Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapter 31

Pslam 31

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

1In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.
2Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me.
3For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me.
4Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength.
5Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.
6I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD.
7I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;
8And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room.
 9Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.
10For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.
 11I 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.
 12I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.
13For 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.
 14But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God.
15My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.
 16Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies' sake.
17Let 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.
18Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.
 19Oh 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!
 20Thou 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.
21Blessed be the LORD: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.
 22For 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.
 23O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.

24Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.

Chapter 31

In my experience, I'd rather place my trust in God than in man (v. 1). Man can let me down and then I wouldn't comfortable about trusting anyone for a while. With God, though, I'm not gonna lose if I place my trust in Him. Trusting Him is what helps me out in life, like say when I have a math test coming up. I'll prepare for it if need be and ask God for wisdom, guidance, and discernment. That's kinda where faith comes in, I think, because God's gonna (already) how I'm gonna do on my test. That's the cool thing about trusting God: it results in success and I can have confidence in the fact that I passed since God already knows that kinda stuff. I can also tust in God for His righteousness so I can trimuph over my enemies, as the verse says. I think that helps because if I trust in Him, He's gonna help me to have strength over my enemies so they don't defeat me and also so I won't fall away from God. God hears me when I need His deliverance (v. 2) and I think the fact that He'll deliver from my enemies so I'm not dragged down to their level is a reason to think of God as my rock and my fortress (v. 3). If He didn't deliver me from my enemies and just ignored me, then I probably wouldn't think of Him as my rock. Having Him as my rock, to me, means that I can think of Him as my strong foundation since doing so is what causes me to stand in the face of opposition. Though some people at my school may act like enemies towards me, God isn't allow me to submit to them and give into the things they want me to do since He's my rock. If, however, my enemies do set a trap for me (v. 4), the cool thing is that God can rescue me from it. I like to think of "net" the metaphorical sense because I don't I ever fallen into a literal, physical, material trp set by my enemies. I guess I can't think of a time like that at the moment. Since I mentioned the net being thought of as a metaphor, I've had enemies, from time to time, trick me into something and I fell for it. I remember in, I think it was high school, when I was just minding my own business and this one guy wanted me to talk to him, so I came up to him to see what he wanted. While I was doing that, a few of cronies used a magnifying glass to burn holes in my backpack. I ended up noticing what they were doing and yelled "Hey!" so they would stop what they were doing. After that, I walked over to my backpack to see what shape it was in and I figured it could've been worse. Looking back on the situation, I can see how God used my reaction to free me from the trap that my enemies set. I thank Him for that and I guess He used the fact that I can have a short fuse sometimes for His glory. He knew what was gonna happen that day and He knew how I was gonna react. Before I get off on too much of a tanget here, I wanna talk about verses 5-7, which Matthew Henry talks about in the following: "Many think that while perplexed about their worldly affairs, and their cares multiply, they may be excused if they neglect their souls; but we are the more concerned to look to our souls, that, though the outward man perish, the inward man may suffer no damage. The redemption of the soul is so precious, that it must have ceased for ever, if Christ had not undertaken it. Having relied on God's mercy, he will be glad and rejoice in it." I like that because it reminds me to look upon my soul and realize that it's more worth worrying and more worth investing time into, spiritual growth-wise, than anything in this world. I thank God for His mercy and the fact that He has helped me it whenever I've dealt with enemies. I also wanna say that I don't give into those who worship idols (v.6), which is another way of saying "lying vanities." I see that as a reason why I shouldn't trust in man all that much since I figure that doing so can have its consequences. Instead, I trust in God and I can relate to David on that. God has not caused me to give myself to an enemy (v. 8), which I think results in having a strong foundation in Him.

Whenever I'm in trouble, I'll call out to God (v. 9). That's kinda like the time when I cried out to Him in the midst of my darkest moment, which I mentioned in the last entry as well as previous ones. I can't really relate to what David faced in verses 11-13, but I wanna say that I almost take the fact that I didn't ever face what He did for me for granted. Matthew Henry writes, "Herein he was a type of Christ, who was acquainted with grief. David acknowledged that his afflictions were merited by his own sins, but Christ suffered for ours." It makes me realize that I have it so easy since I didn't have to die for humanity's sins and that His grace is something I may abuse but I'll try and submit to Him if He chastises me. By trusting in God (v. 14), I realize that if "they devised to take away my life," I'd be in Paradise with Him. So I can trust God by having in where I'm gonna end up when my time comes. If I'm gonna face any more enemies down the road (v. 15), I can trust that God will deliver me from them and that, figuratively speaking, His face will shine upon me and will be an expression of His mercy (v. 16) while dealing with an enemy. I can't say I've dealt with opposition to the degree that David has, except for perhaps that time I gave into Satan's lies, and I see verses 17-18 as an encouragement for when I have to deal with enemies. God has always been good to me since I fear Him (v. 19). I pretty much always trust in Him, which has resulted in blessings, which I dunno what I'd do without. God continues to hide me from evil men (v. 20) and I am forever thankful for His grace or kindness (v. 21). Even though I thought I was cut off from God during my darkest moment (v. 22), He still heard my voice and helped me out. I do not oppopse Him since I am faithful to Him (v. 23) and since my hope is in Him, He strengthens my character or heart as a result of going through a trial.

                                                   Source used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 31". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <http://www.searchgodsword.org/com/mhc-con/view.cgi?book=ps&chapter=031>.

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