Trust in the Lord!

 

[Psalms 31:1-8]

 

Let’s ask this question to ourselves: ‘Do I always trust in the Lord, or Do I sometimes trust in vain gods or vain things?’  To answer this question, we must first think about what we trust in.  In the article ‘Trusting is Faith,’ there is a lesson we can learn from a evangelical pastor of the Church of England Canon Battersby’s sermon on the story of a royal official whose son was sick at Capernaum when he visited Jesus from Capernaum to Ghana and asked Him to cure his son's illness.  The lesson was that the royal official  believed the words of Jesus, "Go, your son lives" (Jn. 4:50) and as he was going down, his slaves met him, saying that his son was living (v. 51).  Here, faith is when God promises that He will protect me, I confess that ‘The word of the Lord is enough’ even if there is nothing to rely on in this world.  This is faith and this is trusting (Internet).  I asked myself this question: 'Is it enough for me with just the Lord’s promise to our church ‘I will build My church’ (Mt. 16:18)?’  Or ‘Do I trust in myself and/or other people instead of trusting in His promise?’  Obviously, if I trust in the Lord’s promise completely and do the pastoral ministry with full faith, then I won’t be afraid of any situation, nor will I be anxious and discouraged by anything.  A soul who believes and is convinced that the word of the Lord's promises is sufficient completely trust in the Lord.  We must live our Christian life, confessing that there is nothing but the Lord to trust in as we go through the years.

 

In Psalms 31:6, we see that the psalmist David resolves, “I hate those who regard vain idols, But I trust in the LORD.”  I want to meditate on two things about those who trust in the Lord, under the heading “Trust in the Lord!”.  I hope and pray that we all become like David who trust in the Lord.

 

First, those who trust in the Lord take refuge in Him.

 

                Look at Psalms 31:1 – “In You, O LORD, I have taken refuge; Let me never be ashamed; ….”  David suffered and took refuge in the Lord.  The word taking refuge in the Lord means that David made God his refuge and cried out to Him.  David, who had taken refuge in the Lord, prayed to God.  What were the prayers of David who had taken refuge in Him?  We can think of it in three ways:

 

(1)   David’s first prayer was ‘Deliver me.’

 

Look at Psalms 31:1 – “…  In Your righteousness deliver me.”  David prayed to God for deliverance in the midst of his crisis.  The crisis was that David’s powerful and crafty enemies were trying to capture him like catching the animals with the net which they had secretly laid for David (v. 4).  In this crisis, David trusted in the Lord completely and cried out to Him, who was the David’s refuge, to deliver him by pulling him out of the net which his enemies secretly laid for him (v. 4).  Interestingly, David didn’t ask God to deliver him on the basis of his own righteousness, but rather on the basis of the righteousness of the Lord (v. 1).  David sought the Lord to deliver him based on the Lord’s righteous act in protecting His elect faithfully (Calvin).  The precious lesson we need to learn here is that we should pray for deliverance (salvation) to our Father God not on the basis of our righteousness, but only on the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

 

(2)   David’s second prayer was “Be to me a rock of strength, A stronghold to save me.”

 

Look at Psalms 31:2 – “Incline Your ear to me, rescue me quickly; Be to me a rock of strength, A stronghold to save me.”  This is a prayer for God's protection.  And this prayer is the prayer that trust in God's omnipotence and His strength.  Here in verse 2, “a rock of strength” means “a bulwark on the rock that can be concealed,’ and “A stronghold” refers to a sheltered building on the top of the mountain.  These names compared God who is able to protect (Park).  After David had taken refuge in the Lord in the midst of severe suffering and prayed to Him for deliverance on the basis of Jesus’s righteousness, he asked God’s protection.  Our only rock to take refuge is the Lord.  He alone can protect us from any suffering and adversity.

 

(3)   David’s third prayer was “You will lead me and guide me.”

 

Look at Psalms 31:3 – “For You are my rock and my fortress; For Your name's sake You will lead me and guide me.”  David cried out to the Lord, who was his rock and his fortress, to lead him and guide him.  For whom did David pray?  He did so for the Lord’s name’s sake.  David, who asked for the grace of salvation by relying on the righteousness of the Lord, prayed for God’s lead and guidance for the Lord's name’s sake, as God of the covenant must fulfill His promise and show His faithfulness (v. 3).  Like David, we must seek God’s lead and guidance.  Why is that?  The reason is because without His lead and guidance, we will wander like sheep who have lost their way, and we have no choice but to become the mock of the enemy.

 

                David, who trust in the Lord, took refuge in Him and asked Him with the three prayer topics above.  And he prayed “Let me never be ashamed” (v. 1).  In other words, David prayed that he would not be ashamed because of failure (Park).  This shows that David was convinced that the Lord would help him when he took refuge in Him.  If God didn't help David, he would fail.  Then those who paid attention to him would laugh (Park).  That was why David offered this prayer to God.

 

            Second and last, those who trust in the Lord commit their spirit to the Lord.

 

                Look at Psalms 31:5 – “Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have ransomed me, O LORD, God of truth.”  This means that David entrusted his life and death entirely to God.  Why did David commit his spirit to the Lord?  There were two reasons:

 

(1)   It was because the Lord is the God of truth.

 

The reason David committed his soul (the life and death problem) to God, who gave the grace of salvation in the past when he was suffering, was because he believed that the Lord was the God of truth.  In other words, David was able to commit his life and death entirely to the Lord because he knew that the Lord was the only true God.  David, who had experienced this true God who revealed Himself and who faithfully fulfilled His covenant at any time, committed his life and death to God of the truth in his present extreme suffering.  Therefore, he who had already experienced the grace of God's salvation of the truth in the past, made this determination even in the extreme suffering of the present: “I hate those who regard vain idols, But I trust in the LORD” (v. 6).  David hated the sinful acts of idolaters.

 

(2)   It was because he rejoiced and was glad in the Lord’s lovingkindness.

 

Look at Psalms 31:7 – “I will rejoice and be glad in Your lovingkindness, Because You have seen my affliction; You have known the troubles of my soul.”  David rejoiced and was glad in the midst of present suffering by remembering the Lord’s faithful salvation of the past again and feeling His lovingkindness.  Isn't it amazing that David was able to rejoice and be glad in the Lord's lovingkindness in the midst of extreme suffering?  This is faith.  Particularly, the reason why he rejoiced and was glad by the Lord's lovingkindness was because the Lord who saw the David’s affliction and knew the troubles of his soul (v. 7) didn’t give him over into the hand of the enemy but had set his feet in a large place (v. 8).

 

Look at Psalms 31:5 – “Into Your hand I commit my spirit  ….”  This reminds me of the words of Jesus' crucifixion in Luke 23:46 – “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”  The surprising thing about comparing these two verses is that when the begotten Jesus committed his life and death to God, God didn’t deliver Him from the death on the cross.  When David committed his spirit to God, God heard his prayer and saved him.  But God didn’t save His begotten Son Jesus before His death on the cross.  Why was that?  It was to give us eternal life.  Those who remember this grace of redemption receive God's saving grace, protection, and guidance while trusting completely in the true God.  May this blessing be upon you.

 


Looking at the Lord who is in charge of life and death,

 


James Kim 

(Trusting in the Lord who is my refuge)