Psalms 31

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

1 [a]In you, LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness.
2 Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.
3 Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
4 Keep me free from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge.
5 Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, LORD, my faithful God.
6 I hate those who cling to worthless idols; as for me, I trust in the LORD.
7 I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.
8 You have not given me into the hands of the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place.
9 Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief.
10 My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction,[b]and my bones grow weak.
11 Because of all my enemies, I am the utter contempt of my neighbors and an object of dread to my closest friends— those who see me on the street flee from me.
12 I am forgotten as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery.
13 For I hear many whispering, “Terror on every side!” They conspire against me and plot to take my life.
14 But I trust in you, LORD; I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me.
16 Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.
17 Let me not be put to shame, LORD, for I have cried out to you; but let the wicked be put to shame and be silent in the realm of the dead.
18 Let their lying lips be silenced, for with pride and contempt they speak arrogantly against the righteous.
19 How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you.
20 In the shelter of your presence you hide them from all human intrigues; you keep them safe in your dwelling from accusing tongues.
21 Praise be to the LORD, for he showed me the wonders of his love when I was in a city under siege.
22 In my alarm I said, “I am cut off from your sight!” Yet you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help.
23 Love the LORD, all his faithful people! The LORD preserves those who are true to him, but the proud he pays back in full.
24 Be strong and take heart, 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 57

  • 1. S Psalms 7:1
  • 2. Psalms 5:8
  • 3. S Psalms 6:4
  • 4. S Exodus 2:17
  • 5. S 2 Samuel 22:3; S Psalms 18:2
  • 6. S Psalms 18:2
  • 7. S Psalms 23:3
  • 8. S 1 Samuel 28:9; S Job 18:10
  • 9. Psalms 9:9; Psalms 25:15
  • 10. Luke 23:46; Acts 7:59
  • 11. Isaiah 45:19; Isaiah 65:16
  • 12. S Deuteronomy 32:21
  • 13. S Psalms 4:5; John 2:8
  • 14. S Psalms 13:3; Psalms 90:14
  • 15. S Psalms 25:17; Luke 22:44; Psalms 10:14; John 10:27
  • 16. S Deuteronomy 32:30
  • 17. S 2 Samuel 22:20
  • 18. Psalms 4:1
  • 19. Psalms 6:7
  • 20. Psalms 63:1
  • 21. ver 7
  • 22. Psalms 6:6; Psalms 13:2
  • 23. Psalms 22:15; Psalms 32:4; Psalms 38:10; Psalms 73:26
  • 24. Psalms 25:18
  • 25. S Psalms 6:2; Psalms 38:3; Psalms 39:11
  • 26. Deuteronomy 30:7; Psalms 3:7; Psalms 25:19; Psalms 102:8
  • 27. S Psalms 22:6
  • 28. Job 19:13; Psalms 38:11; Psalms 64:8; Isaiah 53:4
  • 29. Psalms 28:1; Psalms 88:4
  • 30. S Leviticus 19:16; Psalms 50:20
  • 31. S Job 18:11; Isaiah 13:8; Jeremiah 6:25; Jeremiah 20:3,10; Jeremiah 46:5; Jeremiah 49:5; Lamentations 2:22
  • 32. Psalms 41:7; Psalms 56:6; Psalms 71:10; Psalms 83:3
  • 33. S Genesis 37:18; S Matthew 12:14; Matthew 27:1
  • 34. Psalms 4:5; Psalms 140:6
  • 35. S Job 14:5; Job 24:1; Psalms 143:9
  • 36. S Numbers 6:25; Psalms 4:6
  • 37. S Psalms 6:4
  • 38. S Psalms 22:5; Psalms 25:2-3
  • 39. 1 Samuel 2:9; Psalms 94:17; Psalms 115:17
  • 40. Psalms 120:2; Proverbs 10:18; Proverbs 26:24
  • 41. S 1 Samuel 2:3; Jude 1:15; Psalms 94:4
  • 42. S Psalms 27:13; Romans 11:22
  • 43. Psalms 23:5; Isaiah 64:4
  • 44. Psalms 2:12
  • 45. Psalms 55:8
  • 46. S Psalms 17:8; Psalms 27:5
  • 47. S Genesis 37:18; Job 5:21
  • 48. Psalms 28:6
  • 49. S Psalms 17:7
  • 50. 1 Samuel 23:7
  • 51. Psalms 116:11
  • 52. Job 6:9; Job 17:1; Psalms 37:9; Psalms 88:5; Isaiah 38:12
  • 53. Psalms 6:9; Psalms 66:19; Psalms 116:1; Psalms 145:19; Lamentations 3:54
  • 54. S Psalms 4:3; Psalms 34:9
  • 55. S Psalms 18:25; Revelation 2:10; Psalms 145:20
  • 56. Deuteronomy 32:41; Psalms 94:2
  • 57. Psalms 27:14

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. In Hebrew texts 31:1-24 is numbered 31:2-25.
  • [b]. Or "guilt"

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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