Psalm 31 vs 1 - 5
1 In you, Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness. 2 Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me. 3 Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me. 4 Keep me free from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge. 5 Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.
You knew this of course, but Donald Trump is no longer the President of the United States, after months of political upheaval his presidency has given way to that of the 46th President, Joe Biden. That said it is also true that Trump has not lost his appeal to many Americans who firmly believe that he was cheated out of the presidency by a rigged voting system and an “establishment” bent on blocking a second term. That’s the perception but on what grounds are these beliefs built? No evidence has been found to support any of the claims despite multiple legal challenges yet, still they are believed.
As Individuals we all have views and beliefs that are built on anything other than firm foundations. It might be a hunch or a feeling or we might be persuaded by the conviction of a friend and his apparent knowledge of a subject but even then a falsehood sincerely held is still a falsehood. However, the confidence of the psalmist in this case is not built on a gut feeling or a desperate longing but on two things, his past experience of God and more importantly, on something that can never change, the character of God; specifically in verse 1 the righteousness of God. God will act in ways that accord with his character as one who is upright, as one who loves justice and truth. That’s a firm foundation.
From that base, he calls on God in verse 2 to hear and rescue him. The picture that came to mind when I read these words of was that of an adult turning to hear better what a child is saying, stooping to listen or cupping her ear. The cry of need stops the adult in mid course and she turns to hear. It’s a response of love, a picture of tenderness that is applied to God who is infinite in glory and who possesses unimaginable power. That is the nature of God into whose hands the psalmist willingly commits his spirit confident of deliverance and help. Now where have you heard those words before? On Jesus lips as he finally gave his spirit into his Father’s hands, but whereas the psalmist asks to be delivered from his trouble, Jesus did not ask to be delivered from death. It was something he embraced for us, tasting our death and sharing our experience but crucially also bearing the judgement on our sin, so that we might be delivered and he did that confident that God his Father is faithful. Can we rely on God? Is he righteous, is he faithful? Well, listen to the voice of the psalmist and hear the words of Jesus. “Deliver me in your righteousness.... Into your hands I commit my spirit..... my faithful God.” That’s faith well founded.