A Prayer in Distress
David cried for deliverance from his enemies (31:1-8). He wrote this psalm when he was going from cave to cave to escape from the treachery of his enemy (1 Sam 23). It is a prayer of one who was despised and persecuted. David prays that “Lord turn your ear to listen to me and rescue me quickly from the trap of my enemies”. He acknowledges the Lord as his rock and fortress. David trusted in the Lord and hated those who worship worthless idols. He rejoiced in the unfailing love of God and was confident of God’s protection from his enemies. How good to trust is the provision, protection and guidance of God! Those who trust God can sing songs of praise in anticipation of God’s deliverance in times of distress. Whom do you trust for help in times of your need? Cast all your burdens on the Lord, and he shall sustain you (Ps 55:22).
The psalmist pleaded for deliverance because his life was in danger (9-24). David says “Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am in distress. I am dying from grief my years are shortened by sadness”. He was slandered and despised by enemies. He was rejected and forgotten by friends. What should we do when people start slandering us? First make sure that we are right with God. If we have sinned, confess it to God (1 John 1:9). Renew our trust in the Lord (31:14).
Remember our Lord, who was slandered, ridiculed and criticized unjustly. Everyone who had done anything for the Lord has been slandered and ridiculed. Do not listen to the slander of the enemy but remember the promises of Lord. David was confident that his future is in God’s hands (31:15). He says, “My times are in your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies”. Time is a precious gift from God and our basic resource. Our time and opportunity should not be wasted. David also reminds us how important to use our time for the glory of God. He knew that in God’s unfailing love he would rescue them those who trust the Lord. David praised God for his goodness, which he has laid up for those who fear him (3:19). How we use our time is important. When we surrender our time and resources to serve Christ, God will bless us.
The Blessedness of Forgiveness
David testifies that a true happy man is one whose sins have been forgiven (32:1-7). This Psalm is a companion to Psalm 51 which refers to David’s sin with Bathsheba. First he refused to for a year to confess his sin. He was chastened by God for his sin. David felt the heavy hand of God’s discipline. David says “For day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me; my strength evaporated like water in the summer” (32:4). God disciplines shows that he loves his children (Heb 12:6). God’s disciple led David to forgiveness. He acknowledged his sin and confessed it to God. This is the way of restoration to fellowship (1 John 1:9). David encouraged others to confess their sin to find forgiveness. Confession will lead to the protecting hand of God’s grace (32:7). Bible reveals that our God is a forgiving God. Confession of sins will lead to victory and joy of salvation. Let us confess our sins and sing praises to our gracious God.
David advices that when we confess our sins, God will guide us in the right path (32:8-11). God loves his children and wants to guide them in the path of righteousness. The Bible says, “He who covers his sins will not prosper” (Pro 28:13). Those who resist confessing their sin are likened to senseless animals. Many sorrows will come to the wicked. But God’s unfailing love surrounds those who trust in the forgiving God and confess their sins. They will be praising God for his goodness and faithfulness. Animals can be trained to behave certain extent. God wants his children to let the Holy Spirit to guide them. God wants to work in us and through us for his glory. God can’t use an unclean vessel for his glory. Are you right with God? The confession of sin is the way to fellowship with God and usefulness.
A Psalm of Rejoicing
The psalmist called on the godly to praise the Lord for his righteous and his Word (33:1-11). It is fitting and beautiful to worship God. Worship is the highest expression of human heart and the chief occupation in heaven. God desire our worship and it is foundational in Christian life (John 4:23). God wants us to glorify him and enjoy his fellowship. True worship springs from love and devotion to God. Someone has said “Worship is the highest exercise of memory” (Ps 103:1-3). Our worship should be spontaneous and fresh. We cannot worship God in vacuum. In verses 4-11, the psalmist gives the reasons for worship. We worship God for his character and his works. The Lord’s Word and all he does are true and righteous. He spoke and the earth and heaven were created. God assigned the sea its boundaries. The Lord controls the affairs of the nations. God’s plans stand forever. The will of god are his expression of love for us. His Words are powerful. Therefore all the people of the world should worship him.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord (33:12-22). God uses people to bless nations. He sees people from his exalted throne. He knows their inner thoughts. God does not bless the self confident nations. Their military strength cannot save them. But the Lord watches over those who fear him and whose hope is in the unfailing love of God. The righteous faces many troubles but the Lord rescues them from death. Christians are blessed to be a blessing to others. We are exhorted to wait on the Lord. He is our help and shield. Our times are in his hands. Waiting is the hardest thing in life. God delays to answer our prayer to give us the best blessing. He delays to bring deliverance and healing because he has something better in store for us. Meanwhile we must rejoice in his holy name and pray for his unfailing love to fill our hearts. Does our heart rejoice in God while waiting for his answer? One day our waiting will end. So let us worship and rejoice in the unfailing love of our gracious God.
A Psalm of Praise
This psalm ascribes praise to God for his deliverance (34:1-10). David wrote this psalm when he escaped from king Abimelech by pretending insanity (1 Sam 21:11-15). In this psalm David affirms that the Lord is good to those who trust him. David begins his psalm with praise. “I will bless the Lord at all time; His praise shall continually be in my mouth”. It is easier to say but very difficult to practice when we are afflicted. David invites people to exalt the Lord with him. Praising God is a beautiful thing in God’s sight (Ps 147:1). It magnifies the Lord (1 Cor 14:25). Someone has said “Praise unifies God’s people (Act 16:25). David prayed for deliverance and the Lord delivered him from all fears. He is confident that those who look to God for help will be radiant with joy. God’s people will never be put to shame. David says “The angel of the Lord will guard those who fear him”. Verse 8 says that “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him”. Those who trust in the Lord shall lack no good thing. Are you facing distress and difficulties? Trust the Lord to take care of your problems. He promised to help us in our difficulties. Have you tasted the Lord and found him satisfying?
The Lord blesses the righteous (34:11-16). David invites people to listen his instructions to achieve a full and blessed life. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. To live a righteous and peaceful life we must control our tongue (34:13). Secondly we must depart from evil and do good to others (34:14). Thirdly we must seek peace and pursue it (34:14). Finally trust the Lord that his eyes watch over us and his ears are open to our cries. If we follow these guidelines we will have a prosperous and productive life. The Lord looks favorably on the righteous but he is against the wicked. He will deliver the righteous from all his troubles. He shows grace to the humble (James 4:6). He would not despise a brokenhearted but rescues the righteous (Ps 51:17).
David instructs us to trust God in our afflictions (34:17-22). We all go through afflictions in this fallen world. The Lord is able to help us in our afflictions. We have afflictions because we are human. Some of the afflictions are our own making. Also God allows affliction to help us to grow spiritually. The Lord protects the bones of the righteous; and none of them is broken (34:20). This is used in the gospel referring to Christ (John 19:36). In our afflictions, we must trust God for help. He would not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can endure (1 Cor 10:13). Those who hate God will be punished (Rom 12 19-21). David concludes the psalm with confidence. The Lord will redeem those who serve him; no one who trusts in him will be condemned (34:22). When we trust Christ, we are saved from the penalty of our sin. But we also need to trust Christ for our daily walk with him. Have you received Christ as you Lord and Savior? Entrust your life to God to guide you and use you for his glory.
A Prayer for Deliverance
David prayed for deliverance from his enemies (35:1-10). He knew that if he is right with God he would be protected by God’s angels. David admits his own helplessness. He knew that when the wicked fight against us, they really fight against the Lord. He prayed that the Lord would render to his enemies what they had planned for him. David was confident that he would rejoice because of God deliverance. The Lord would protect the helpless from the strong. Our enemies are too strong for us. When we trust God, he will work on our behalf and accomplish what needs to be done in his time. When dealing with our enemies, our best response is to pray for them. We should turn our enemies over to God and claim his help and protection. Those who look to God for help will be radiant with Joy (34:5). Whom do you trust in your distress? Trust Christ not only for forgiveness but also for your daily transformation.
David rejoiced in the midst of distress (35:11-22). He was accused for the things he had not done. He had been repaid evil for good. His enemies were glad that David was in trouble. He was slandered by people he did not know. David became impatient and cried for deliverance from the fierce attack of his enemies. He was confident that the wicked will not triumph. When the Lord would answer David, he wants to praise the Lord in the assembly of believers. Waiting on the Lord does not mean we are being idle. Waiting on the Lord should prepare us for great service. God works in us so that he can work for us and through us. God is not slack concerning his promises as some think (2 Pet 3:9). David prayed for justice. He wanted that the Lord would put to shame and confusion those who oppose him. David was confident that the Lord would vindicate him so that he could exalt and praise God continually. Our great desire should be to magnify the Lord whether by life or by death (Phil 1:20). Christians are called to magnify Christ before the world. Are you magnifying the Lord by your life?