Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Rock of Refuge

Psalm 31

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

1In You, Lord, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
deliver me in Your righteousness.
2Turn Your ear to me,
come quickly to my rescue;
be my Rock of refuge,
a strong fortress to save me.
3Since You are my rock and my fortress,
for the sake of Your name lead and guide me.
4Keep 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.

6I hate those who cling to worthless idols;
as for me, I trust in the Lord.
7I will be glad and rejoice in Your love,
for you saw my affliction
and knew the anguish of my soul.
8You have not given me into the hands of the enemy
but have set my feet in a spacious place.
9Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress;
my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
my soul and body with grief.
10My life is consumed by anguish
and my years by groaning;
my strength fails because of my affliction,b
and my bones grow weak.
11Because 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.
12I am forgotten as though I were dead;
I have become like broken pottery.
13For I hear many whispering,
“Terror on every side!”
They conspire against me
and plot to take my life.
14But I trust in You, Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
15My times are in your hands;
deliver me from the hands of my enemies,
from those who pursue me.
16Let Your face shine on Your servant;
save me in Your unfailing love.
17Let 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.
18Let their lying lips be silenced,
for with pride and contempt
they speak arrogantly against the righteous.
19How 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.
20In the shelter of Your presence You hide them
from all human intrigues;
You keep them safe in your dwelling
from accusing tongues.
21Praise be to the Lord,
for He showed me the wonders of His love
when I was in a city under siege.
22In 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.
23Love the Lord, all His faithful people!
The Lord preserves those who are true to Him,
but the proud He pays back in full.
24Be strong and take heart,
all you who hope in the Lord.


It is probable that David penned this Psalm when he was persecuted by Saul; some passages in it agree particularly to the narrow escapes he had, at Keilah (1 Samuel 23:13), then in the wilderness of Maon, when Saul marched on one side of the hill and he on the other, and, soon after, in the cave in the wilderness of En-gedi; but that it was penned upon any of those occasions we are not told.

It is a mixture of prayers, and praises, and professions of confidence in God, all which do well together and are helpful to one another.

I. David professes his cheerful confidence in God, and, in that confidence, prays for deliverance out of his present troubles (v. 1-8).

II. He complains of the very deplorable condition he was in, and, in the sense of his calamities, still prays that God would graciously appear for him against his persecutors (v. 9-18).

III. He concludes the Psalm with praise and triumph, giving Glory to God, and encouraging himself and others to trust in Him (v. 19-24).

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