Devotional · hymns · Old Testament · Psalms

Psalms for Psome – Ps 31

My wife and I are reading through the Psalms in our evening reading and occasionally a nugget of the Psalms jumps out of the page. Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart.

This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.

I pray I can communicate a portion of the blessing we receive from this wonderful book.

Psalm 31

1 To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. In you, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me!
2 Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily! Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me!
3 For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me;
4 you take me out of the net they have hidden for me, for you are my refuge.
5 Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God.
6 I hate those who pay regard to worthless idols, but I trust in the LORD.
7 I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul,
8 and you have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy; you have set my feet in a broad place.
9 Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; my eye is wasted from grief; my soul and my body also.
10 For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away.
11 Because of all my adversaries I have become a reproach, especially to my neighbors, and an object of dread to my acquaintances; those who see me in the street flee from me.
12 I have been forgotten like one who is dead; I have become like a broken vessel.
13 For I hear the whispering of many– terror on every side!– as they scheme together against me, as they plot to take my life.
14 But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!
16 Make your face shine on your servant; save me in your steadfast love!
17 O LORD, let me not be put to shame, for I call upon you; let the wicked be put to shame; let them go silently to Sheol.
18 Let the lying lips be mute, which speak insolently against the righteous in pride and contempt.
19 Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!
20 In the cover of your presence you hide them from the plots of men; you store them in your shelter from the strife of tongues.
21 Blessed be the LORD, for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me when I was in a besieged city.
22 I had said in my alarm, “I am cut off from your sight.” But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy when I cried to you for help.
23 Love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.
24 Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!

I would like to dwell on three verses from this beautiful psalm this evening. The first verse we will consider most will recognize.

5 Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God.

This is the passage that the Lord cried out while on the cross, yet He only declared the first phrase. Knowing that those who were at the feet of the cross, especially those who sought His crucifixion, were Bible scholars, and knew the facts of the Psalms, they must have recognized this phrase from this psalm. But more importantly, they knew the context of the psalm, and even as He hung on that cruel cross, He was declaring the redemption He looked for.

He was quoting from a psalm that spoke of the LORD as being a faithful God, One that had redeemed Him. In the suffering and agony He was experiencing, He declared His victory through God

17 O LORD, let me not be put to shame, for I call upon you; let the wicked be put to shame; let them go silently to Sheol.

How contradictory this must seem. The Lord is considering this Psalm in the very act of dying for our sins, and it speaks of not being put to shame. He was spit on, beaten, mocked and humiliated. He was described as a demon, a false teacher, a heretic and a rebel. He was an outcast of His own people, a reject from the leaders who should have bowed down to Him

Oh, He was experiencing shame, but He is not experiencing this shame now, for He has been exalted to the highest, and one day, all will openly and joyfully confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father

21 Blessed be the LORD, for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me when I was in a besieged city.

As He suffered, He may have considered the 21st verse. He knew of the steadfast love of the Father, of being in a besieged city. Jerusalem was a city that killed the prophets and that was besieged with anti-God attitudes. He walked amongst those who despised Him, and yet walked in the steadfast love of God, even to the witness of those whom He walked amongst.

God the Father had shown His love to the Son in many ways during His ministry amongst the besieged city, through miracles and the witness of His teaching, through His sinless life and constant love for those who had been rejected by the religious community.

This religious community acted in pride and arrogance, determining their truth when looking at the truth. Their visitation would be soon and complete!

One last verse – I know I said three earlier, but this verse sums up the Psalm beautifully.

23 Love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.


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