Let us continue
our study of Psalm 31. We believe it was written after Saul’s death
and David has taken the throne in Hebron. We entitled it ‘The
Stanza Of Strength’ inverses 1-4 and ‘The Stanza Of The
Sovereign’ in verses 5-8.
I am amazed in this
mosaic picture that David paints how he can go from the mountaintop
to the deepest valley of depression in a few lines. I should not be
amazed since I do it in my own life. Let us look at verses 9-13 as
‘The Stanza Of Sorrow’ which says, “Have
mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed
with grief, yea, my soul and my belly. For my life is spent with
grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of
mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed. I was a reproach among all
mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine
acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me. I am
forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel. For
I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they
took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life.”
In this text David
uses four very descriptive words to tell us of his sorrows. These
words of description are trouble, grief, iniquity,
and fear. Oh, how sorrow can change our whole perception of
David tells us this
sorrow involves being ‘in trouble’. The word ‘trouble’
means to be cramped, an adversary who affects, a narrow strait or to
shut up with hurting pangs. When I think of this word trouble I am
reminded of the man who felt he saw a light at the end of his tunnel
of sorrow. He began to run toward that light only to find it was a
locomotive coming at him with full speed ahead.
In verses 9-10 David
brings up the subject of ‘grief’ in his sorrow. The word
means vexation, provoking sorrow, to be grieved to the point of rage
and indignant anger. It also means affliction that causes sorrow.
This grief has had quite an affect upon David. His eye is consumed.
(Vs. 9) The idea is the eye is sunken in or the idea of loosing the
sight. One has said that much tears and anxiety can cause a severe
case of Glaucoma. This grief has affected his entire being, the
physical as well as the spiritual. (My soul, my belly, my life is
spent with years of sighing.)
In the middle of
David’s failing strength and bones becoming brittle he calls to mind
his past iniquity. The word ‘iniquity’ means moral
perversity, evil faults that demand a punishment, to be amiss, a
crooked and perverted way. David begins to connect the dots between
the sins he has committed and the sorrow he is suffering.
In verses 11-12
great ‘fear’ arises in the heart of David. The word ‘fear’
means to be alarmed with dread or terror, startled by sudden alarm
and to be surrounded by frightening situations. He has become a ‘reproach’
to his enemies, neighbors, and acquaintances. The word ‘reproach’
means a disgrace. They even run from him when they see him coming.
People have forgotten him as if he was already dead and gone. His
body is broken. (Vs. 11-12)
The people are
verbally attacking him and he has heard rumors that they are
plotting to kill him. (Vs. 13)
Let us not forget
how David began this ‘Stanza Of Sorrow’. In verse 9 he said,
“Have mercy upon me, O LORD,” The word ‘mercy’ means
to withhold from me what I deserve. It is a cry of desperation seen
in the word “O”. It is directed to the LORD, the great I Am,
the God who if self-sufficient and becomes all we need.
Let us remember the
chorus of a great old hymn, which says,
‘Mercy there was great and grace was
free, Pardon there was multiplied to me, There my burdened soul
found liberty, At Calvary’.
No matter what
we encounter, to cry for God’s mercy will cause the great arm of His
help to be uncovered.