INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:
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 31:14 KJV – My times [are] in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.
Psalms 31:14 ESV – My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!
Following David’s declaration of faith in the Lord and His role in his life, David now brings his needs before the Lord…
My times [are] in thy hand:
Before David asks the Lord to intervene in his life situations, David recognizes that His Lord is in absolute control of all his life. All the happenings of David’s life …every day, hour, minute and second is in the hand of the Lord who will work everything according to His will.
King Solomon understood this same truth when he said…
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”
The Lord has a set time appointed for all of these types of events to take place in the lives of men. When these things take place, it is because the Lord has decreed them to take place and are then brought about in alignment with His sovereign will. This includes all the events that take place in the midst of mankind.
Truly, the many various “times” of our life are in His hand…
Daniel 4:34-35 KJV
“And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?”
Based upon David’s understanding of the Lord’s control over all his life events, he now has the foundational knowledge to ask the Lord to intervene in his life’s situations. Whether we realize it or not, every time we come before the Lord in prayer, asking Him to intervene in the trials we may be facing, we are acknowledging His sovereign control over all things.
If He is not in control of everything what makes us think He can intervene in any of our life’s problems?
deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.
David is asking the Lord to rescue (or “snatch”) him from the power of his enemies. David knew that the Lord “overrule” the will of his enemies at any time. The best laid plans of his enemies would be brought to an end, if the Lord desired it to be so.
Proverbs 19:21 KJV – “There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.”
David describes those who oppose him as his “enemies” and “them that persecute me”. We all have this type of people show up from time to time during the course of our lifetimes….
“enemies” – those who oppose due to hatred of heart
“them that persecute me” – to chase motivated by resentment
Both of these titles can teach us much about those who stand against us…
1. The title “enemy” teaches us that those who oppose us, many times do it out of hatred and malice. The big question is this…. Are we hated because we are taking a stand for Christ, or are we hated for being inconsiderate and mistreating others?
We should always strive to make certain we are loving and kind towards others, reflecting Christ’s love in a world filled with hate. If we are hated for showing the love of Christ… so be it.
However, if we are hated and opposed due to selfish attitudes and actions, we need to repent of our sin and seek to make restitution with our “enemies” that we have wronged.
1 Peter 2:19-20 KJV – “For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.”
1 Peter 3:14 KJV – “But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;”
2. The title “them that persecute me” helps us to see that many times we are opposed because people resent us. Many times resentment comes from the differences between the lifestyle of the lost compared to the lifestyle of the saved…
a. When lost men are faced with great trials they find themselves irritated and anxious, compared to a saved person who can face great trials with kindness and peace knowing the Lord is with them and using the trial for their good.
b. When lost men are mistreated by others, many times they seek vengeance and retribution holding bitterness with them. For the saved, when mistreated, they respond in love and compassion, motivated by an unselfish desire to show Christ’s love in their lives towards those who oppose them.
c. When the lost man receives bad news, they have doubts, fears, and feelings of impending doom believing that many of their life events are out of their control. When the saved receive bad news in their life, they understand the Lord is in control and there is always hope and joy in the midst of these times knowing the Lord can change their life circumstances at any time.
All of these type of differences can bring about a spirit of envy and resent in the hearts of those who are lost and watching our lives. It is just as Christ taught us…
John 15:18-19 KJV – “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”
Summary Of Our Study:
When we are faced with opposition from the lost around us it is important we keep in mind…
1. The Lord is in control… He can remove the opposition from us any time He sees fit. Until the opposition is removed, it remains in our life for our good and His glory.
2. We are to make certain the opposition we face is not because of selfishness or sin in our lives which causes us to mistreat others.
3. When we are opposed due to our faithfulness to Christ, we are in the best of company, Christ Himself was persecuted for His faithfulness to His Father.
4. When we are opposed due to our faithfulness to Christ, may we accept it with loving hearts and a self-sacrificial spirit, seeking to win the souls of those who oppose us for the cause of Christ.
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