Psalms of Honesty and Truth
How many times have we asked the question out loud of God…”How looooong, O Lord?” We sound like very impatient children who want it there way right now, no matter what, even if what they want is not good for them. “How long until we get there?” “When will this be over?” “When will the pain stop?” “How long until You intervene?” David is honest with his crying out to God. However, he knows not to rely on his momentary feelings to judge God’s actions. It is at these pivotal moments that our faith is built. I think about all this in the midst of the dust, things not in their places, and the mess of the remodel of our home. Our lives are in constant remodel, aren’t they? Mm.
Probably being chased by Saul and his crew, all they while knowing that God told him he would be replacing Saul as king, David, in his humanity, feels ignored. “Long enough, Yahweh!” When is Your will and plan going to be done? Feeling like he was left to himself, David tried to devise various ways to overcome the enemy (“wrestle with my thoughts,” v. 2 niv), but nothing seemed to satisfy him. But faith is living without scheming; it means not leaning on our own experiences and skills and trying to plot our own schedule (Prov. 3:5-6). There were storm clouds in the sky, hiding the sun, but the sun was still shining. It’s a dangerous thing to give in to our feelings, because feelings are deceptive and undependable (Jer. 17:9).
DON’T DENY FEELINGS…BUT DON’T RELY ON FEELINGS!
We must not deny our feelings and pretend that everything is going well, and there is no sin in asking, “How long?” But at the same time, we must realize how deceptive our feelings are and that God is greater than our hearts (1 John 3:20) and can lift us above the emotional storms of life. David eventually learned to replace the question “How long, O Lord?” with the affirmation “My times are in thy hand” (31:15). This is a lesson that all believers must learn.
Psalm 13, The Message
1-2 Long enough, God—
you’ve ignored me long enough.
I’ve looked at the back of your head
long enough. Long enough
I’ve carried this ton of trouble,
lived with a stomach full of pain.
Long enough my arrogant enemies
have looked down their noses at me.
3-4 Take a good look at me, God, my God;
I want to look life in the eye,
So no enemy can get the best of me
or laugh when I fall on my face.
5-6 I’ve thrown myself headlong into your arms—
I’m celebrating your rescue.
I’m singing at the top of my lungs,
I’m so full of answered prayers.
What do we learn?
–Confess and cry out our inward struggles to God, He can take it.
–Name our foes and pray for them.
–Relying on God leads to our rejoicing.
–Praising God for the rescue before it is accomplished builds our faith!
–Look up from the circumstances and look full into the face of God our Deliverer. His timing is always the best for us!
–David’s circumstances haven’t changed, but the Lord has changed him, and that occurred when David stopped looking at his feelings and his foes and by faith started looking to the Lord.
–By the grace of God, David turned his sufferings into songs and left those songs behind to encourage us in our trials.
–In this brief psalm, David deals with his feelings, his foes, and his faith.
Dear Heavenly Father,
You do not ignore our feelings but you do not want us to linger in them. We rejoice for this “how long” Psalm that teaches us to fully rely on You…and not our feelings. Thank you, Lord for your rescues. In Jesus Name, Amen