Psalm 31

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

1 In You, O LORD, I put my trust; let me never be ashamed; deliver me in Your righteousness.

2 Bow down Your ear to me, deliver me speedily; be my rock of refuge, a fortress of defense to save me.

3 For You are my rock and my fortress; therefore, for Your name’s sake, lead me and guide me.

4 Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me, for You are my strength.

5 Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.

6 I have hated those who regard useless idols; but I trust in the LORD.

7 I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy, for You have considered my trouble; You have known my soul in adversities,

8 And have not shut me up into the hand of the enemy; You have set my feet in a wide place.

9 Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am in trouble; my eye wastes away with grief, yes, my soul and my body!

10 For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away.

11 I am a reproach among all my enemies, but especially among my neighbors, and am repulsive to my acquaintances; those who see me outside flee from me.

12 I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; I am like a broken vessel.

13 For I hear the slander of many; fear is on every side; while they take counsel together against me, they scheme to take away my life.

14 But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.”

15 My times are in Your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me.

16 Make Your face shine upon Your servant; save me for Your mercies’ sake.

17 Do not let me be ashamed, O LORD, for I have called upon You; let the wicked be ashamed; let them be silent in the grave.

18 Let the lying lips be put to silence, which speak insolent things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.

19 Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You In the presence of the sons of men!

20 You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.

21 Blessed be the LORD, for He has shown me His marvelous kindness in a strong city!

22 For I said in my haste, “I am cut off from before Your eyes”; nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications when I cried out to You.

23 Oh, love the LORD, all you His saints! For the LORD preserves the faithful, and fully repays the proud person.

24 Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the LORD.

 

There was a plot device that started in Ancient Greece called “deus ex machina”.  It translates to “god from a machine”.  The storyline of the play would come to such a terrible point when all hope was lost and victory was impossible.  Then at the last possible moment they would lower an actor onto the stage from some crane type device, and the actor (portraying whatever god they were trying to honor) would use their god powers and fix everything with a wave of their hand and abra cadabra they all lived happily ever after, except of course for the villain.  Aristotle wrote about it and considered it lazy story telling.  I would tend to agree, that it is lazy, when what you are writing is fiction.  Then I think of Daniel in the lion’s den, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace, Moses at the Red Sea, David and Goliath, and all the other times when God (with a capital G) steps in and solves the unsolvable, fixes the unfixable, and cures death itself.  I am then forced to say, with all due respect to Aristotle, its not lazy story telling if it really happened.

 

Here we see David, hard pressed on all sides by enemies, but still he knows where to place his trust and who to call for help.  In verse 5, “Into Your hands I commit my spirit,” is the second time we see David quoting Jesus on the cross.  Then after steadfastly placing his trust in God who had rescued him countless time before, thing go from bad to worse.  Eventually, even hero of faith David flinches, and in a moment of panic says, “I am cut off from before Your eyes”, but once again, God swoops in and delivers him so he can tell the whole world for thousands of years to come that God preserves the faithful.

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