 Samuel 23:7; Psalms 87:5
  • 50. Psalms 116:11
  • 51. Psalms 88:5; Isaiah 38:11, 12; Lamentations 3:54
  • 52. Psalms 18:6; Psalms 66:19; Psalms 145:19
  • 53. Psalms 30:4; Psalms 37:28; Psalms 50:5
  • 54. Psalms 145:20; Revelation 2:10
  • 55. Deuteronomy 32:41; Psalms 94:2
  • 56. Psalms 27:14

Footnotes 9

Chapter Summary

To the chief Musician, a Psalm of David. This psalm, according to Arama, was composed by David when in Keilah; but, according to Kimchi and others, when the Ziphites proposed to deliver him up into the hands of Saul; and who, upon their solicitations, came down and surrounded him with his army, from whom in haste he made his escape, and to which he is thought to refer in Psalm 31:22. Theodoret supposes it was written by David when he fled from Absalom, and that it has some respect in it to his sin against Uriah, in that verse.

Psalms 31 Commentaries

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