INTO YOUR HAND I COMMIT MY SPIRIT
By Wayne S. Walker
"Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O LORD God of truth" (Psalm 31:5). David was King of God’s chosen nation of Israel. He is described in scripture as a man after God’s own heart. Yet, he experienced many trials and tribulations during his life. In fact, the heading of Psalm 31 in the New King James Version is "The Lord a Fortress in Adversity." This goes to show that serving the Lord faithfully and maybe even being favored in His eyes does not necessarily exempt one from problems and difficulties in life. Yet, in all his sufferings, David determined to commit himself and his spirit into the Lord’s hand. He began this Psalm by saying, "In You, O LORD, I put my trust" (verse 1). Why did David feel that He could always trust the Lord? In verse 3 he said, "For You are my rock and my fortress." Like a strong fortress built on a rock, the Lord had proven Himself time and time again to be a tower of strength when His people needed Him most.
You may recognize the Psalm text as containing one of the seven sayings of Christ on the cross. "And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, ‘Father, "into Your hands I commit My spirit."’ Having said this, He breathed His last" (Luke 23:46). This is not necessarily a specific prophecy about the Messiah that was fulfilled. However, it does fall into the general category of types and antitypes. There are many parallels in the lives of David and of his greatest of descendants, the Messiah, making David’s life a foreshadowing of Christ’s life. When Jesus was in a situation of adversity somewhat similar to that of His illustrious ancestor, it is natural that He would reach back to one of David’s Psalms and choose words that expressed the same kind of trust in God as a fortress.
While we are neither King David nor Jesus Christ, Christians today have their share of trials, adversities, problems, and sufferings in life. Therefore, we need to have the same kind of bedrock founded trust that they did in God to guide, protect, and deliver us. The apostle Paul did. "For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day" (2 Timothy 1:12). What Paul had committed to Him, among all other things, was His very soul or spirit. Can we do any less?