To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.
1 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 was fleeing from Saul when he wrote this Psalm! I noticed that David pleads with the Lord four times as to how long He would take to deliver him from Saul’s hands. He begs the Lord to hear him and to consider his request. Knowing the history behind the writing, I re-read this Psalm and it meant so much more to me. I can just imagine how David felt. The King that he loved and served had turned on him and was now chasing him down. I can almost feel his desperation. I can sense it in every word.
But then comes verses 5 and 6! In the midst of turmoil a beautiful ray of hope comes piercing through the darkest of cloud. David begins to sing to his God! This isn’t the only record of Christians singing and rejoicing while they were in trouble. Paul and Silas were imprisoned and in the middle of the night were found doing the same thing.
~Acts 16:25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
What a testimony these great heroes of the faith are to me! I can think of several trials I’ve been through at the beginning of my walk with Christ where I wasn’t such a good testimony at all. The last thing I wanted to do or ever thought of doing was to sing praises. I can remember crying to God countless times as David did and asking Him how long it would be before He delivered me from my trial. What’s wonderful about this Psalm is that it shows me how human David was. It also shows me how personal his relationship with God was. David was able to go to his Heavenly Father, like a child, and ask “how long? The end result is a beautiful depiction of faith. His faith kept him from succumbing to fear and depression – his faith kept him focused on Who was “keeping” him.
I must admit that I have also cried, “Why”? Some of my trials are on-going. God has seen fit to allow them to continue over the 30 years of walking with Him. In His wisdom, He has chosen to keep them in my life. I must remember that God does not think the way I do. He has a reason – He has a plan for me.
~Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Who am I to tell the Lord how to work in my life? David felt this way as well. He finishes his Psalm with sweet surrender!
~Romans 11:34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
God’s people used this Psalm during prolonged illnesses and suffering. I can surely see why! However, instead of singing this Psalm during a prolonged trial, how about singing praises as in verses 5 and 6! How about forgetting about the trouble, however hard that is, and sing praises to the God who is able toI have grown in the Lord and as I have seen how He has never forsaken me, my faith has grown stronger and stronger. I can now sing and praise Him in the midst of trials knowing that the same God who provided for me in the past would do so again. Will I ever ask Him “how long” again? Of course I will. After all, I’m only human. But the Lord knows my weakness and how frail I am.
~Psalm 103:14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.