When we think of the Psalms our thoughts often go to Psalm 23 and other Psalms that comfort us. We may think of Psalm 100 and other psalms that we use in our “calls to worship” that remind us to worship the good God who is with us. We may think of Psalm 119 which is the longest Psalm in scripture and the midpoint of the Bible.
We tend to look over other Psalms that David and other authors wrote. These Psalms are filled with pain and turmoil. They are laced with questions and doubts. They are Psalms cried out in the valley when the mountaintop is not in sight. They are raw Psalms of heartbreak, pain and conflict that address a God who doesn’t seem present.
Psalm 13 is one of those Psalms.
“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?” – Psalm 13:1-2
David begins this Psalm by questioning God’s presence. He feels forgotten. He feels like God has walked away from him. He feels like alone and that he is the only one he can trust and consult. He feels that his enemies are winning, and he feels defeated and crushed.
“Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.” – Psalm 13:3-4
He wants God to answer his pleas. He wants to feel the presence of God and the life that only God can provide. He feels on the verge of death, and he doesn’t want his enemies to triumph over him. He wants God to recognize his troubles and to at least feel that God is with him. He is alone and despairing.
Have you felt like this? Have you felt that God had forgotten you? Have you felt that you are on the verge of death (physical or spiritual) and that God is not responding? Have you felt overwhelmed by your “enemies” or even the trials of life that seem to surround us and overcome us? Have you ever cried out to God and felt “sorrow in your heart all the day”?
“But I have trusted in your steadfast love my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord because he has dealt bountifully with me.” – Psalm 13:5-6
When we feel this way, and we all will at some point, we need to remember what David remembered. We have trusted in God, and he has always been faithful. As you look back upon your life, remember the other times when life was overwhelming, and God seemed distant. Remember his faithfulness and how he responded with His love and care. As you remember these moments, rejoice and praise God for his faithfulness. He is good and He has “dealt bountifully” with us.
God is faithful even in the midst of our trials. I’m thankful for psalms like Psalm 13 that realistically depict doubts and questioning but also remind us of God’s faithfulness. I hope this Psalm will also be a blessing to you.