Psalms 31

Listen to Psalms 31
1 O LORD, I have come to you for protection; don’t let me be disgraced. Save me, for you do what is right.
2 Turn your ear to listen to me; rescue me quickly. Be my rock of protection, a fortress where I will be safe.
3 You are my rock and my fortress. For the honor of your name, lead me out of this danger.
4 Pull me from the trap my enemies set for me, for I find protection in you alone.
5 I entrust my spirit into your hand. Rescue me, LORD, for you are a faithful God.
6 I hate those who worship worthless idols. I trust in the LORD .
7 I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul.
8 You have not handed me over to my enemies but have set me in a safe place.
9 Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am in distress. Tears blur my eyes. My body and soul are withering away.
10 I am dying from grief; my years are shortened by sadness. Sin has drained my strength; I am wasting away from within.
11 I am scorned by all my enemies and despised by my neighbors— even my friends are afraid to come near me. When they see me on the street, they run the other way.
12 I am ignored as if I were dead, as if I were a broken pot.
13 I have heard the many rumors about me, and I am surrounded by terror. My enemies conspire against me, plotting to take my life.
14 But I am trusting you, O LORD, saying, “You are my God!”
15 My future is in your hands. Rescue me from those who hunt me down relentlessly.
16 Let your favor shine on your servant. In your unfailing love, rescue me.
17 Don’t let me be disgraced, O LORD, for I call out to you for help. Let the wicked be disgraced; let them lie silent in the grave.
18 Silence their lying lips— those proud and arrogant lips that accuse the godly.
19 How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you. You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world.
20 You hide them in the shelter of your presence, safe from those who conspire against them. You shelter them in your presence, far from accusing tongues.
21 Praise the LORD, for he has shown me the wonders of his unfailing love. He kept me safe when my city was under attack.
22 In panic I cried out, “I am cut off from the LORD !” But you heard my cry for mercy and answered my call for help.
23 Love the LORD, all you godly ones! For the LORD protects those who are loyal to him, but he harshly punishes the arrogant.
24 So 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 1

Chapter Summary

Psalms 31 Commentaries

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.