A recurring theme in the psalms is that of the saint looking to God for all his needs and security, mostly from external forces but also from within. Deliverance and safety come up often, and are repeated not just by the psalmists, but also by Christians today. Yet how often do we find ourselves uttering the words, “Into Thy hands I commit my spirit.” It is a phrase that may seem antiquated and out of date, but yet one that also speaks volumes about our dependence on God.
Probably the most common thought that comes to mind when we use those words is that of Jesus in Luke 23:46, when He was crucified on the Cross of Calvary. We also read similar words come from Stephen’s mouth at his martyrdom in Acts 7:59: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” We can logically assume that others, throughout the course of time, also uttered words of like nature in times of similar duress. However, even though situations may have been at least physically different, David made the same call in Psalms 31:5, when he said, “Into Your hand I commit my spirit.” Looking at the words surrounding this passage, we can tell several other things about David’s mindset going into that phrase.
First, there is a cause for David putting his trust in God, saying in the second half of v. 5, “You have ransomed Me, O Lord…” It is because of God saving us, as if we were prisoners being held hostage, that we can look to Him for protection. Forces greater than our control require saving greater than our control as well, and that is what God has done for us. It is because David has seen God’s protection in other areas, like when he was with Saul in the cave (1 Samuel 24), that allows him to continue to look for deliverance in God’s arms.
In the hands of the potter, a lump of clay is made into a beautiful, ornate pot that will glorify the house that it is in. It undergoes a massive transformation, one in which it would not have been able to do on its own. Without God, our Potter, our lives would be a similar lump of clay, not good for anything, without potential, and very ugly. Colossians 1:13 says, “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the Kingdom of His beloved Son.” God has lifted us with His hands out of the world of darkness, and, through the waters of baptism, allows us to become something of value. Whose else’s hands would you rather be in, than the One who created beauty itself?
David never ceases to implore God for His continued protection and assistance, noting a specific reliance on God and God alone. David recognizes that the only true force in his life that was of any value was not his own, but God’s. Do we have this same attitude in regards to our own life? Or do we feel that our own strength is good enough? What happens then when circumstances outside our control bear down on us; to who then will we turn?
God’s hands are not only for the safety and security of our lives, but for the shaping of it as well. It is through God’s hands that we become the person he wants us to be, allowing Him to mold and shape us the best way that we can be. Our plea should always be to God, especially in duress but all the time, of, “Lord, into Thy hands I commit my spirit.”Last modified: January 22, 2019