January 26, 2019
Scripture: Psalm 31
I. You keep serving by surrendering to our faithful God.
A. Look at some of the difficulties that King David was facing in his service to God in Psalm 31:1: “In you, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me.” David is stressed out. He prays that God would be his refuge, his safe place. In the Bible, being put to shame is an attack of some kind upon you that would make you subject to public disgrace. David finishes verse 1 by asking God in His righteousness to deliver him, to do justice on his behalf in accordance with God’s own righteousness.
B. What will help us to persevere when we experience difficulty in serving God? What does David say he will do in verse 5? “Into your hand I commit my spirit.” David here is surrendering his life into God’s hands. Why does David do that? Because “you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God.” David surrenders his life as he prays into the hands of God because David knows that is the safest place for him to be. He knows that God will take care of him. What should you do when you are under stress like David? Pray and surrender yourself into God’s hands.
C. It is not just David who prayed, “Into your hand I commit my spirit.” Jesus also did. Luke 23:46: “Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!’ And having said this he breathed his last.” Jesus, the King of Kings, was in the same situation King David was in. And in his very last breath Jesus prayed a prayer of surrender. It was a prayer of trust. Jesus trusted that God alone could be trusted to vindicate Him and His righteousness. And after Jesus prayed these words, he entered into the hands of God.
II. You keep serving by trusting in God’s sovereignty.
A. We see one such expression of trust in David’s words in verse 14: “But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, ‘You are my God.’” In spite of his stress, David calls God MY God. David belongs to God as part of His covenant family. Verse 15 has the second use of the word hand in this psalm, “My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!” His life is in God’s hands, not his enemies’ hands. Nothing has happened to David by chance. God is the sovereign king of his life. It is God who has brought these circumstances, as painful as they are, into David’s life. And it is God who will eventually save David.
B. David is saying the same thing here that the Apostle Paul writes in Romans 8:28: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Yes, bad circumstances will come into every life. But God is still king. God can and will overrule those bad circumstances as the sovereign king of the universe and work in those circumstances over the long run for His glory and our good. If David trusted in God and His sovereignty, then he did not trust in a few other things that he writes about in Psalm 31. First, David not trust in idols (vs. 6). Second, he learned not to trust in his feelings (vs. 22). Sometimes, our feelings lie to us. When we go through the clouds of adversity, we must not trust our feelings of despair or our feelings that God has left us. We need instead to trust God and what He has clearly told us in His Word.
Don’t stop serving God when life gets hard. In His time, God will bring an end to your trial.
Commentaries on Psalms by Derek Kidner, Tim Keller, Willem vanGemeren, and Gerald Wilson