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How Long?

Psalm 13 is a song by David with an unfamiliar background but perhaps familiar feelings. Some have suggested that the psalm has its background with the conflict between him and King Saul. Such seems likely; maybe this was one of David’s weary writings as he awaited his coronation as king of Israel.

When reading through the psalm, particularly the early sections, you can see David’s depressed, discouraged, and dispirited heart. The feelings can be relative to how we think of our own lives. So many things can bring us to the bottom - sickness, finance, family, and other relationships. We, too, might feel as David did, but we shouldn’t just stop empathy there - we should also empathize with how this psalm ends.

In verses 1-2, the psalm begins with sorrow. David conveys his feelings of abandonment and abasement. He feels as though God has forgotten him, asking, “How long will you hide your face from me?” He felt as though God was out of reach. That isn’t a feeling that he is satisfied with; instead, it is one he associates with great depths of misfortune and pain. Thus David makes supplication, requests, to the Lord.

In verses 3-4, we see David’s supplication. He laid out his emotions in the first two verses; now, he brings thoughtful prayer to the Lord. He wants the Lord to consider His servant. He wants the Lord to come to the aid of His servant and hush his worries. He wants the Lord to come and end the mockery of the enemy. He wants consolation, which he finds in the past.

In verses 5-6, we see David’s song. God is his salvation. God is enough. God will do enough. Because of the past, David can be sure in the present and of good spirit in the future.

“I will sing to the LORD, because He has dealt bountifully with me.” What a reminder for you and I? Sorrows can come, but they pass quickly when we consider God and who He is.
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