Psalm 31: Victory by Surrender

What about our dependence on God should give us reason to boast?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 31:1 To the minister of music, a song of David.
I put my trust in you, and I’ll always be proud to say how much I depend on you. In doing what is right, Lord, keep me safe.
King James
Psalm 31:1 <To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.> In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.

How should we act when we pray but get no answer? What if the answer isn’t what we want?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 31:2 Come close and turn your ear toward me. Respond quickly, and be my rock of strength, a stone wall to keep me safe.
King James
Psalm 31:2 Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me.

What should we do when we feel unstable and threatened?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 31:3 You are my stability and protection, so show me the right path and guide my steps to honor you.
Matthew 7:24 Everyone who not only hears my words but also puts them into practice is like a wise man who dug deep and laid the foundation of his house on solid rock.
James 1:8 Those who can’t make up their minds are unstable in all they do.
King James
Psalm 31:3 For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.
Matthew 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
James 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

How do we avoid traps that would pull us away from God?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 31:4–5 Keep me from the traps laid to pull me away, and give me strength to go your way.
I surrender my will to you, Lord God. My desire changes when I see the truth and understand the value of your ways.
King James
Psalm 31:4–5 Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength. Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.

How do we value what is most important and not place too much emphasis on what might be urgent but is really trivial?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 31:6 I hate those who value fools’ gold, but I trust the riches I have in God.
Isaiah 31:1 Those who go to Egypt for help are in big trouble. Their mighty army with its horses and chariots won’t save you. They don’t seek the Lord or trust the Holy One of Israel.
King James
Psalm 31:6 I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the Lord.
Isaiah 31:1 Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord!

While we’re struggling, what proof do we have that God sees and understands our plight?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 31:7 Because of your love, I can rejoice, thrilled that you saw my affliction and understood my distress.
King James
Psalm 31:7 I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;

What about walking with God can help us feel that we’re not trapped?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 31:8 You don’t allow me to be closed in with my enemies, but you walk with me through the wide-open places.
King James
Psalm 31:8 And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room.

What makes grief so devastating?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 31:9–10 Be gracious, Lord, in my times of distress, when I am consumed with grief. Faults and failures filled my life with shame, grief, and regret, leaving me weak and wondering if my bones were strong enough for me to keep walking.
King James
Psalm 31:9–10 Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly. For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.

Why should we be concerned with what our enemies think about us?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 31:11–13 My enemies thought I was terrible, and my neighbors wished they lived far away. Those who met me didn’t want to stay but looked for the shortest path out the door. I was remembered like someone who had died, as desirable as a broken pitcher.
After overhearing the derogatory words and people scheming to take my life, I feared an attack from every side.
King James
Psalm 31:11–13 I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me. I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel. For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life.

How confident should we be when we hear flattering words and don’t know what people might be saying behind our back?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 31:13–15 After overhearing the derogatory words and people scheming to take my life, I feared an attack from every side. But I trusted you, saying, “Lord, you are my God.”
My life is in your hands. Save me from my enemies, who are constantly working against me.
King James
Psalm 31:13–15 For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life. But I trusted in thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my God. My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.

What qualifies us as “loyal servants”?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 31:16 Smile on me, your loyal servant. In your loving mercy, rescue me.
King James
Psalm 31:16 Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies’ sake.

What makes some Christians uncomfortable in praying publicly?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 31:17 Lord, don’t let me be ashamed for calling upon you. Let the wicked be ashamed, their voices as silent as the grave.
King James
Psalm 31:17 Let me not be ashamed, O Lord; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave.

Why are people sometimes embarrassed to be recognized as Christian?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 31:17–18 Lord, don’t let me be ashamed for calling upon you. Let the wicked be ashamed, their voices as silent as the grave. Silence the lying lips that boldly speak contempt for the righteous.
King James
Psalm 31:17–18 Let me not be ashamed, O Lord; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave. Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.

How can our pain and suffering be a testimony for unbelievers?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 31:19–20 How wonderfully great are the good things you have for those who respect and honor you, given for others to see how you bless those who surrender their lives to you.
You shelter the righteous in your presence. Living with you, they cannot be damaged by what people say.
King James
Psalm 31:19–20 Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.

What makes God’s kindness “extraordinary”?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 31:21 Praise the Lord for his extraordinary kindness when I was under siege by my enemies.
King James
Psalm 31:21 Blessed be the Lord: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.

How can Christians doubt God’s awareness of their plight?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 31:22–24 In my terror, I thought you hadn’t seen my plight, but when I called out, you answered my prayer.
Let all his people express their love for God, for he protects the faithful and richly rewards those who delight in doing what he wants.
Take heart and be courageous, because the hope you have in the Lord will be fulfilled.
King James
Psalm 31:22–24 For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee. O love the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.