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Bible Commentaries

Chuck Smith Bible Commentary
Psalms 31



Verses 1-24

Let"s turn now in our Bibles to Psalm 31:1-24 . This thirty-first psalm is actually divided into three sections. The first one covering the first eight verses, the second one covering verses Psalm 31:9-18 , and Psalm 31:1-24 : ,the final section from nineteen to the end of the psalm. In the first section of the psalm, with David it is sort of a mixture between trust and trial. In the next section the trial is overcome by the trust. And then in the final section it is the triumph of the trusting in the Lord. So the first section through verse Psalm 31:8 the trusting and the trials.

In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness. Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for a house of defense to save me. For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name"s sake lead me, and guide me ( Psalm 31:1-3 ).

So a prayer of David declaring that he put his trust in the Lord. Asking God to deliver him. Asking God to hear him and to hear him speedily. I like that. When I pray I like God to hear me speedily. I really don"t like when God says, "Wait." Or when He exhorts me towards patience. I like... I am a man of action, and I like God to work quickly when I am in trouble.

"Be Thou my strong rock and a house of defense, for Thou art my rock and my fortress." Now David often speaks of God as his rock and as his fortress. I guess you would really have to go over to the land of Israel to appreciate this fully. The Israelis have a joke that they will tell you when you first arrive. They will say that God dispatched two angels to distribute the rocks over the face of the earth. And that the one angel went all over the earth scattering his rocks, sort of spreading them out all over the entire earth. And the other angel just was tired and so he dumped all of his rocks on Israel. It is a rocky place. But the rocks afforded a tremendous place of defense in those days. And so in speaking of God as a rock, you are speaking actually of God being a shield to you, a defense. So God is my rock. He is my place of defense. He is my fortress. And oftentimes God is spoken of in the figure of a rock.

Now in the Proverbs there are three things on the earth that are small, yea four that are small but exceedingly wise. And he speaks of the conies; they are just a feeble folk. It is sort of a... a coney is sort of related partly to the rabbit family. It looks something like a rabbit, and yet on the other hand, it looks sort of like an overgrown rat. Down in Engedi when you go in there, there is a lot of reeds along the stream, and there are hundreds of these conies down in that area. And the scripture says, "The coney is a feeble folk." It is actually a very defenseless kind of an animal. It is sort of... well, it really is a defenseless animal. It doesn"t have any way of defending itself from a predatory type of an animal. And so it says that a coney is a feeble folk, but he makes his home in the rock. So the conies crawl back in the rocks and the wolves, or whatever can stand on the outside and just bark and howl and all, but they can"t get to them. So it is actually, the four things on the earth small, exceeding wise, the coney is one of them. The wisdom is knowing its weakness. It has enough sense to make its home in the rock.

Now, we, knowing our weakness, ought to have enough sense to make our home in the Rock. "The Lord is my rock and my fortress." I know that I am weak. I know that I cannot really defend myself from the attacks of the enemy. I know his powers. I know his wiles. I know his guises. I know that I am no match. So it is so important, knowing my weaknesses, that I make my home in the Rock, Jesus Christ. Who then becomes my rock and my fortress. And then asking God to lead me and guide me for His name"s sake.

Pull me out of the net that they have privately laid for me: for thou art my strength. For into thine hand I commit my spirit ( Psalm 31:4-5 ):

This is what Jesus, of course, cried from the cross at the time of His death, "Father, into Thine hands I commend My Spirit" ( Luke 23:46 ).

thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth. I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD. I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for you have considered my trouble; you have known my soul in adversities; Thou hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: you have set my feet in a large room ( Psalm 31:5-8 ).

Now we enter into the second section where the trial is overcome by the trust.

Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: my eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly. For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones are consumed. I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbors, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me. I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel. For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life ( Psalm 31:9-13 ).

So they have set a net for David. They are talking about him. His life is filled with grief and with sighing. He is a reproach of his enemies. Even his friends have forsaken him. They treat him like a dead man. Out of mind. Like a vessel that is broken, of no further value.

But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God. My times are in your hand: deliver me from the hand of my enemies, and from them that persecute me. Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies" sake. Let me not be ashamed, O LORD for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave. And let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous ( Psalm 31:14-18 ).

Into the final section now, into the triumph of his trusting.

Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. Blessed be the LORD: for he hath showed me his marvelous kindness in a strong city. For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee. O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewards the proud doer. Be of good courage, and he will strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD ( Psalm 31:19-24 ).

So the triumph of trusting and then the encouragement of others. Having experienced the help of God, I then seek to share and to encourage others to also receive God"s help and God"s work in their life. "


Copyright Statement
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.

Bibliography Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Psalms 31:4". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". 2014.

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