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  • Writer's pictureBro. Caleb Taft

Morning Manna | Psalms 31:3 | For thy Name's sake

Psa 31:3  For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me.

Many of David's Psalms were either written during his days on the run or while he recalled those days at least. This is similar to Paul's prison epistles, the Book of Job, and other books that God has used to comfort millions of people down through the ages. Like a grape must be crushed to give its juice like flowers must be crushed to give their scent so have many of God's people been crushed under the weight of trials, afflictions, and hard conditions for the good of God's people and the Glory of God. In this Psalm, we have one of those crushing moments in the Life of David. 

Crushing a thing will bring out its essence, if there is fear, it comes out, if there is doubt it comes out, likewise if there is joy, peace, and assurance it will come out. In many of the Psalms, we find a mingling of fear and faith, hurt and comfort, weakness and strength. That is in the crushing of life's circumstances David's fear is poured out to the Lord and while pouring out his fears to the Lord God gives faith. Just before this verse, this was David's cry "Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me." He cries for God to deliver him and be his rock and fortress, it seems that immediately in verse three God answers his prayer because now he says "Thou art my rock and my fortress." God allows us to be crushed, pressed out of measure, many times that we may empty our heart of its fears and doubts, that we may "look unto the hills from whence cometh our help," and in doing so our weakness is met with his strength, our doubts are met with his assurances. It is no wonder Paul said he would glory in his oft infirmities because it allowed him to operate in the power of God, so it was with David and so it is with us. If you are living in verse 2 "Be thou a rock," take heart, verse 3 is coming when you can exclaim "Thou art my rock."

It is amazing the clarity of thought and sight that we have in these crushing moments, David makes a prayer request that is loaded with the wisdom of God. "Therefore for thy name's sake lead me and guide me." That is to say, "Because of who you are and for your glory, lead me and guide me." Lord, I have hidden myself in you, all my confidence and boasting is in you, Lord your name is on the line, and for these reasons lead me and guide me. David is not praying for his success and his glory, he is praying for the Lord's success and Glory. That might be the benefit and whole purpose of crushing moments, for us to set our eyes on God instead of ourselves. To start seeking his glory instead of our own. Lord may every step be for your name, may my safety and success be for thy name's sake, and may all our life be "For thy name's sake."  

Lastly, his request is for the Lord to "Lead me, and guide me." These are 2 similar yet different words. This isn't the first time this terminology has been used, I believe the psalmist may be pulling this request from the Song of Moses in Exodus 15:13 "Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation." I suspect that David was familiar with what God had done in times past for his people. He may be recalling here a time in the past when God's people were in dire straits as he was at this moment, when they had Egypt behind them, a Mountain beside them, and a Sea before them, Yet God led them, showed them the way, he made a way where there was no way. He guided them, this word gives the notion of leading but with the idea of bringing them to an expected end, the word guide looks more to the end of the journey than the path there. I believe David has been reminded of who God is, and what he did in the past for people in similar situations and asked the Lord to lead him and guide him as he led and guided his people before. So it is with us today, We read verses like our one today, we are reminded of God's faithfulness to Israel, to David, to Paul, and many others in days gone by and we are spurred to hope and pray for God's goodness to us as it was to them.

If today, this week, maybe even this year you're being crushed, may this verse be an encouragement to you "For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me.

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