Psalm 31

For the Chief Musician. A Psalm by David.
1 In you, O 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 Free me from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge. 5 Into your hands I commit my spirit; redeem me, O LORD, the God of truth. 6 I hate those who regard lying vanities, but I trust in the LORD. 7 I will be glad and rejoice in your loving kindness, for you have seen my affliction. You have known my soul in adversities. 8 You have not shut me up into the hand of the enemy. You have set my feet in a large place. 9 Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am in distress. My eye, my soul, and my body waste away with grief. 10 For my life is spent with sorrow, my years with sighing. My strength fails because of my iniquity. My bones are wasted away. 11 Because of all my adversaries I have become utterly contemptible to my neighbors, a fear to my acquaintances. Those who saw me on the street fled from me. 12 I am forgotten from their hearts like a dead man. I am like broken pottery. 13 For I have heard the slander of many, terror on every side, while they conspire together against me, they plot to take away my life. 14 But I trust in you, LORD. I said, “You are my God.” 15 My times are in your hand. Deliver me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me. 16 Make your face to shine on your servant. Save me in your loving kindness. 17 Let me not be disappointed, LORD, for I have called on you. Let the wicked be disappointed. Let them be silent in Sheol. 18 Let the lying lips be mute, which speak against the righteous insolently, with pride and contempt. 19 Oh how great is your goodness, which you have laid up for those who fear you, which you have worked for those who take refuge in you, before the sons of men! 20 In the shelter of your presence you will hide them from the plotting of man. You will keep them secretly in a dwelling away from the strife of tongues. 21 Praise be to the LORD, for he has shown me his marvelous loving kindness in a strong city. 22 As for me, I said in my haste, “I am cut off from before your eyes.” Nevertheless you heard the voice of my petitions when I cried to you. 23 Oh love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful, and fully recompenses him who behaves arrogantly. 24 Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the LORD.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

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.

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