Thursday, August 1, 2013

Psalm 31

Today's scripture is Psalm 31. Go here to read it in your preferred version.

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.
10 For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.
11 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.
12 I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.
13 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.
14 But I trusted in thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my God.
15 My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.
16 Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies' sake.
17 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.
18 Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.
19 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!
20 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.
21 Blessed be the Lord: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.
22 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.
23 O love the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.
24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.

Amazing words in this psalm! I think David wrote it speaking of his personal experiences but there is so much we can take away from it!

I've got to put my trust in God and never be ashamed of that. I will trust in Him and He is faithful to deliver me because He is righteous. He will bow down His ear to me when He hears me calling out to Him. He will deliver me quickly in my desperation. He is my strong rock when I don't have that in me. He's my salvation and my defense. He will come down to us on our level... we are bowled over at this point - losing strength... weakened... on our knees - but He bows down His ear so He can hear our cries. He is my rock of refuge. My fortress. Because He is the one who is strong - not me - I need Him to lead me and guide me in all my decisions.

People sneak around behind us laying traps for us, talking about us in secret... God can pull us out of those situations. Even when we are all tangled up in something and can't find our way out, we can call on God to pull us out. Because He is my strength.

Verse 5 - These are words that Jesus himself said in Luke 23:46. Jesus was at His lowest point. He had just been separated from God for the first time in existence. He was sin. He was alone. Safe to say he was despairing and feeling at the bottom of a pit. And He knew these words would reach God. 

I give you my spirit, God, because I have nothing left in me. I don't have a next step. I don't have an answer. So here you go. Take my spirit - I commit it to you to do with what you see as right.

We can have confidence and relief when we do this because God is truth and our redeemer. Yes, we get angry and at times feel hatred when people are obviously against us, but ultimately our trust is in God. We can rejoice in His mercy. He knows our troubles. He knows the pain in my soul. And He hasn't given me over to those troubles. Instead, He's given me a wide foundation of which I can place my feet firmly.

David had troubles - many of which included family and loyal followers turning against him. So no wonder he had "life spent with grief and sighing", he had failing strength that seemed to take over his body (depression? anxiety?), and he felt alone. Like even his friends were enemies. He felt forgotten and broken, as so many people feel today.


Verse 14 - He kept trusting in God. He knew that God held his life in His hands and he prayed desperately for God to deliver him from his enemies. He begs God to show His face and save David during these times of trouble. We have to pray for God to help us not be ashamed. It can be so easy to back down from our beliefs. But God is so good to believers. He will hide us and shelter us. What I love about this, too, is David's honesty. He was scared. He felt "cut off" from God, maybe doubting that God would come through for him. Nevertheless God heard his cries and showed him kindness. I love that God can overlook our unbelief and doubts.

Love the Lord. He keeps the faithful rewarded. Be of good courage! God will strengthen your heart, believer.

Comments? Questions?

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