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  Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study
  Week #112
Posted: March 3, 2007

PSALM 31:9-13

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 life’s situation.

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.

             

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