Psalm 31

In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;    
let me never be put to shame;     
deliver me in your righteousness.
Turn your ear to me,     
come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge,     
a strong fortress to save me.
Since you are my rock and my fortress,     
for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
Keep me free from the trap that is set for me,     
for you are my refuge.
Into your hands I commit my spirit;     
deliver me, Lord, my faithful God. 

I hate those who cling to worthless idols;     
as for me, I trust in the Lord.
I will be glad and rejoice in your love,     
for you saw my affliction     
and knew the anguish of my soul.
You have not given me into the hands of the enemy     
but have set my feet in a spacious place.

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. 

 

“Into your hands I commit my spirit…” Some of Jesus’ last words as he hung on the cross, in order to bring God’s cosmic rescue plan to completion, and found here in the words of David to his God. David knows that his spirit is safe only in God’s hands. He declares that God has kept him safe from the enemy and set his feet in a spacious place (v.8). This may well have been his response to, and feelings on his actual circumstances at the time, but I think we can reflect on it in the sense that we have been rescued from our enemy, the devil, and been set in a spacious place for all time. We may still feel under pressure, we may not see our life panning out in the way we imagined, but we live in the assurance that he has done it. It is finished and our lives are kept safe forever with him.

“Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord!”

QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT AND DISCUSSION... 

  • Spend some time asking God to show you the spacious places he is bringing you into. Maybe you will be surprised.
  • As you gear up for a new term, pray for the young people you are connected with, that they would be Easter people!

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