January 12 2023
Today, Thursday January 12
“Into Your Hand I Commit…”
To The Choirmaster. A Psalm of David
“In You, O LORD, I put my trust; Let me never be ashamed; Deliver me in Your righteousness. Bow down Your ear to me, Deliver me speedily; Be my rock of refuge, A fortress of defense to save me. For You are my rock and my fortress; Therefore, for Your name's sake, Lead me and guide me. Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me, For You are my strength.
Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O LORD God of truth. I have hated those who regard useless idols; But I trust in the LORD. I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy, For You have considered my trouble; You have known my soul in adversities, And have not shut me up into the hand of the enemy; You have set my feet in a wide place.”
From the title we immediately learn that this is a “Psalm of David” that he wrote to give to the “Choirmaster” or the “Chief Musician” to be sung by the Levitical choirs during worship. The emphasis is on trusting ("taking refuge") in the Lord, no matter how difficult the circumstances might be (vv. 1, 6, 14, 19). David was surrounded by subversive whispering campaigns and wicked conspiracies (vv. 8, 13, 15, 18, 20), and everything seemed against him. Even his best friends and neighbors didn't want to be seen with him (vv. 11-13), and there was "fear on every side" (v. 13).
The reference to "a besieged city" in verse 21 has led some students to connect this volatile situation with David's experience at Keilah (1 Sam. 23:1-15) or perhaps at Ziklag (1 Sam. 30). However, it appears that what is described in the psalm best fits what happened during the rebellion led by Absalom (2 Sam. 15-18). Over many months, Absalom led a subversive campaign against his father, and even Ahithophel, David's wisest counselor, deserted the king and followed Absalom. "They took counsel together against me" (v. 13) reminds us of the conference recorded in 2 Samuel 17.
There can be no doubt that this Psalm is very special in that it is quoted by Jonah, by Jeremiah, and by Jesus. The first three verses are quoted in 71:1-3, an untitled psalm probably written by David. He affirms his trust in the Lord and asks Him to deliver him and defend him on the basis of divine righteousness. "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Gen. 18:25). How can the righteous Lord permit wicked people to prosper and overthrow His anointed king? Such a thing would make David ashamed, a statement he repeats in verse 17.
As David often did, he begged God to act speedily (69:17; 70:1, 5; 71:12; 141:1; 143:7) and be to him a rock and a fortress (see 18:1-3). Along with God's protection, David needed God's direction so he would avoid the traps the enemy had set for him. "You are my strength" was his affirmation of faith (v. 4), for his own strength had failed (v. 10).
David’s prayer of commitment in verse 5 was quoted by our Lord from the cross (Luke 23:46). The word "commit," means "to deposit in trust, as money in a bank." The hand of the enemy was against David (vv. 8, 15), but he knew he was safe in God's hand (see John 10:27-30). The God of truth would keep His promises. His enemies were idolaters; they weren't trusting in the living God but in "lying vanities, worthless idols." Note the repeated "but I trust" (vv. 6, 14). The word trust means to depend on, to lean on.
Jonah quoted verse 6 in his prayer from the great fish (Jonah 2:8). In His mercy, God had delivered David from many dangerous places, and David knew he could depend on Him again, and this brought him joy. As in the past, God would deliver him from a "tight place" and enable him to stand in a "wide or spacious place" (v. 8). He would grow because of his trials and his faith in the Lord.
I will finish our devotion today with a quote from John Phillips: “We creep up Calvary's hill just as the sufferings of Jesus are about to end. For six long hours the Holy One has suffered beyond our ability to comprehend. For the past three hours He has been the sin offering, alone with God and our sins in the darkness. Now it's all over. He is about to utter His very last words and he turns to this Psalm: "Father, into Thine hand I commit My spirit." That quotation alone embalms this Psalm with fragrance and significance.
Today, will you commit yourself into the Father’s hand!