Psalm 31 – A Prayer of Trust in God

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To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness. Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me. For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me. Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength. Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth. I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD. I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities; And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room. Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly. For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed. I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me. I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel. For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life. But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God. My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me. Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies’ sake. Let me not be ashamed, O LORD; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave. Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous. Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. Blessed be the LORD: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city. For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee. O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.

(Psalms 31:1-24 KJV)

Verse 1: “In you, O Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness.”
The psalmist begins by expressing their trust and reliance on God as their refuge. They seek deliverance and ask not to be shamed, trusting in God’s righteousness. This verse resonates with the theme of finding refuge in God’s protection, as expressed in Psalm 46:1, which says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

Verse 2: “Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.”
The psalmist implores God to listen and swiftly come to their aid. They desire God to be their firm foundation, a mighty stronghold providing salvation. This verse aligns with the assurance of God’s attentive ear and deliverance found in Psalm 40:1-2, where it says, “I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.”

Verse 3: “Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me.”
The psalmist acknowledges God as their unyielding rock and refuge. They ask for divine guidance and leadership, recognizing that their journey should ultimately bring honor to God’s name. This verse reflects the psalmist’s reliance on God’s guidance and echoes the plea for God’s direction found in Psalm 25:5, which says, “Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.”

Verse 4: “Keep me free from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge.”
The psalmist seeks protection from the schemes and traps set by their adversaries. They look to God as their shelter and shield. This verse aligns with the assurance of God’s deliverance from the snare of the enemy found in Psalm 124:7, which says, “We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped!”

Verse 5: “Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.”
The psalmist expresses complete trust and surrender to God, entrusting their spirit and life into His care. They appeal to God as their faithful and trustworthy protector. This verse echoes the words of Jesus on the cross in Luke 23:46, where He said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” It illustrates the psalmist’s reliance on God’s faithfulness and care.

Verse 6: “I hate those who cling to worthless idols; as for me, I trust in the Lord.”
The psalmist declares their aversion to idolatry and those who worship false gods. They affirm their personal choice to trust in the Lord alone. This verse aligns with the call to reject idols and wholeheartedly trust in God’s sovereignty, as emphasized in Psalm 115:4-8, where it says, “Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see… Those who make them become like them; so do all who trust in them.”

Verse 7: “I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.”
The psalmist expresses their joy and gratitude in God’s steadfast love. They acknowledge that God intimately knows their affliction and understands the distress of their soul. This verse reflects the psalmist’s confidence in God’s compassionate nature and aligns with the assurance of God’s understanding and empathy found in Psalm 34:18, which says, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

Verse 8: “You have not given me into the hands of the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place.”
The psalmist acknowledges God’s protection, affirming that they have not been abandoned to the power of their adversaries. Instead, God has provided a secure and abundant space for them. This verse corresponds with the promise of God’s deliverance and provision, as expressed in Psalm 18:19, where it says, “He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me.”

Verse 9: “Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief.”
The psalmist appeals for God’s mercy, recognizing their own distress and sorrow. They acknowledge the impact of their anguish on their physical and emotional well-being. This verse reflects the psalmist’s plea for God’s compassion and corresponds with the assurance of God’s comfort in times of distress found in Psalm 34:17, which says, “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.”

Verse 10: “My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak.”
The psalmist vividly describes the depth of their suffering and the toll it has taken on their physical and emotional state. They confess their weakness and vulnerability in the face of affliction. This verse reflects the psalmist’s honesty in expressing their pain and echoes the plea for God’s strength in weakness found in 2 Corinthians 12:10, where it says, “For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Verse 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.”
The psalmist reveals the extent of their social isolation and rejection. They lament being despised by both neighbors and friends, with people avoiding them out of fear. This verse reflects the psalmist’s experience of loneliness and echoes the cry of the righteous for companionship and support found in Psalm 142:4, which says, “Look to the right and see: there is none who takes notice of me; no refuge remains to me; no one cares for my soul.”

Verse 12: “I am forgotten as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery.”
The psalmist feels overlooked and neglected, comparing themselves to a discarded and broken object. They experience a sense of insignificance and abandonment. This verse reflects the psalmist’s lament over feeling forgotten and echoes the cry for God’s remembrance and restoration found in Psalm 13:1-2, where it says, “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day?”

Verse 13: “For I hear many whispering, ‘Terror on every side!’ They conspire against me and plot to take my life.”
The psalmist reveals the presence of enemies who conspire and threaten their life. They are aware of the malicious whispers and plots formed against them. This verse reflects the psalmist’s plea for deliverance and echoes the call for God’s protection from enemies found in Psalm 59:1-2, where it says, “Deliver me from my enemies, O my God; protect me from those who rise up against me; deliver me from those who work evil.”

Verse 14: “But I trust in you, Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.'”
Despite the overwhelming challenges and opposition, the psalmist affirms their unwavering trust in God. They declare their personal relationship with God, affirming Him as their God. This verse corresponds with the call to trust in the Lord and declare His lordship, as emphasized in Psalm 118:8-9, which says, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.”

Verse 15: “My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me.”
The psalmist acknowledges that their life and destiny are under God’s control. They appeal for deliverance from the hands of their enemies who relentlessly pursue them. This verse reflects the psalmist’s surrender to God’s sovereignty and echoes the assurance of God’s protection and deliverance from enemies found in Psalm 18:16-17, where it says, “He sent from on high, he took me; he drew me out of many waters. He rescued me from my strong enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me.”

Verse 16: “Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.”
The psalmist seeks the favor and illumination of God’s countenance, asking for salvation rooted in God’s unwavering and steadfast love. This verse aligns with the request for God’s favor and deliverance found in Numbers 6:25, where it says, “The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you.”

Verse 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.”
The psalmist pleads for protection from shame, highlighting their reliance on God, whom they have called upon. They contrast their own plea with the desire for the wicked to face shame and silence in the realm of the dead. This verse reflects the psalmist’s plea for vindication and echoes the assurance of God’s justice found in Psalm 37:5-6, where it says, “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.”

Verse 18: “Let their lying lips be silenced, for with pride and contempt they speak arrogantly against the righteous.”
The psalmist prays for the silencing of the deceitful and arrogant speech of the wicked, who speak against the righteous with pride and contempt. This verse reflects the psalmist’s appeal for justice and echoes the call for God’s intervention against falsehood and pride found in Psalm 12:3-4, where it says, “May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that makes great boasts, those who say, ‘With our tongue we will prevail, our lips are with us; who is master over us?'”

Verse 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.”
The psalmist acknowledges the abundance of God’s blessings and provisions reserved for those who fear Him and seek refuge in Him. They affirm God’s faithfulness in manifesting His goodness publicly. This verse aligns with the assurance of God’s blessings for the righteous and those who seek refuge in Him, as emphasized in Psalm 34:9-10, which says, “Fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.”

Verse 20: “In the shelter of your presence you hide them from all human intrigues; you keep them safe in your dwelling from accusing tongues.”
The psalmist acknowledges God’s protective presence, providing shelter and safety from human schemes and the harm caused by accusing tongues. This verse reflects the psalmist’s confidence in God’s shielding and echoes the promise of God’s protection from slander and harm found in Psalm 121:7-8, where it says, “The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.”

Verse 21: “Praise be to the Lord, for he showed me the wonders of his love when I was in a city under siege.”
The psalmist offers praise and thanksgiving to the Lord, recognizing His wondrous love displayed during a time of distress and crisis. This verse reflects the psalmist’s gratitude for God’s intervention and echoes the call to praise God for His steadfast love found in Psalm 107:8-9, which says, “Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.”

Verse 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.”
The psalmist recounts a moment of distress and feeling cut off from God’s presence. However, they affirm that God heard their plea for mercy and responded when they cried out for help. This verse reflects the psalmist’s testimony of God’s attentive ear and echoes the assurance of God’s responsiveness to those who call upon Him in need, as expressed in Psalm 34:17, “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.”

Verse 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.”
The psalmist exhorts all faithful people to love the Lord. They affirm that the Lord preserves those who are loyal to Him but will repay the proud in full measure. This verse corresponds with the call to love and remain faithful to the Lord, as emphasized in Deuteronomy 6:5, which says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”

Verse 24: “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.”
The psalmist encourages all who place their hope in the Lord to be strong and courageous. They provide a message of reassurance and fortitude to those who trust in God. This verse echoes the call to take courage and find strength in the Lord’s promises, as expressed in Psalm 27:14, which says, “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”

Throughout Psalm 31, we witness the psalmist’s raw emotions, their pleas for deliverance, and their unwavering trust in God’s faithfulness. The psalmist’s experiences of distress, persecution, and divine intervention resonate with believers throughout history, reminding us of the importance of seeking refuge in God, entrusting our lives to His care, and finding comfort in His steadfast love.


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