English Basic Explanation - Chapter 31
This chapter, which David composed during his flight from King Shaul (Rashi, Radak), beautifully describes David's sense of having no one on whom to rely other than the Almighty. He recognizes that only God can serve as his "fortress" (verses 3-4) and can save him from the trap set for him by his adversaries (verse 5). And at the moment when it appeared that he was condemned, just then God heeded his prayer and came to his rescue (verse 23).
David expresses here as well the sheer dejection with which he has been treated by those around him, who view him as if he were already dead, and as a worthless, broken utensil (verse 12). Nobody shows him any concern or regard – let alone respect – and he therefore can rely on only God for protection and assistance. The source of David's hope is his belief in the reward that awaits those who fear God, a reward that might currently appear "hidden" but will ultimately be revealed (verse 20).
In expressing his feelings during this time of crisis, David avows his rejection to those who place their trust in "Havlei Shav," in alleged magical or idolatrous powers (verse 7). In situations of danger and uncertainty, there is a natural tendency to pin one's hopes on magic and superstition that claim to provide a quick-fix solution to every problem. David, however, proclaims, "Va'ani El Hashem Batachti" – "but I – I trust in God." As opposed to those who resort to foreign beliefs in the hope of finding safety, David reinforces his belief in God and finds refuge and solace in that belief. In this chapter's final two verses, David turns to us, his readers, and advises that we follow his example of trusting in the Almighty, rather than in any individual or alleged supernatural force.
This Psalm this speaks to the individual who finds himself alone and hapless, with no one to whom to turn and no reasonable source of hope from which to draw encouragement. David urges such an individual to recommit himself to God and to trust in His protection. Nobody is ever truly "alone"; he is always accompanied by the Almighty who is both able and willing to rescue him from even the direst of crises.