Cheryl and I attended the school play Cinderella last weekend. It was highlighted by two of our elementary school grandkids. One of them was the cutest mouse in the house and the other a lovely narrator, singer, and dancer. The performance, stage, and costumes were amazing. The story is so like our lives: We labor without appreciation, are often abused or neglected by others, and then God wonderfully brings the Prince of Life, Jesus Christ, to rescue us, adore and adorn us, and to remind us of the future He is preparing for us with Him.
Psalm 31 tells a similar story. Though we don’t know the circumstances, as you read it notice the flow from a cry of distress (lament) to trust in God alone. It is a song of David, addressed to the choirmaster, and was no doubt sung in worship. The worship must have been energetic and the voices dramatic as they recalled their needs and exclaimed their joy in God. How great can be our worship with the saints (“Love the Lord, all you his saints” v, 23) when we enter with full and honest and God-centered hearts.
David’s enemies were persistent, seeking to shame him and defeat him. Right away we think about our enemies and THE enemy, Satan—who seeks to devour us. How is Satan and his vast army pursuing you? David has a greater God.
In the Psalm God is David’s refuge—HE is our refuge. Yes, God rescues us in countless ways, but ultimately we are safe in the arms of the Chief Shepherd and God of our salvation. This is an immeasurable personal relationship of trust and safety with a real, caring, mighty God who has our best interests in mind (Cf. Psalm 121; John 10).
Homework assignment: As you read Psalm 31 watch for everything good and pure and lovely that the enemy is not but God is. God is: refuge, faithful, a strong fortress, good, characterized by steadfast love, redeemer, judge, and deliverer. These make wonderful ways to address God in prayer and joyful points of thanksgiving in personal worship.
There is a perspective—a philosophy of Christian life—we would benefit by in Psalm 31. David fights his enemies with worship—worship that declares who God is, remembers His faithfulness, looks to the future, and reaches out to fellow-travelers. Listen in:
“Blessed be the Lord,
for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me
when I was…
I had said in my alarm,
‘I am cut off from your sight.’
But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy
when I cried to you for help…
The Lord preserves the faithful
but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
all you who wait for the Lord!”
In summary, “our times are in His hands” (v. 15). Now, not even Cinderella and the Prince Charming (or that real cute mouse) can beat that!