Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Psalm 31

1 In you, LORD, I have taken refuge; 

let me never be put to shame; 

deliver me in your righteousness.

2 Turn your ear to me, 

come quickly to my rescue; 
be my rock of refuge, 

a strong fortress to save me. 

3 Since you are my rock and my fortress, 

for the sake of your name lead and guide me. 

4 Keep me free from the trap that is set for me, 

for you are my refuge. 

5 Into your hands I commit my spirit; 

deliver me, LORD, my faithful God.

6 I hate those who cling to worthless idols; 

as for me, I trust in the LORD. 

7 I will be glad and rejoice in your love, 

for you saw my affliction 

and knew the anguish of my soul.

8 You have not given me into the hands of the enemy 

but have set my feet in a spacious place.

9 Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am in distress; 

my eyes grow weak with sorrow, 

my soul and body with grief.

10 My life is consumed by anguish 

and my years by groaning; 
my strength fails because of my affliction,

and my bones grow weak. 

11 Because of all my enemies, 

I am the utter contempt of my neighbors

and an object of dread to my closest friends— 

those who see me on the street flee from me.

12 I am forgotten as though I were dead; 

I have become like broken pottery. 

13 For I hear many whispering, 

“Terror on every side!” 
They conspire against me 

and plot to take my life.

14 But I trust in you, LORD; 

I say, “You are my God.” 

15 My times are in your hands; 

deliver me from the hands of my enemies, 

from those who pursue me. 

16 Let your face shine on your servant; 

save me in your unfailing love. 

17 Let me not be put to shame, LORD, 

for I have cried out to you; 
but let the wicked be put to shame 

and be silent in the realm of the dead.

18 Let their lying lips be silenced, 

for with pride and contempt 

they speak arrogantly against the righteous.

19 How abundant are the good things 

that you have stored up for those who fear you,

that you bestow in the sight of all, 

on those who take refuge in you. 

20 In the shelter of your presence you hide them 

from all human intrigues; 
you keep them safe in your dwelling 

from accusing tongues.

21 Praise be to the LORD, 

for he showed me the wonders of his love 

when I was in a city under siege.

22 In my alarm I said, 

“I am cut off from your sight!” 
Yet you heard my cry for mercy 

when I called to you for help.

23 Love the LORD, all his faithful people! 

The LORD preserves those who are true to him, 

but the proud he pays back in full. 

24 Be strong and take heart, 

all you who hope in the LORD.

Questions to consider:
  • List David’s requests for help.
  • Describe and categorize his problems. With which do you identify?
  • Which characteristics does David attribute to God?
  • What problems can you turn over to God?
  • How can David’s comfort in God be helpful to you?
  • What is your response to God for your experiences of rescue from anxiety, uncertainty, and suspicion from others?
Possibilities for prayer:

But I trust in you, LORD;

 I say, “You are my God.”

My times are in your hands

Trusting God in the midst of difficult times can be rather difficult. It is easy to be overwhelmed with what is happening in the here and now, how things seem to not be improving, and blind to the good things that could come. But let us, as the psalmist did, say “You are my God” and place our situations, our very lives, in God’s hands.