|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
31:1-8 Faith and prayer must go together, for the prayer of faith is the prevailing prayer. David gave up his soul in a special manner to God. And with the words, ver. 5, our Lord Jesus yielded up his last breath on the cross, and made his soul a free-will offering for sin, laying down his life as a ransom. But David is here as a man in distress and trouble. And his great care is about his soul, his spirit, his better part. Many think that while perplexed about their worldly affairs, and their cares multiply, they may be excused if they neglect their souls; but we are the more concerned to look to our souls, that, though the outward man perish, the inward man may suffer no damage. The redemption of the soul is so precious, that it must have ceased for ever, if Christ had not undertaken it. Having relied on God's mercy, he will be glad and rejoice in it. God looks upon our souls, when we are in trouble, to see whether they are humbled for sin, and made better by the affliction. Every believer will meet with such dangers and deliverances, until he is delivered from death, his last enemy.
Verse 3., - For thou art my Rock; or, my cliff (סלעי, not צורי). And my Fortress. David prays God to be his Rock and Fortress in the future, because he has always looked to him as his Rock and Fortress in the past. Faith establishes a claim to have its anticipations made good. Therefore for thy Name's sake lead me, and guide me. Metaphor is dropped, and God is simply asked for guidance and direction. In the struggle between Absalom and David more depended upon wise counsel than upon mere force (2 Samuel 15:31-37; 2 Samuel 16:15-23; 2 Samuel 17:5-23).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For thou art my rock and my fortress,.... What he prayed for he knew him to be, and to have been in times past, and could claim his interest in him; and therefore entreats that he would appear to be to him what he was in himself, and what he had been to him;
therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me; either as a shepherd does his flock, gently, as they are able to bear it; into the green pastures of the word and ordinances, and beside the still waters of divine love, and to the overflowing fountain, and fulness of grace in himself; or as a general leads and guides his army; Christ being a Leader and Commander of the people, and the great Captain of their salvation, and who being at the head of them, they fear no enemy; or as a guide leads and directs such as are ignorant, and out of the way. The psalmist desires the Lord would lead him in the way of truth and paths of righteousness, according to his word; and guide him with his counsel, and by his Spirit, that so he might walk in the way in which he should go; and this he entreats he would do "for his name's sake"; not for any merit or worthiness in him; but for the glory of his own name, and for the honour of his free grace and mercy, for which the Lord often does many things; he defers his anger, he purges away the sins of his people, he forgives their transgressions, and remembers their sins no more, for his name's sake.
Psalm 31:3 Parallel Commentaries
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