Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16 (NRSV)
Verse 1In you, O Lord, I seek refuge; do not let me ever be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me.
Verse 2Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily. Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me.
Verse 3You are indeed my rock and my fortress; for your name's sake lead me and guide me,
Verse 4take me out of the net that is hidden for me, for you are my refuge.
Verse 5Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.
Verse 15My times are in your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors.
Verse 16Let your face shine upon your servant; save me in your steadfast love.
The psalmist begins with prayer to the Lord for refuge and deliverance. Enemies and persecution threaten, but a relationship with God offers a strong tower of protection. The psalmist prays for ongoing leadership and guidance, trusting that commending one’s spirit into the Lord’s hands offers hope for deliverance from the enemy. Standing in the steadfast love of the Lord, in the presence of the Lord’s shining face, holds out the promise of the longed for salvation. Who cannot relate to the psalmist’s need to continually ask for deliverance, safety, and guidance, even as we proclaim that we are already saved by God’s steadfast love? The enemy of truth sets nets of lies that tempt us to pride, self-righteousness, confusion, and despair, sometimes even using us to help spread the nets!
Lord Jesus, help me! You have saved me from sin, death, and the devil, yet I still walk through a dark valley. I commend my spirit into your hands this very moment. Keep my face turned to your light. Give me wisdom to discern lies from truth, that your light may also shine through me. Amen.