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Psalms 31:9 – David’s Sufferings (Part 1)

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Throughout the years, this Psalm, or portions of it, have been a great blessing to me in several difficult situations that I have faced in life. Although, the Psalm does not reveal to us the exact situation that David was facing, it is obvious he was facing a very difficult hardship that, from his perspective, appeared to be insurmountable.

Throughout our lives as Christians, most, if not all of us, have faced the same type of issues. This Psalm gives us many wonderful truths that will give us comfort, hope, and even joy in the midst of these hardships of life.

This is the basic outline we will be using… our devotional will be covering approximately one verse per day…

1. David’s Request (1-2)

2. David’s Recognition (3-4)

3. David’s Commitment (5-8)

4. David’s Sufferings (9-13) (Due to his sin 9-10; Due to other’s sin 11-13)

5. David’s Faith (14-16)

6. David’s Desire (17-18)

7. David’s Praise (19-22)

8. David’s Exhortation (23-24)



Psalms 31:9 KJV – Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, [yea], my soul and my belly.


Psalms 31:9 ESV –Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; my eye is wasted from grief; my soul and my body also.



Today we start a new subject in our look at Psalm 31:9-13. David begins to describe the inward, and outward harm that David suffered as he progressed through this time of heartache and abuse.

If we look carefully we can see, in a very basic way, David described his inward sorrow and pain in verses 9 and 10. For the most part this pain was the result of his own personal sin and failures in the sight of God. Then, in verses 11-13, David points our attention to the outward abuse that he faced due to the sin that resides in the life of others.

We being this morning looking at the inward pain and suffering that David was experiencing due to the sin that dwelled in his own life…


Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble:

David realized that, due to his personal sin, he was not deserving of the Lord’s deliverance from his difficulties. This is why he is asking the Lord for His “mercy” to be shown to him.

David recognizes he is in “trouble”. The word trouble comes from a Hebrew word meaning “to cramp”. It is describing a painful situation that inhibits our abilities and actions. What a great description of trials in our life. Our trials cause pain and in the short run, inhibit us from freely doing all we desire to do. It is a constant burden that weights us down, it uses up much time and resources that could be used elsewhere, and it puts many pitfalls on our road to Christian service.

In this text, we can see David recognizes his sinfulness, and the trials which he faces. He does not live as an ostrich with his head in the ground, not willing to see the realities of his situation.

He recognized these same life issues in Psalm 6:2…


“Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed.


mine eye is consumed with grief, [yea], my soul and my belly.

David describes his inward pain as being “consumed”. In other words, he felt as if he was “wasted away” or “wilted”, much like a cut flower that has lost its source of vitality, losing all its beauty, and dried up.

Notice the areas of life that are affected by these issues… his eyes, due to his tears; his belly, his inability to eat and digest his food due to stress; his soul, his physical life was being threatened by lack of nutrition and inability to see his needs, and the pitfalls that awaited him.

It is interesting to notice that by mentioning his eyes, belly and soul, David is also symbolically describing the three great areas of our lives affected by our life trials:

The eyes are symbolic of our ability to clearly perceive what is taking place around us.

The belly refers to our life desires that are many times sidetracked by our difficulties.

The soul is speaking of our physical life and the threat of death that many of our difficulties hold for us.

Do we feel the same way during the difficult times of our lives? Do we lack the recognition of our personal needs and condition, face the derailing of our life’s desires and goals, and/or feel our very physical life being threatened? Sadly, all three of these are very common results of the many trials we face in our lifetimes.

Upon David’s deliverance from his trials, we see him praising the Lord for His blessings in these same areas of life…

Psalms 116:7-9 KJV – “Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.”

Summary Of Our Study:

During times of trouble, we need an honest evaluation of ourselves and the issues that we face; we need to be willing to see our sin and the genuine nature of the trials that we face; and finally, we need to recognize our great need of the Lord’s mercy and His gracious intervention in our lives.

May the Lord give us the ability to see the great consequences of these trials and recognition of the need of God’s sustaining grace and enablement to bring us through to the end of the trial that is at hand.


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  1. SLIMJIM says:

    Good call for us to have honest evaluation of ourselves and our sin during times of suffering. We need to be reminded of this.

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