Summary: Psalm 31 - Safe In Your Hands! (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:


(1). A Psalm of Requests

(2). A Psalm of Images

(3). A Psalm of Victory



• What has Charlemagne (also known as Charles the Great - 814);

• Thomas a Becket (was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until his murder in 1170),

• John Hus (is considered the first Church reformer, as he lived before Luther, Calvin, 1369 – 1415),

• Jerome of Prague (important Church reformer who was burned for heresy in 1418)

• Martin Luther (in 16th century was the key figure in what is known as the Protestant Reformation).

• Philipp Melanchthon (1497 0 1560 the German reformer, collaborator with Martin Luther)

• Christopher Columbus (1450-1506 the Italian explorer, navigator, and colonizer).

• Thomas Cromwell (English lawyer and statesman, chief minister to King Henry VIII)

• Lady Jane Grey (1536 – 1554 also known as The Nine Days' Queen).

• Mary queen of Scots (1542 – 1587), also known as Mary Stuart or Mary I of Scotland)

• George Herbert (1593 – 1633) Welsh-born English poet, orator and Anglican priest)

• John Knox (1514 – 1572) Scottish clergyman and a leader of the Protestant Reformation who is considered the founder of the Presbyterian denomination in Scotland)

Question: What have these 12 men and women all got in common?

• If you are struggling to find a link;

• Then add in Stephen the first Christian martyr (Acts chapter 7 verse 59) into the mix;

• Still struggling, then add Jesus Christ to the list (Luke chapter 23 verse 46)


• Now I did not expect you to know the answer – so let me tell you what it is:

• The connection, that binds these people together Psalm 31.

• Is that all of these people quoted Psalm 31 verse 5 as they were dying!

• “Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, Lord, my faithful God”


• In June, 1415, the reformer John Huss;

• Was brought in chains into the great senate of Christendom.

• He was accused of heresy against the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church,

• The charges against him were read;

• John Hus declared himself willing to recant;

• If his ‘errors’ should be proven to him from the Bible.

• His voice was drowned in a tumult of contempt and derision.

• He was found guilty and he was sentenced to be burnt at the stake as a heretic!

• Before his death the bishop pronounced upon him these horrible words;

• "And now we commit thy soul to the devil".

• John Hus in great calmness replied;

• "I commit my spirit into thy hands Lord Jesus Christ,

• Unto thee I commend my spirit whom thou hast redeemed"


• Another well-known and important saying in contained in this psalm.

• The first part of verse 15: “My times are in your hands”

• This reference of ‘times’ is not to clock time;

• But rather to those special moments in life when something memorable happens;

• i.e. marriage birth of a baby, i.e. experiencing the hardships or the blessings of life,

• i.e. Or even as some in that opening list of people who quoted verse 5;

• Even when being martyred, when death comes –it does not take God by surprise!

• We need to remember that these all come and are permitted by God;

• Quote: G.A. Knight puts it this way; “They are moments of eternity breaking into time”


• Dan Crawford was a Scottish missionary from Brethren Assemblies

• He was born in 1870 on the island of Arron.

• Dan Crawford is also known as 'Konga Vantu',

• This is the name the African people gave him,

• It literally means "the gatherer of the people."

• This name was given because he gathered together thousands of people to Jesus Christ.

• In 1889 when he was only 19 years old;

• He ventured into Central Africa and spent thirty-seven years as a missionary.

• He translated the Bible into the Luba language - a most difficult Bantu tongue;

• That has nouns with 12 genders and verbs with 32 tenses.

• He often stated that; "The happiest times of my life;

• Have been the evening hours of Gospel chats across a camp fire."

• I like his missionary motto for living:

• "Hats off to the past. Coats off to the future."

In 1926 he completed the final revision of the entire Bible into the Luba language:

• It was in the printer's hands – when disaster struck:

• One night when he was restlessly sleeping,

• He turned over in his bed & he knocked the back of his hand against the shelf near his bed.

• He cut his hand and being half-asleep did not treat it with iodine until the next day;

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