Our TIMES are in the HAND of GOD: "But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, 'You are my God.' My times are in Your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me." (Psalms 31:14-15)
For almost ten years David was a fugitive in the wilderness being chased around like a dog by King Saul. During this extended period of persecution and isolation, there were multiple instances that David had close encounters with death. This psalm from David expresses frustration (v. 9) as he sees traps laid out for him (v. 4), his own sins (v. 10), abandonment by friends (vv. 11-12), and plots schemed against him (v. 13). David thus expresses his despair in no uncertain terms (vv. 9–13) as he prays earnestly that God would preserve him in his troubles.
In the midst of his troubles however, David turned his eyes toward God for help as he knew that all the varied events of his life were in the hand of the Lord God of heaven and he need not fear. What a great statement of faith coming from the depths of depression! David thus reaffirmed his earlier expression of complete dependence on God (v. 5) even as he petitioned God, who was in complete control of his life, for deliverance. Thus, David’s faith was in God alone (vv. 14-15) as he knew that God’s goodness would carry him through (v. 19). Because of his faith, David was not ashamed (v. 1) but rejoiced in God (vv. 6–7) and even enjoyed the smile of God upon his life (vv. 14–16; Num. 6:22–27).
David’s eye of faith saw that both troublesome times and times of triumph were in God’s hand, which is exactly the sentiment expressed by William F. Lloyd in these words: “Our times are in Thy hand; Father, we wish them there! Our life, our souls, our all, we leave entirely to Thy care.” We now know the complete story of David’s life: God did not permit King Saul to kill him, but David eventually "died in a good old age, full of days and riches and honor" (1 Chron. 29:28).
When we apply David’s faith into our lives, we too can be certain that God alone knows and decides how long we should live on this earth. Under the new covenant, our calling is to complete the work that God has assigned us to do on this earth. Jesus Christ took only thirty-three and half years to finish His earthly ministry, and this is what He declared to God the Father before He died: "I have finished the work which You have given Me to do" (John 17:4).
We glorify God not by living a long life, but by completing the task assigned to us. It is the quality of our lives, as we fulfill the will of God that is important, and not the length of our lives. God has planned the exact number of days that we will live on this earth even before we were born (Psalms 139:16), and if we are obedient, God has promised to ensure that we will live out the full number of days as per His declaration: "I will fulfill the number of your days" (Exo. 23:26). While we live on this earth, let us create a legacy of faith in God’s Word through our lives, words and actions, as we display our sincere love to others around us. When God calls us eventually to His heavenly above, we can also declare “it is finished” as we commend our souls into the hand of our heavenly Father. Let us never forget this…our times are in the hand of God!