Pastor's Desk

Psalm 31: A Confident Lament

Confident lament. That is the phrase that I use to describe this Psalm. Those two words seem almost contradictory, but they perfectly portray the psalmist’s attitude. We are not sure of the situation facing David at the time of his writing, but verses 9-13 describe an experience of betrayal and grief. This circumstance drives his lament. He needs the Lord to show grace, and he needs it quickly.

In the midst of his grief and sorrow, in the middle of his lament to the Lord over this experience, David remains confident. He places his confidence in his God while reminding himself about God’s faithfulness and immutable character. His resolute assurance of God’s sustaining power comes in the most powerful statement in the psalm in verse 5. Despite what he was facing, despite the apparent inevitability of difficulty and defeat, David confessed his utter surrender to the sovereign hand of God. He placed his destiny in the Lord’s hands. This was David’s confident lament.

    Psalm 31:5-
    Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.

David’s confident lament did not remain a static statement engraved in the words of Scripture. Hundreds of years later, these same words would be breathed out by one of his sons. Like David in Psalm 31, this son faced immense grief and betrayal. Like David, this son offered lament to God, wondering why he was left forsaken. And like David, this son would commit his spirit into the sovereign hand of the Father, knowing that God remained faithful even as He poured out His wrath. At the cross, David’s confident lament became Jesus’ confident lament.

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