Daily in the Psalms : Psalm 13
THE SEEMINGLY FORGOTTEN SOUL
How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved. But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me. Psalms 13:1-6
Here we find the Psalmist in the midst of a long struggle and he is weary of the persecution and the unrelenting enemies of himself and his God. His trials and persecutions cause him to feel as though he has been forsaken by everyone, including God. He pours out the agony of his soul in prayer. In his struggle with the outside forces, he also struggles with his own despair. That causes him to cry out to God, ďHow long?Ē But, immediately more calm and secure words began to come from his lips. In prayer he makes a rapid transition from the depths of misery to great hope and joy.
The journey of the human life is subject to many sufferings and many times that suffering can cause us to believe that God has hidden His face from us. But those that know God and study His Word know that God NEVER hides His face from the redeemed. Those that subscribe to the doctrine of God forsaking His people are doing harm to themselves, to others, and to the very character of God. Godís love never fails and there is never a time when His loving eyes are not upon us. But the people of God are still subject to human feelings and emotions. There are times when we feel that our very soul is hidden from His sight. Knowing the cruelness of our enemy, when we believe we are forsaken by God, we realize our own weakness and many times are driven into despair. That is a place we do not want to dwell in very long. The love of God that is in the heart of every believer causes us to cry out to God, asking Him how long will we have this desperate feeling. Every Christian loves and longs for the time when he is secure because Godís loving face is unveiled to us. We know that Godís hand is always in control, but we have a human desire to see it. When we canít, darkness and bitterness will overcome us. Thank God that in the midnight hour, His face will return to shine upon us, penetrate through the gloom and restore our hope, peace, and joy.
Why does God seem to desert His people? Why does He veil His hand and His face? I believe it is to remind us of our complete dependence upon Him. The goal of earthly parents is to make the child independent, but the goal and desire of our Heavenly Father is to teach us that we are nothing without Him, that we can do nothing apart from Him, and that our total sufficiency is in Him.
GOD IS THE SOURCE OF OUR HAPPINESS
That is why when we feel Godís has hidden His face from us we feel a deep sense of sorrow. The fountain of our joy is stopped. It will make no difference what earthly possessions we may have, the flower of our life fades without the sunshine of His face. Like a drooping flower in the darkness, the soul of the Christian mourns when he believes Godís face is hidden.
GOD IS THE SOURCE OF OUR WISDOM
The Psalmist cried, ďHow long do I have to depend on my own soul for counsel?í Every manmade plan will fall short if it is devised apart from the wisdom of God. It does not take long for us to see the futile failures of our own wisdom when we are in spiritual battles. The enemy will defeat and humiliate us and we will feel helpless and hopeless. Without the light of His wisdom, we are left in the darkness not knowing what to do.
GOD IS THE SOURCE OF OUR STRENGTH
When we believe that God has hidden His face, we have no hope of defeating our enemies. Thus the Psalmist said, ďhow long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?Ē Without the secure presence of God, we feel weak and altogether at the mercy of our enemies.
GOD IS THE SOURCE OF OUR LIFE
Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; Psalms 13:3
Without God we feel that we will die:
For in him we live, and move, and have our beingÖ Acts 17:28
The greatest lessons in life usually come in the dark hours. God sometimes has to veil His face so me may understand that our very life is in Him. What a great lesson we learn when in the darkness of our trials we hold to a hand that we cannot see. Four times the Psalmist cries, ďHow long?Ē The answer might be, ďuntil we learn the lessons God would have us learn.Ē Many times we believe we know all the great truths of God, but God sometimes has to withhold the light of His face to remind us that there is still much we need to know. The length of this perceived absence may be more difficult to bear than the trials we face, but once we enter into Godís revealing light, we see the treasures of that dark journey
The Christian, even in times of despair, has a duty to God. What is that duty?
WE ARE TO WAIT IN FAITH
The words ďO Lord my GodĒ tell us where the Psalmistís faith was. He was in trouble, but he has not lost his faith on God. No matter how dark the hour may be, we can still call on our God.
WE ARE TO WAIT IN PRAYER
What a shame that some fail in their most pressing hour. The more we are oppressed, the more we need to pray. Any feeling of being abandoned by God should drive us to seek His grace. When it comes to our communication with God, we must NEVER be dumb, even when we may believe He is deaf.
WE ARE TO WAIT IN HOPE
Our testimony should be, ďWe canít help but hope.Ē Our relationship started with hope in Him and so it should be all the days of our journey. Even in the dark, hope in Godís mercy and tune you harp, ready to sing the song of victory. When God seems to have forsaken you, He is still ready to strengthen you. When you walk in darkness, do not be influenced by it. When you feel you are alone, look for the supporting grace of God. And when your trial is over, you will see more clearly, love more deeply, shine more brightly, and be more fruitful.
In lifeís battle you may feel alone
Most want things to always be the same, but life is filled with changes and new experiences.
We go from fugitive to conqueror
The Changes Of The Outer Life
David went through some changes Ė From a shepherd to a fugitive to a king. Very few people go through changes that drastic. But every life has ups and downs. We go from health to sickness, from plenty to poverty, from popularity to neglect, from activity to solitude, and from success to disappointment.
The Changes Of The Inner Life
Here we see the Psalmist going from despair to rejoicing, from doubt to assurance, and from weeping to praise. We might go through those changes many times in our life. The mood of our soul is always subject to change. Our outlook goes from bright to dark, our emotions go from high to low, and our disposition goes from sweet to bitter. Many times the changes in our minds and hearts and thoughts are extreme. Without warning, we can go from singing at Heavenís gate to weeping at ruinís brink. All in the same hour, we may experience hope, fear, joy, and sorrow. We must expect a strange blending of emotions, fire, ice, day, night, summer, winter, drought, and harvest.
The Reason For These Changes
God allows these changes to come to purify and perfect us. Every change removes some sin or impurity that God disapproved of. In the end He has designed a plan to make us come forth as pure gold. We need the strong contrasts of life to help us grow. Every time God touches our life, He changes it. There are many changes that take place before the fruit of the tree become ripe. Likewise, there are many changes that must take place in us to make us ripen into the Christian that is in His likeness.
THE LOVE FOR GOD AND THE CAUSE OF GOD THAT AFFECTS THE SOUL
Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved. Psalms 13:3-4
David expresses the desire of his heart to see Godís honor revealed to the world through the deliverance of Godís people from trouble. The failure of the righteous will dishonor God. He said that if he were moved from his steadfastness or firm footing, he would be overcome by his enemies. That would cause his enemies to rejoice. But if he prevailed, their pride would be vanquished and all would know that his help came from the Lord. Our fear of failure must not be totally selfish; it must be motivated by the honor and glory of God.
Godís Honor Causes The Child Of God To Walk Circumspectly
If we fail, Godís cause will be discredited and His Name profaned. How sad it is to see the Devilís crowd use the failures of Godís people and the Church to justify their own sin. We must be powerfully motivated to restrain ourselves from transgression because holiness will always bring honor and glory to God. The fall of the Christian will disgrace the Gospel of Jesus and open the mouths of His enemies. If anything could bring joy to the pit of Hell, it would be the fall of the Christian and the profaning of God. There is more to the failure of the Christian that may meet the eye. If there is anything that could bring tears to the angels in Heaven it would be the scoffing of the infidel and the accusation of the Church as a result of sin in the life of the Christian. It grieves the Spirit of God and it crucifies Christ afresh and it puts our faith to open shame. May the Lord open our eyes to sin and help us never be part of Satanís work of ruin.
Godís Honor Gives The Child Of God Strong Confidence
The faithful can have strong confidence in God. God will not dishonor Himself by abandoning the faithful.
God does not want His foes to boast
I donít want the blame to fall on Him
Godís Honor Gives A Warning To Godís Enemies
The shot that Satanís crowd takes at the Child of God may miss its target and hit the very heart of Christ. God will not take that lightly. To bring reproach to Christ is something only the sinner should have to answer for. The judgment for them will be severe!
So Glad To Be So Saved
Danny "Preacher" Bezet