In you, O LORD, do I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
in your righteousness deliver me!
Incline your ear to me;
rescue me speedily!
Be a rock of refuge for me,
a strong fortress to save me! Psalm 31:1-2, ESV
We are not kings. We do not have political enemies plotting our demise. Nobody has devised a plot to kill us to gain our throne. We are not locked up in a city under siege by enemy armies. So, we do not bring the same literal concerns to God today that David did in Psalm 31.
Even so, some of us may be familiar with David’s outlook. We can relate to verse 22, “I had said in my alarm, ‘I am cut off from your sight.’” In these days defined by a pandemic and its partners, social isolation and economic fear, this feeling seems all too familiar to us. We are alarmed at what we see. We wonder if God even sees what is happening to us. After all, is He not our omnipotent Father? How could He see this happening and not help us? We cry, “God, where are you? Don’t you see what is happening to us? God come and save us from this!” We understand the need to cry out to God in despair.
But familiarity with despair and cries for help is not the goal of this Psalm. The ultimate goal is to remind us that God will hear our cry and save us. God wants us to know that He sees our turmoil and that, in our tempest, He is ready and willing to come to His people in righteousness and save us and bring us to Himself, for He is our true refuge in times of storm.
Psalm 31 does not end with a cry, but with thanksgiving and encouragement (vv.21-24):
Blessed be the LORD,
for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me
when I was in a besieged city.
I had said in my alarm,
“I am cut off from your sight.”
But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy
when I cried to you for help.
Love the LORD, all you his saints!
The LORD preserves the faithful
but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
all you who wait for the LORD!
Maybe you are ready to cry out in despair even today. Go ahead and do that. But cry out in faith as well. Take courage. God hears your cry. He is full of steadfast love, righteousness, and mercy and stands ready to save.
I pray you will find refuge in Him today,