Psalms Chapter 31: Verses 1-12.

Psalms Chapter 31: Verses 1-12 Completed  (Unless otherwise stated all Scriptures in this devotional are from the King James Version of the Bible.) #Distress #Mockery #Enemies #Praise #Lament #Protection

Context

Psalm 31 reads like the lament of a leader who is in the middle of a battle. See verse 21.)  The siege took a toll of the psalmist. Verses 9-12 show the psychological and physical stress that the psalmist endured during this event. The psalmist experienced one of the most emotionally damaging events. Verses 13-18 record the false accusations levied against the psalmist.  As with other laments, the psalmist writes a prayer of thanksgiving for deliverance from his enemies.

Oh Lord Hear My Cry and Protect me
  • (To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.) In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.

David begins his prayer with a statement of trust in His God. Then a plea for the preservation of his name according to God’s righteousness. “let me never be ashamed: ” David knows that faith in God is the foundation of his belief system, and God always rewards his faith in him “deliver me in thy righteousness.”

  • Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me.
  • For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.
  • Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength.

As my granddaughter will say sometimes, “David is like “Listen Up God!” He is not only asking God to listen to him, but he is also imploring him to respond by “deliver[ing him] speedily: [Deliver me God and show me, and my enemies, maybe there is a physical threat here, that ] thou [are] my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me. He said, “my rock once.” He thought that is was necessary to repeat it again “For thou art my rock and my fortress;” but now David states why. “. . for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me. [How does he want God to deliver him?] “4 Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: [because] for thou art my strength.” 

Have you ever been in a situation where you KNOW that you do not have what it takes to get you out of the situation?  David did. Just look at what he says to God “Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.” The beginning of Psalms 71 read just like the beginning of this Psalm

We, Christians, recognize that Jesus our rock and our chief Cornerstone.

  • Matthew 21:42 “Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone; THIS CAME ABOUT FROM THE LORD, AND IT IS MARVELOUS IN OUR EYES’?”Mark 12:10 “”Have you not even read this Scripture: ‘THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone;
  • Acts 4:11 “”He is the STONE WHICH WAS REJECTED by you, THE BUILDERS, but WHICH BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone.”
  • 1 Peter 2:4-8 “For this is contained in Scripture: “BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER stone, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, “THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone,” And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God,”

Thank You for Preserving Me Oh God!

  • I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD.
  • I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;
  • And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room.

 David is bold in this section of this Psalm.  He boldly declares “I have hated them that regard lying vanities: [on the other hand]  I trust in the LORD.” New Testament Christians know that we are to hate the sin, but not the sinner. However, David was so angry at the behavior of the people who surrounded the nation of Israel, that he just had to show his displeasure. He did so by using the strongest words possible to express himself. According to Cayce 2018, ““Lying vanities”: This is a common designation for false gods (compare Deut. 32:21; 1 Kings 16:13; Jer. 10:15; 14:22; 16:19; 18:15; Jonah 2:8 [and see ] Hab. 2:18-20 on the “idiocy’ of idolatry” (Cayce Psalm 31).

Now the praises begin! 

I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities; [When one enters into intense prayer and fasting for a problem, and realizes that The Lord God Almighty has heard their cry, what is their initial reaction? Praising his holy name.] Have you experienced that? There are times when I am praying for someone, and I just know that they have had a breakthrough. I don’t have the words to express how I am feeling, so The Lord will send worship songs to my mind and just begin to worship. Sometimes, I am singing songs I have never heard before. That is when I know that the praises are coming from the Holy Spirit and not from my spirit.

And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room.  Although the psalmist is still in distress, his trust in God continues. Longman states “God has kept him from capture; he is still in a spacious place, a metaphor for freedom of movement (Longman 2014, 161). Peter experienced this type of rescue from God. 

Acts 12:7 “And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon [him], and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from [his] hands.” However, David is not out of the woods yet.

Psychological and Physical Stress

  • Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.
  • 10 For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.
  • 11 I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me.
  • 12 I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.

 The psalmist is still enduring stress. Just look at the nature of his psychological duress.

Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: [The problem is identified.] mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly [The extent of the psychological stress is now made known]Matthew 6:22 tells us that the eye is the window to the soul “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” Grief was replacing the light/the window of David’s soul. 10 For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed. Can you visualize David’s emotional state? 

Now to add insult to injury his enemies and his close friends are making a mockery of him.  11 I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me.  In addition to the mockery, they are treating him as if he is 12 … forgotten as a dead man [he is no longer remembered by anyoneout of mind: I am like a broken vessel.

Just read Longman’s explanation for the latter part of this verse  hat is good for nothing and is thrown away (see also Ps. 2:9; Isa. 30:14; Jer. 25:34; Rev. 2:27) (p. 161).

Have you felt like a broken pot or piece of pottery? God has answer for that feeling. He will lift you up. Just reach out to Him. We are here to help you!

https://youtu.be/m_a3vyadvkM

 

References

Cayce, Ken. 2017. “Books of the Bible.”  http://www.bible-studys.org/About%20Me.html. Accessed September 20, 2018.

Longman, Tremper, III. 2014. Psalms : An Introduction and Commentary. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press. Accessed September 20, 2018. ProQuest Ebook Central.

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