Psalm 31:12 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Psalm 31:12, NIV: I am forgotten as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery.

Psalm 31:12, ESV: I have been forgotten like one who is dead; I have become like a broken vessel.

Psalm 31:12, KJV: I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.

Psalm 31:12, NASB: I am forgotten like a dead person, out of mind; I am like a broken vessel.

Psalm 31:12, NLT: I am ignored as if I were dead, as if I were a broken pot.

Psalm 31:12, CSB: I am forgotten: gone from memory like a dead person--like broken pottery.

What does Psalm 31:12 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

David reports his enemies had convinced friends and neighbors to shun him (Psalm 31:11). Perhaps his associates were afraid to be caught up in physical attacks on David (1 Samuel 19:2; 22:17; Psalm 54:3). Or David's critics might have spread lies and rumors (Psalm 31:13, 18; 38:12; 59:12). In English, those who pretend a despised person doesn't even exist make that person "dead to them." In this verse, David experiences that feeling of being rejected as if he were already dead and forgotten. He also felt like a broken container: useless and tossed aside. Persecution made him feel destitute and worthless.

However, no believer should feel this way. God never abandons a believer. He has promised to be with His children always (Hebrews 13:5). Furthermore, so long as he or she breathes, a believer has something to accomplish for the Lord. This is why it's important for believers to "run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith" (Hebrews 12:1–2). The apostle Paul is a sterling example of doing God's will to the very end. He writes in 2 Timothy 4:7, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." At the end of the race every faithful believer will receive the crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:8).