In this short Psalm of David, we see the questions of one who is living in dark and uncertain times. David, we know, had a mighty walk with God for Scripture describes him as a man after God’s very own heart (Acts 13:22) We are also reminded that David was a real human being like us. The Scripture tells us that Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are (James 5:17). I believe the same could be said of David.
Here in this Psalm, it is very clear that he is in some place of great trial and uncertainty. We know from a study of his life that he had to flee from King Saul. He would trek through the wilderness with a group of men who were experienced warriors. He would sleep in caves, face thirst and hunger. Later in his life, his own son Absalom would usurp the throne causing David to flee once again. He would deal with men like Doeg the Edomite, cursed by Shemei, and be betrayed by close advisers like Ahithophel. David had all the reason to give up and throw in the towel!
In Psalm 13, David asks the Lord four questions. They all begin with “how long?”
- How Long wilt thou forget me? David felt God had forgotten him as he faced these trials.
- How Long wilt thou hide thy face from me? David must have felt that his relationship with God had ended, or was going to end. There didn’t seem to be any fellowship or nearness.
- How Long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? It is all David could think of. It consumed his mind and heart. His sorrow was constant and overwhelming.
- How Long shall my enemy be exalted over me? This is the reason David is in such a place like this because he has an enemy after him. This enemy could be referring to Saul or Absalom.
In verse 3 he says “consider and hear me.” Although David had these questions, doubts, and sorrows, he still knew He could cry out to God for help. Here he asks God for some things.
Consider and hear me! The Hebrew word “nabat” means to “look or regard.” Look at me! Lord, don’t forget about me Lord. Please hear my cry Lord.
Lighten mine eyes, that is, Lord enlighten me, give me wisdom and understanding through these things lest I sleep the sleep of death. Death was a near reality for David.
David knew if he were to die it would give the enemy the occasion to joy over his death. David knew that would bring a reproach to the name of God as well so he passionately begs God to consider and hear his prayer.
David concludes his Psalm much differently than he began it. It begins with questions, doubts, sorrows, pain, and ends with great faith, trust, and triumph!! This is not the first time David has found God faithful. David, despite the cries of his heart, knows God is a God who can be depended upon and trusted.
With all that he has said he declares, “But I have trusted, shall rejoice, will sing” despite his plight and sorrow, David leans on the only one He can truly lean on. He says I am going to trust you in this storm, rejoice because I know your going to deliver, and sing because of How good you have been and are yet to be toward me.
Today, there are Ukrainian Christians who are very likely reading this very Psalm. They are asking these same questions, facing these same threats and trials, and from reports, we are seeing, are praying, singing, trusting, and continuing to worship the Lord Jesus Christ!!
We serve a God that can be trusted. We don’t have to have all of the answers. By faith, we lean on and grasp a hold of that unseen hand. In the meantime, trust, rejoice, and sing. God has not forgotten about you! In due time He will lift you up! (I Peter 5:6)