Christian, Devotional, Psalms

It’s All About God’s Mercy

Psalm 31

In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.

David has no qualms about saying that he puts his trust in the Lord. This is a keys essential in all of David’s writings. He trust God with every aspect of his life. He trust God with his future. He trusts God with his health. He asks God to never let him be ashamed. In other words he’s telling God that because I put my trust in you, and all the other people around me know that, don’t let us be ashamed by failing me.

We already talked at length about trusting God and we’ll talk some more about trusting God as we go through the psalms but one of the beautiful things about going through a book like this is that I can investigate my life over and over again. Each time I come across the fact that David trusts God I need to ask myself if I trust God as much as he does. Do other people see that I trust God.? I have a lot of people that have heard me say God will deliver me from this cancer and I will come out strong on the other side with a testimony of God’s deliverance. I trust God and I pray that I will not be ashamed. I am trusting in his deliverance with every fiber of my being.

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.

Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.

I love it when David says bow down your ear to me. I get this picture of God stooping down from heaven and putting his ear next to David’s lips. This is the closeness David felt with the Lord. It is precious to me and makes me crave that kind of closeness.  He asks God to be his rock and in the next breath he says you are my rock and my fortress. He knows he can trust God to be his hiding place.

David wants God to lead him and guide him for His names sake. It’s not so that he can glory over his enemies but so that he can give God the glory and that his enemies will know that God has led him and guided him. I need that kind of guidance in my life on a daily basis. David had a lot going on all the time between Saul and Absalom, whom he was at war with much of his life. He needed to be led and to be guided by God

Obviously he felt like the enemy had laid a snare for him because he asked God to pull them out of the net. Have you ever been caught in a net? The big fishing nets that they used back in David’s day would be extremely difficult to get out of if you got caught in the middle of one. Your arms would be continually loop into the various strands of the net and engulf you. But David says that God is his strength. He knows that he can’t get out of that net by himself so he asks God to pull him out.

At the beginning of verse 5 we see the words of Jesus on the cross “Into thy hands I commit my spirit”. David is committing his own life to God completely. He trusts him because God has redeemed him.  So it’s not hard for David to commit his Spirit to 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.

Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.

David mentions God’s mercy twice in these four verses. First he said he will be glad and rejoice in his mercy and then he asks God to have mercy on him. This is the attitude we all need to have about God’s mercy. I need to thank him for the mercy that he has had in my life already because it is unbelievable how merciful he’s been to me over and over again. He owes us nothing yet he gave His Son. Every morning that I wake I know that God has been merciful to me that day. At the same time I need to ask God to have mercy on me today, tomorrow and the next day. I will not be perfect and there are things that I will need to be forgiven for. God’s mercy is like lifeblood to me.  I pray that it is to you as well

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.

13 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.

14 But I trusted in thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my God.

15 My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.

16 Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies’ sake.

17 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.

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

Again we see David lamenting the advantage his enemies had over him.  David goes back and forth between victory and defeat so often. His life seems like a roller coaster ride at times.  Just look at the words that he uses: he was a reproach to his enemies, was forgotten as a dead man, he’s like a broken vessel.  I can relate to some of Davids feelings, but especially to he fact that life does have it’s ups and downs. It’s not always smooth sailing.  But as always he turns it around.  This one of the things I love most about David, and why I believe God says he was a man after God’s own heart.  David always brought things back to the Lord and praised him.What a powerful witness for us.

In verse 14 he uses the word trust again.  In verse 15 he declares his times are in Gods hands.  Verse 16 he asks God to let His face shine upon him for His mercy’s sake.  There’s that word mercy again. And in verse 17 he tells God he called on Him and he doesn’t ant to be ashamed that he did, rather let his enemies be ashamed. David know the Lord is on his side. I need to have the same assurance in my life.  David is not afraid to say “Hey God, I called on you,now others will judge you by how you deal with me.  Let’s show them how good you are, God!”  What a powerful way to pray!

19 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!

20 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.

21 Blessed be the Lord: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.

22 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.

23 O love the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.

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

David closes out the psalm with accolades for God; how great is His goodness to those that fear Him. I can echo that sentiment. His goodness is unsurpassed. I love Him so much for all that He has done for me. He has been good to me

I am sure that God hides me in his presence. When I’m worshiping God and feel his presence close to me it seems like the world around me just dissolves. My cares and troubles are a long ways from me when I’m hiding in his presence. Any worries that I might have vanish away and I am filled with his peace when I’m in his presence

Jumping onto verse 23 you see that God will keep us in the palm of His hand all the time and that He preserve’s the faithful and plentiful, and He rewards the doer of His word. James tells us to be doers of the word and not hearers only (James 1:22). This is what David is saying – live your life so that people know you are following God.  If David was alive today he’d say live a life that shows you’re following Christ.  This is so important!  Other people have to see Christ in you. We have to be courageous and God will strengthen our hearts. This is the way of Christians.


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