Weds 3 March - Psalm 31
1 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,
and my bones grow weak.
11 Because of all my enemies,
I am the utter contempt of my neighbours
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.
- - -
Meditation on Psalm 31
* distress * sorrow * grief * anguish * groaning * failed strength * Affliction * weak bones * the contempt of neighbours * people run away from me * forgotten - may as well be dead * whispered about * in danger of death
And that’s just verses 9-13!
David is drained physically, mentally and emotionally. He feels abandoned.
Pause for a moment – March 2021 - how many people have similar emotions? There are real concerns about mental health issues arising from the pandemic and its effect on people of all ages.
How many of these emotions have you experienced or are experiencing?
We may not be subject to the main cause as David was. It may be dressed up in different ways. We don’t know, for sure, the cause of these emotions for David although verse 21 gives us a hint when he says, ‘when I was in a city under siege.’
Come back to verse 15 – ‘deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me.’
Come back to 1 Samuel 22:7-12 - David is under siege in Keilah when Saul is pursuing him. ‘Saul called up all his forces for battle, to go down to Keilah to besiege David and his men.’
Is there any hope? Yes, there is. David turns to the LORD and voices his trust in Him.
Verses 1-5 David knows who to turn to.
- ‘my refuge’
- ‘my rock and my refuge’
- ‘ a strong fortress’
- ‘a faithful God’
Do you recognise verse 5a? This was Jesus’ prayer on the Cross – “Father into your hands I commit my spirit.”
This was Stephen’s prayer as he was being stoned – “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
Verses 6-8 David’s experiences of answered prayer are grounded in his confidence from past encounters.
- ‘I trust in you.’
- ‘I will rejoice in your love.’
- ‘You saw … you knew… you set.’
Come back to Exodus 3:7-8a ‘The LORD said, “I have indeed SEEN the misery of my people in Egypt. I have HEARD then crying out because of their slave drivers and I am CONCERNED about their suffering. So I have COME DOWN to RESCUE them from the hand of the Egyptians and to BRING THEM UP OUT OF THAT LAND into a good and spacious land…’
Verses 9-13 As he pours out his soul, David knew where to find mercy. He is being honest with God.
Isn’t that what Job was doing when he poured out his soul – being honest with God?
Can’t we be honest with God?
Read Hebrews 4:14-16 and discover that we can ‘receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.’
Verses 14-18 Another ‘BUT…’ in Scripture -‘I trust in you.’
Here’s a personal relationship with the living God and it’s for us today as it was for David – ‘you are MY God.’
What confidence to be able to affirm that ‘my times are in your hands.’
How relevant that is today and that is the good news of ‘God with us’ which we share with others.
Verses 19-20 God’s blessings are poured out on His people and there’s a safe place to be – ‘in the shelter of your presence’.
(Google: ‘In the secret of His presence’ and you will discover a wonderful old hymn!)
Verses 21-22 We can praise the Lord for His love, His protection, His listening to our cries.
Verses 23-24 We love the Lord for His care of us.
Therefore, we ‘stay strong, take heart and hope in the Lord.’
Thursday 4 March - Psalm 32
Friday 5 March - Psalm 33
Saturday 6 March - Psalm 34
Sunday 7 March - Psalm 35
Monday 8 March - Psalm 36
Tuesday 9 March - Psalm 37