1 In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
deliver me in your righteousness.
2 Turn your ear to me,
come quickly to my rescue;
be my rock of refuge,
a strong fortress to save me.
3 Since you are my rock and my fortress,
for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
4 Keep me free from the trap that is set for me,
for you are my refuge.
5 Into your hands I commit my spirit;
deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.
Thus begins Psalm 31. Its a bit of a long Psalm, and I recommend reading it all. But does that last line sound familiar? It should. When Jesus dies in Luke’s gospel, he quotes Psalm 31:5 – “into your hands, I commit my Spirit” (Luke 23:46).
Remember, the Psalms are prayers. They are meant to be spoken to God more than they are meant to be analyzed. Psalm 31 is clearly a plea for God’s help in the midst of the challenges of life. Reading this Psalm, I am reminded that faith is not the same as blind faith. Blind faith is just a hope in something with no grounding in reality. Blind faith has no reason within it to trust. It is a sort of faith, but it does not exhaust faith. Another sort of faith is a trust built on prior acts. It has a reason – because God has saved us and helped us in the past, we have faith God will again.
My kids have faith in me. Its not blind faith. They know that when they need help, I am going to help them. They trust me. This is faith built on a relationship. Its the sort of faith Jesus had with God the Father and is why these words are on his lips at the end.
Of course, when we go through our days, many other things pop up that ask for our faith. We take refuge (31:1) in other gods – intelligence, family, money, skills, wit, humor, friends, America, etc. None of these are inherently bad, they all have good place in life. But this is why praying the Psalms, reading them daily, is so vital. It reminds us that while all these things have a place, it is only God our Savior and Creator who will bring us safely through the grave.
Into whose hands will you commend your spirit today?