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Bible Commentaries

Parker's The People's Bible

Psalms 31

Verse 5

"Handfuls of Purpose"

For All Gleaners

"Into thine hand I commit my spirit." Psa 31:5

These are amongst the most memorable and graphic words in the highest human experience. Stephen used a similar expression. Our Lord himself used them in his dying moments. What a light this throws upon the action of the last enemy! Did the men who used these words really die? then their last speech actually contradicted itself. Here, is nothing said of extinction or annihilation. The image which is represented by these terms is that of a man depositing his true life in the hands of God as a trust. Think of the beauty of this image, and be comforted. The body dies; the house is torn down, but the tenant escapes; the throat will no longer be used as an instrument, but the singer and his song have gone on where their opportunity is larger. All history testifies that there have been men who have risen to this height of faith. Polycarp, Bernard, Huss, Henry V., Jerome of Prague, Luther, Melanchthon, and innumerable others have passed from earth into the unseen state with these very words upon their lips. We must take these farewell words as more than sentiment. They express a confidence, they constitute an argument; they come back upon us as a sublime assurance. Who knows what death is to those who have encountered it? Who can say what visions are revealed to their eyes? It should be regarded as one of the chief treasures of the Church that the men who have passed away from earth, even by a violent death, have been enabled at the last to deposit in the hands of God their spirit as a sacred trust. Instead, however, of leaving this exclamation to be the final utterance of life, why should we not make it the prayer of every day? Why not every morning say, "Lord, into thine hand I commit my spirit"? The meaning would then be that we have no way of our own, no merely selfish will, no desires that would escape the chastisement and the refinement of heaven. It would be but another way of putting ourselves absolutely at the disposal of God, saying, Lord, what wilt thou have me do? I commit myself wholly to thy care. Commit thy way unto the Lord, and he will surely bring it to pass. Blessed are they who do not take care of themselves in any sense that excludes the supremacy of the divine oversight.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Parker, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 31". Parker's The People's Bible. 1885-95.