Psalm 31 is a song by David that illustrates a panoramic view of all areas of the king's life. David's song informs us that God played an integral part in every aspect of his life. David is seen calling out to God for help all throughout his life as various situations occurred (see Psalm 31:17, 22). The Christian today is no different than the king of old. We too call out to God for help during times of great need in life and we are confident that our God will hear (see Acts 2:21; 22:16; Romans 10:11-13 and 1 Corinthians 1:1-2). When one calls out to God for help they manifest a faith and confidence in God's power to save. To call out to God is to recognize that there is no other to turn to for salvation than our Lord (see Acts 4:10-12). Consider these four areas of David's life where he called out to God for help in his time of great need.
First, David called out to God during times of experiencing great adversity, hardships, and afflictions (Psalm 31:7). People suffer afflictions for two reasons. One reason people suffer afflictions is because God is putting us to the test (see Genesis 22:1, 10-12; Deuteronomy 8:1-5, 15ff and Psalm 7:9). David was tried by God with his enemies (Psalm 11:1-5), riches (Psalm 30:6), and worldliness in general (Psalm 17:3-5). When we undergo such tests we ought to be strengthened as we come to know our frailties and great need for the Almighty God (James 1:1-4). When we are tried and tested today there is no other to turn to in life than the Lord (see John 6:66- 69 and 1 Peter 1:6-7). Now is not the time to give up but rather look forward to an eternity of rest with God (see 2 Corinthians 4:16-18). God's test are designed to mold us to the image of his son Jesus (see Job 23:10).
Another reason people suffer affliction in this life is because they are being chastised for sin (see Hebrews 12:3-13). Man undergoes chastisement by God to move him to do that which is right (see Revelation 3:19; 15:1; 16:8-9). David is often seen in the Psalms calling out to God for help when he was being chastised for his sin. The Lord chastised his king with trouble (Psalm 25:18), sickness (Psalm 30:2), and Absalom's rebellion that brought him great grief (Psalm 6:1-2). The more we sin today the greater our troubles in life. Solomon wrote, Good understanding gives favor; But the way of the transgressor is hard' (Proverbs 13:15).
Secondly, David called out for God's help at times that he sinned (31:9-10). The king's heart was broken over his personal sin. He reviewed his life and admits that the years were spent in a struggle against doing that which is right as opposed to sinfulness. The meek and honest man of God today will admit to the same grievous way of spending the years of our lives. The toil of guilt and disappointment that sin brings wears the body down and brings great grief to God and self. Sleepless nights, with tears rolling down our cheeks, come to be an unfortunate part of our lives. We are weary with disappointing God and our selves. God will help us if only we would acknowledge our sins and repent of those errors (Acts 17:30). There is no other recourse but to press forward in this life and purpose to do better the next day (Philippians 3:13-15). The beauty of heaven will be that Satan will not be there and have no power to tempt us (Revelation 21:27).
Thirdly, David called out to God for help at times when he felt totally isolated from the world (Psalm 31:11-13). Loneliness bears down hard on the human mind and brings a man to desire to be loved and acknowledged. Our hearts ache at the treatment of the world due to our stand in truth. We need our God to comfort us in these difficult days of being different. The Bible depicts this characteristic in the lives of the saints as being sanctified. The sanctified are set apart from the common sinfulness of the world and worldly (see 1 Corinthians 1:1-4).
Fourthly, David called out to God because his enemies made his life miserable (Psalm 31:15). David was the conscience of the world as a man of God. David's songs were read and heard by all and the conclusion of the world was that he deserved to die (see Psalm 31:13). When the king sang of "hating" the wicked the wicked took notice (Psalm 31:6). All those who live godly in Christ Jesus will be hated and persecuted today (2 Timothy 3:12). The world hated Jesus because he testified of its evil works (John 7:7). Jesus tells us that the world will hate all who expose their dark deeds (John 15:18-19).
Psalm 31 reveals the king's desire to be delivered (Psalm 31:1), rescued, and saved (Psalm 31:2). David knew that God alone had the power to deliver him from all the distress of his life. God was David's refuge, rock, and fortress in this life (Psalm 31:1-3). God was home to David. The king of Israel felt most comfortable and peaceful when he was in good standing with God. David purposed to "wait" out the days of adversity, enemies, isolation, and times of his sin with throughout the days of his life by the help of God (Psalm 31:24). David was confident that God would help him because the Lord is abundantly good (Psalm 31:14), steadfast in his love (Psalm 31:21), and he sees and knows all that is going on in our life (Psalm 31:22). The Apostle Peter tells us all to cast our anxiety upon him because he cares (1 Peter 5:7).
John C Robertson