Whatever the circumstances that prompted David to write Psalm 31, it’s pretty clear he was feeling kind of hammered. In need of speedy rescue, he cries out to his Rock and His Fortress. The affliction received at his enemy’s hand causing more than just bodily harm, but putting even his soul in distress. For his fight was not just with those on the ground around him, but against an unseen accuser who would seek to connect his present trouble to all his past iniquity.
Beyond the physical onslaught there was war being waged within his mind. Dealing not only with opposition from his enemies, reproach from his neighbors, and even dread from those who barely knew him (v.11), he also battled depression from within. His bones wasting away. His strength failing. Linking his past sin to his present situation. And in that, concluding that his was a life spent in sorrow, and years spent in sighing (v 10).
Like I said, David’s getting hammered. Both from the outside and from the inside. Situation desperate.
Desperate, but not defeated. In distress, but not in despair.
But I trust in You, O LORD;
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in Your hand . . .
(Psalm 31:14-15a ESV)
How’s that for an anchor for the soul? I trust in You. You are my God. My times are in Your hand. Talk about your “solid ground!”
When the going get’s tough, the hammered look up. And that only by His grace . . .
Whatever the circumstance, however bleak the situation, David would trust in the Sovereign God because he knew that all his days were in His hands. Days of prosperity, days of adversity. Times of rejoicing, times of weeping. All in the hands of a God worthy of wholehearted trust.
A faithful God (v.5). A God of abundant goodness (v.19). A saving God (v.16). A present God (v.20). A God who, even when we think we are cut off from Him, hears our pleas for mercy and our cries for help (v.22).
Our times are in His hand.
We can know this because our faithful High Priest knew this.
Into Your hand I commit my spirit;
You have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God.
(Psalm 31:5 ESV)
Jesus borrowed these lyrics from the songwriter as He breathed His last (Luke 23:46).
Jesus too knew the unrelenting onslaught of His enemies. His soul also experiencing great despair as He anticipated the cup before Him. The darkness settling in not only around Him, but deeply within Him as He cried out, “My God, My God why have You forsaken Me” (Matt. 27:46). But then confidently declaring, as did the psalmist, as can all who take refuge in Him, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit!”
The Son of God, as perfect Son of Man, knowing too that His times were in the Fathers hand. Just as our times are in His hand.
Love the LORD, all you His saints!
The LORD preserves the faithful . . .
Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
all you who wait for the LORD! (Psalm 31:23a, 24 ESV)
By His grace. For His glory.