By Eric Taylor
Pastor, Cedar Hill Baptist Church, Cedar Hill
Focal Passage: Psalm 31:1-8
While most scholars attribute this Psalm to David during his trials with Saul, or the treason of Absalom, there are other scholars who do not agree on its authorship. Yet, it seems that there is strong evidence for the authorship of David. We can affirm the importance of this Psalm because it was quoted by Jonah, Jeremiah, and Jesus.
So, whatever one’s view on the authorship of this Psalm, it is clear that the author (David) is looking back over his life and remembering both the troubles of life and the grace of God. So, whether this Psalm was written by King David, King Hezekiah, the prophet Jeremiah, or some unknown Israelite, the author went through some trials that could bring any soul to a low place in life.
Therefore, in Psalm 31:1-8 we see that David gives us some solid food to help us weather any storm that may bring us low. In other words, when you are feeling down, or blue, remember these four things.
First, remember that your trust is in the Lord (vv. 1-2a). Matter of fact, David proclaims his trust in God multiple times throughout this psalm. And in verses 1-2, he trusts the Lord because he believed the Lord would “deliver” him by His “righteousness.”
Second, remember that your strength is in the Lord (vv. 2b-4). David describes God as his “rock of refuge, a fortress of defense.” When David was fleeing from Saul, it was the Lord who was his strong tower.
When David had to fight off the treachery of Absalom, God was the One who led him and guided him, and “pulled” him from the “net” or the “snare” that Absalom laid to ruin his Kingship. The reason we can weather the trials of life is because God is the strength of our lives.
In addition, you will weather any dreary day or trying hour when you remember your salvation is in the Lord (vv. 5-6). While we know that Jesus quoted the first half of verse 5, as He died on the Cross, the original context for this verse is not about death but about life, as the genuine follower commits his or her “spirit,” or life to Jesus.
And in doing that, we recognize that Jesus is our Redeemer, who redeemed us from a life of idolatry. The King James Bible says, “I have hated them that regard lying vanities.” That is an excellent way to look at a life without Christ. Everything is vain, and lies to us about ourselves.
Finally, the blues that may come from the circumstances of life are weathered when we remember we have every reason to “rejoice.” Verses 7-8 are a reminder that we can “rejoice in” the “mercy” of God because He has been with us in troubles, in our “adversities.” We can rejoice in the mercy of the Lord because He has not allowed us to be “handed over to the enemy.” The reason we are not held in the hand of the enemy is because we are held in the strong right hand of God, who will not let us go.
When you think about it, what reason does any believer have for allowing the circumstances in life to bring them down for an extended period of time? Yes, we may have our moments, but let us never forget, “We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).