Psalm 31

1650 psalter

The Righteous, though forlorn, safe and blest in the hand of the Living God

One has written that this psalm is a mosaic of misery and mercy. And such is life, a tapestry of light and shadow. But David composes this psalm to sing about another sufferer, even the Lord Jesus, as the New Testament proves of v. 5 & v. 11. The whole psalm is redolent with references to the life and experience of Christ. It is often the case in the psalms that misery gives way to mercy, and complaint to praise. Prayer for deliverance, although drawn out by the experience of pain and hurt, is made here (v. 3), “For His Name’s sake.” This is an example and pattern to us. Our Lord, in John 17, prayed for the manifestation of the Father’s Name, which He had been sent to accomplish.

The Lord’s people pray in the Name of Jesus, and for His sake. A Name that wields power with God, and before which knees shall bow. We are encouraged by the Psalmist’s example, and Christ’s, to be of good courage and we shall be strengthened in the midst of trial. 

Pastor Jeff O’ Neil

Recommended Tune: St Stephen, Torwood


Psalm 31

¹In thee, O LORD, I put my trust,
Sham’d let me never be;
According to thy righteousness
Do thou deliver me.

²Bow down thine ear to me, with speed
Send me deliverance:
To save me, my strong rock be thou,
And my house of defence.

³Because thou art my rock, and thee
I for my fortress take;
Therefore do thou me lead and guide,
Ev’n for thine own name’s sake.

⁴And sith thou art my strength, therefore
Pull me out of the net,
Which they in subtilty for me
So privily have set.

⁵Into thine hands I do commit
My sp’rit: for thou art he,
O thou, JEHOVAH, God of truth,
That hast redeemed me.

⁶Those that do lying vanities
Regard, I have abhorr’d:
But as for me, my confidence
Is fixed on the LORD.

⁷I’ll in thy mercy gladly joy:
For thou my miseries
Consider’d hast; thou hast my soul
Known in adversi ties:

⁸And thou hast not inclosed me
Within the en’my’s hand;
And by thee have my feet been made
In a large room to stand.

⁹O LORD, upon me mercy have,
For trouble is on me:
Mine eye, my belly, and my soul,
With grief consumed be.

¹⁰Because my life with grief is spent,
My years with sighs and groans:
My strength doth fail; and for my sin
Consumed are my bones.

¹¹I was a scorn to all my foes,
And to my friends a fear;
And specially reproach’d of those
That were my neighbours near:

When they me saw they from me fled.
¹²Ev’n so I am forgot,
As men are out of mind when dead:
I’m like a broken pot.

¹³For slanders I of many heard;
Fear compass’d me, while they
Against me did consult, and plot
To take my life away.

¹⁴But as for me, O LORD, my trust
Upon thee I did lay;
And I to thee, Thou art my God,
Did confidently say.

¹⁵My times are wholly in thine hand:
Do thou deliver me
From their hands that mine enemies
And persecutors be.

¹⁶Thy countenance to shine do thou
Upon thy servant make:
Unto me give salvation,
For thy great mercies’ sake.

¹⁷Let me not be asham’d, O LORD,
For on thee call’d I have:
Let wicked men be sham’d, let them
Be silent in the grave.

¹⁸To silence put the lying lips,
That grievous things do say,
And hard reports, in pride and scorn,
On righteous men do lay.

¹⁹How great’s the goodness thou for them
That fear thee keep’st in store,
And wrought’st for them that trust in thee
The sons of men before!

²⁰In secret of thy presence thou
Shalt hide them from man’s pride:
From strife of tongues thou closely shalt,
As in a tent, them hide.

²¹All praise and thanks be to the LORD;
For he hath magnified
His wondrous love to me within
A city fortified.

²²For from thine eyes cut off I am,
I in my haste had said;
My voice yet heard’st thou, when to thee
With cries my moan I made.

²³O love the LORD, all ye his saints;
Because the LORD doth guard
The faithful, and he plenteously
Proud doers doth reward.

²⁴Be of good courage, and he strength
Unto your heart shall send,
All ye whose hope and confidence
Doth on the LORD depend.