Psalm 31 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Psalm 31)

Verse 1

[1] In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.

Ashamed — Of my confidence in thy promise.

Deliver me — According to thy faithfulness and goodness.

Verse 5

[5] Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.

My spirit — My soul or life; to preserve it from the malice of mine enemies.

For — Thou hast delivered me formerly, and therefore I commit myself to thee for the future.

O Lord, … — Who hast shewed thyself so, in making good thy promise.

Verse 6

[6] I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD.

Vanities — Idols, which are often called Vanities, as Deuteronomy 32:21. Or, curious arts, and all sorts of divinations.

Verse 7

[7] I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;

Known — Loved me, and cared for me.

Verse 8

[8] And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room.

Room — Made way for me to escape, when I was encompassed by them.

Verse 9

[9] Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.

Grief — With continual weeping.

Verse 10

[10] For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.

Iniquity — For the punishment of mine iniquity.

Consumed — The juice and marrow of them bring almost dried up with grief.

Verse 11

[11] I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me.

A fear — They were afraid to give me any countenance or assistance.

Fled — To prevent their own danger and ruin.

Verse 12

[12] I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.

A broken vessel — Which is irreparable, and useless, and therefore despised by all.

Verse 13

[13] For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life.

Fear — Just cause of fear.

Verse 15

[15] My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.

My times — All the affairs and events of my life, are wholly in thy power.

Verse 19

[19] Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!

Laid up — His favour is not always manifested, to them, but it is laid up for them in his treasure, whence it shall be drawn forth when they need it, and he sees it fit.

Before — Publickly and in the view of the world.

Verse 20

[20] Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.

The secret — Or, as in the secret of thy presence: either, 1. As if they were in thy presence chamber, where thine own eye and hand girdeth them, from all the assaults of their enemies; called his secret, partly, because the greatest part of the world are strangers to God and his presence: and partly, because it is a safe and secure place, such as secret and unknown places are. Or, 2. As if they were in the secret of God's tabernacle, as it is called, Psalms 27:5, the place of God's special presence, where none might enter save the high-priest. With thy secret favour and providence, which saves them by hidden and unknown methods.

From — From their vain-glorious boasting and threats, and from their bad and insolent attempts.

Pavilion — Or, tabernacle.

Strife — From contentious and slandering tongues.

Verse 21

[21] Blessed be the LORD: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.

City — In Keilah: where God wonderfully preserved me.

Verse 22

[22] For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee.

Haste — When my passion took away my consideration, and weakened my faith.

Cut off — Cast out of thy sight, and out of the care of thy gracious providence.