What does Psalm 31:15 mean?
ESV: My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!
NIV: My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me.
NASB: My times are in Your hand; Rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me.
CSB: The course of my life is in your power; rescue me from the power of my enemies and from my persecutors.
NLT: My future is in your hands. Rescue me from those who hunt me down relentlessly.
KJV: My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.
David committed himself to God. He trusted God with his life and believed the Lord would not allow him to perish at the hands of his enemies (Psalm 31:11–13). God would decide the time and way his life would end. Of course, that does not mean David had no preference: he did not want his enemies to snuff out his life. So, he prays for rescue from those persecuting him. No one can predict exactly when his life will end. All anyone can do is commit their life to God and leave the time and way of death to the Lord's plans.
Jesus faced a cruel, violent, abhorrent death on the cross. Yet, He committed himself to the will of the Father. In the garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed: "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will" (Matthew 26:39). Every believer can and should commit their life to God and rest with confidence in His will (see Romans 12:1–2).
Psalm 31:14–22 comes after David expressed sorrow over persecution and abandonment. Despite hardship, David tells God he still trusts in Him. He regarded the Lord as the foundation of his confidence. David asks the Lord to be forgiving and merciful, preserving him from the enemies who have attacked him. This passage celebrates God's forgiving nature, while looking back on prior instances of rescue.
Because God has rescued him in the past, David chooses to trust the Lord even when he is in danger. Neighbors and friends may abandon him, and enemies may plot, but David is confident he will be vindicated. He also calls on others to be firm and brave as they choose to trust in God.
David mentions dangers and enemies in this psalm. He may have been referring to besieged cities such as Keilah (1 Samuel 23:1–15) or Ziklag (1 Samuel 30). Despite the plots of his enemies and abandonment by friends, David trusts in the Lord, receives an answer to his prayer, and encourages his fellow believers to love the Lord and be strong. This echoes themes also seen in Psalms 4, 25, and 71.
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ''Psalm'' in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
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