David employs some very significant phrases in his 31st Psalm that we read today. It is a very personal Psalm – it unfolds to reveal the wonder of his relationship with God. It starts as a prayer, “Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me!” [v.2]
David then prays, “… for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me.” David had become so committed to God that others were following his example – to some extent – and also developing an increasingly intimate relationship. Let’s note his words that were ‘echoed’ by Jesus. In v. 5 we read, “Into your hand I commit my spirit.” Just before our Lord breathed his last, Luke tells us, “Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” [23 v.46]
Surely we should live our lives in such a way that we are drawing ever nearer to God in our prayerful outpourings – so that our “spirit” – our minds – our whole being – develops a total sense of commitment! This Psalm of David builds up a ‘picture’ of his total sense of commitment. He has enemies who “… plot to take my life. But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hand … Make your face shine on your servant; save me in your steadfast love!” [v.13-16]
God’s face!? Back in Psalm 4 we read, “There are many who say, “Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O LORD!” The only source of real “good” and goodness – is when we have genuine communication with God – and our prayers become ‘alive.’ We are going to see 4 more references to God’s “face” in coming Psalms – watch out for them.
As David expresses the state of his heart and mind – how much can we be inspired by his words? If, in our lives, we get close to becoming as dedicated as David (although we can never achieve his spiritual stature) we can –and should – declare with David, ” Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and … take refuge in you …” [v.19]
David concludes his Psalm with further in inspiring words, to us! “Love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful … Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!”
This is particularly addressed to all those who live believing – and praying to God and our Lord – and – as a result say and believe with all their heart, “My times are in your hand”