29 August 2021
This morning in my regular Bible reading I spent some time pondering Psalm 31. I came away encouraged as I reflected on what God was saying in light of the current situation in our community and our nation.
As I am sure you’re aware, we have an issue with a virus, and particularly with a variant that seems to defy our capacity to control it through public health measures. While we have been spared most of the impacts borne by the eastern states, many are fearful that our turn will come. On top of this, some in leadership are now telling us that eradication is no longer possible and that we need to “learn to live with it”. This has many (perhaps even most) worried, and some even quite panicked.
Firstly, one thing to note is that our wealthy and technologically advanced society is almost unique in human history. Even today around the globe many still live with the spectre of illness, accident, war or other misfortune hanging over their heads. I remember a childhood prayer I was taught – “Now I lay thee down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.” For many, dying before waking was, and for some still is, a real threat. While pointing this out may provide slim comfort, it may explain why many are so worried – this is something very much outside our “normal”.
So how does Psalm 31 help us? King David wrote about a time when his enemies were pressing upon him and many were whispering,“Terror on every side!” (Ps 31.13). David calls to God, his “rock of refuge”, “strong fortress”, and “refuge”. He declares, “In you, LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness.” David had seen God deliver him personally, and he also knew of God’s historical faithfulness to his covenant people. So he could pray with confidence. We also know God’s faithfulness, and so we can also pray.
However, there is another precious insight in this Psalm. In verse 5 he prays words that will be familiar to many, “Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, LORD, my faithful God.” The Lord Jesus also prayed this prayer, and though he endured the cross, on the third day the Lord delivered him from death. And his resurrection is the sure foundation for our hope as his people. Rejoice, for in Christ we are secure.
”Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD” (Ps 31.24)
Pastor | Trinity Church Brighton
0432 578 460 | firstname.lastname@example.org | Day Off Fridays