|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 6. - I have hated them that regard lying vanities. By "lying vanities" are meant idolatrous practices, or possibly such superstitious usages as recourse to witch-craft and divination. (For David's hatred of such persons as are here glanced at, see Psalm 26:5.) But I trust in the Lord. Who is the direct opposite of all "lying vanities," being at once Almighty, and the "God of truth" (ver. 5).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I have hated them that regard lying vanities,.... Soothsaying and divination, as Aben Ezra and others think; made use of by kings, and generals of armies, to know when it was proper to go out to war, and what success they should have; see Ezekiel 21:21; but such men and their practices David abhorred; he took no such methods when in distress, but applied to the Lord, and trusted in him; or rather idol gods, as Jarchi, and others, who are vanity, and the work of errors, and are nothing in the world; see Jonah 2:8; all will worship and superstition may be included in this phrase, which being not according to the will and word of God, is worshipping in vain, and carries off from true spiritual worship; and so is a lying vanity, and to be detested, and the abettors of it: as also all errors and heresies; these are great swelling words of vanity, and are lies in hypocrisy; and likewise all immorality and wickedness, which spring from the vanity of the mind, and promise much liberty and pleasure, but deceive, and therefore lying; yea, all worldly enjoyments are vanity and vexation of spirit, and are fallacious and deceitful when trusted in; and indeed every false trust and confidence may come under this name; such as trust in riches, in wisdom and knowledge, in carnal descent, and privileges, in a moral and legal righteousness, and even in a bare profession of true religion, and a subjection to Gospel ordinances; for there is no true object of trust, no Redeemer and Saviour, but the Lord: now such as regard those lying vanities are they that look to them, love them, embrace them, and put their confidence in them; and such are to be "hated"; not their persons, but their principles and practices, and they themselves are to be shunned and abstained from;
but I trust in the Lord; the God of truth, that cannot lie, deny himself, nor deceive; who is unchangeable, and without any variableness, or shadow of turning.
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