To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and hear me, O Lord my God; enlighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed against him”; lest those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved. But I have trusted in Your mercy; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me. (Psalm 13)
Delay, Grace And Mercy
You feel like nobody listens. Complaints arise and you seem alone with no answer. It comes to mind that even God is not listening as you plead your case with Him. Was David lamenting his struggle with sin and seeking the forgiveness of his God? Could something have happened in his life that left him in a dark cloud of despair? He pleads in earnest tones of reunion with his Lord. It seems to him that God has forgotten him, hidden His face from him and allowed sorrow and persecution to overcome him. These are dark days for David. When we are covered in a mantle of anguish it can be more than we can bear. Four times in the beginning the psalmist begs, “How long?”
Grace knows that when the day looks dark the Lord is still there shining above the clouds. As David feels alone He knows that God is full of grace and willing to hear. The great joy of serving the Almighty is the knowledge that He will never leave us or forsake us. When we need clarity He enlightens us with His word and His presence. His mercy protects us from our enemies giving us strength to overcome the slights and persecutions of those who seek our harm. The greatness of Jehovah is found in His deep love for His people as He bestows upon their hearts the balm of grace.
What began as a psalm of desperate need concludes with a joyful praise of trust. David knows the will of God is in His own time and He knows the grace of God is always open to him. As he writes this psalm the shepherd king already enjoys the blessings of the Lord’s abundant mercy in soothing his troubled soul giving him confidence that victory is in sight. This is not a psalm of defeat but of victory. There is a song in his heart because he waited on the Lord trusting in His divine mercy. The conclusion is how bountiful God shows Himself in the life of David.
We can feel forsaken at times. Life is filled with troubled days. This psalm assures us of those days when all seems lost but victory is always on the horizon. Living in the grace of God gives us the hope that we are never forgotten – never forgotten. Embracing the knowledge of the eternal care of the Creator for is sufficient to allow my life to be filled with praise. There is no defeat in my life. I have the victory in Jesus Christ. Realizing this hope I can trust that God will bring all things to work for good in my life. He cares for me and wants the best for me. That blessing is found in Christ. I serve a magnificent Savior. How long, O Lord? I wait for You.
Even in the dark hour after he has become guilty against his brother, man is not abandoned to the forces of chaos. God Himself seeks him out, and even when He comes to call him to account, His coming is salvation. (Martin Buber, At the Turning, 1952)