An explanation – My apology to those who might follow the daily meditations of this shepherd—pressures of ministry, sermon preparation and other matters often press in and rob me of the time to write and post from the Psalms. I trust you will, in my absence, take time to read a chapter of Psalms each day as part of your discipline in the Word of God.
Today’s brief devotional is Psalm 13.
Psalm 13:1-6 – “How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me? 2 How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? 3 Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; 4 Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved. 5 But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. 6 I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.”
David once again expresses the anguish of a troubled soul that feels forsaken in the midst of trials and troubles. I find encouragement in the fact that, though David was a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14), he nevertheless went through emotional valley’s when he confessed the loneliness we all feel in times of distress, trouble and disappointments (13:1-2).
Psalm 13:1-2 – “How long wilt thou forget [ignore; leave] me, O LORD [Jehovah; Eternal God]? for ever? how long wilt thou hide [conceal] thy face [countenance; presence] from me? 2 How long shall I take [consider; set; place] counsel [plan; purpose; determine] in my soul [mind; life; person; heart], having sorrow [grief; affliction; anguish] in my heart [mind; understanding] daily? how long shall mine enemy [foe; adversary] be exalted [lifted up; become proud] over me?”
David knew God had not forsaken him; nevertheless, he fought with thoughts and emotions that ran contrary to his faith (13:2). The sorrow of loneliness beset his heart and the dark cloud of depression haunted his waking hours and interrupted his sleep. Add to the trials the reality he had enemies who delighted in seeing him suffer.
Having given expression to his sorrows, David turned his thoughts from his disappointments and prayed (13:3-4).
Psalm 13:3-4 – “Consider [look; behold] and hear [respond] me, O LORD my God: lighten [illuminate; brighten; give light] mine eyes, lest I sleep [grow old or stale] the sleep of death [ruin]; 4 Lest mine enemy [foe; adversary] say [declare], I have prevailed [overcome; to have one’s way] against him; and those that trouble [distress; afflict] me rejoice [glad; delight] when I am moved [shaken; strength decay].”
David appeals to God to hear and answer his prayer. I believe he confesses he was nigh being overtaken with what we identify today as depression; he prays for darkness to be lifted [“lighten mine eyes”] and for the “sleep of death” to not overtake him.
If you have not been there, you will sooner or later! You will face times when you must discipline your thoughts and emotions and not indulge in a “victimology” that enslaves you physically, emotionally and spiritually. Medical doctors will give you a diagnosis, a prescription and counsel that, unless they are a believer, has no spiritual foundation that addresses the root loneliness of your soul.
I have gone through seasons of trials and disappointments when I felt there was “no light at the end of the tunnel” and fear and flight wanted to take hold of my heart. There have been times of betrayal when those who were the source of my grief gloated in my sorrows. Those are times we must take a page out of David’s “spiritual playbook”, look to God with eyes of faith and pray.
Finally, consider how David, rather than giving up, got up from his time of prayer and meditation with the LORD and stepped forward in faith.
Psalm 13:5-6 – “But I have trusted [confident; secure; hope; lean on; put trust] in thy mercy [loving-kindness; favor; grace]; my heart [mind; understanding] shall rejoice [glad; delight] in thy salvation [help; deliverance]. 6 I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully [reward with good] with me.”
Here is an important lesson: David’s trials and troubles were not over, nor had his emotions suddenly become elated by his time of prayer; however, his time in prayer and his reflections on the character of God were enough for him to face the day and his enemies. As I close, I invite you to reflect on David’s meditations regarding our God: 1) God is loving and kind; a God of grace and His favor will not fail us; 2) God is our salvation—He is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent —He will deliver us out of trouble in His time; 3) God is loving and His goodness will not fail us (Romans 8:28-29).
Now, let’s do what David did, get up and sing unto the LORD!