A Psalm of David

Yet another psalm by God’s anointed king of Israel.  This psalm is a prayer in response to the dire subjects discussed in the previous two psalms, the atrocities of the anti-Christ (Psalm 11) and the empty words and actions of wicked men in the closing hours of the Day of Man in which we live (Psalm 12.)  We are brought from the troubles of men in those two dark times to David’s own reaction to the personal troubles he was facing in his kingdom.  And, in consideration of David’s response here to those troubles, we can know how we should respond to the troubles we face in our times.

1.  How long, O LORD?  Will You forget me forever?

In his time of trouble, it seems to David that God has forgotten him.  How like our own feelings when troubles come upon us!

How long will You hide Your face from me?

David asks “how long” four times to emphasize the LORD’s silence and his own desperate need of assistance.  It seemed to him that the LORD has refused to look upon his troubles because of the fact that He had not helped David as he faced them.

2.  How long shall I take counsel in my soul,

David was struggling to find the answers to his problems within himself, and yet he couldn’t find them.  How true this is, in spite of the new age philosophies of the day that tell us that the answers to all our problems lie within us somewhere!  Yet David realized that he didn’t have the answers, so he longed instead to take counsel from the LORD.  Yet it seems that no answer from the LORD was forthcoming.

Having sorrow in my heart daily?

His troubles were causing him to have great sorrow, and this sorrow was just going on day after day.

How long will my enemy be exalted over me?

How unfair it seems when our enemies, wicked men, have more recognition and exaltation than we do!  David was chafing under the burden of seeing his enemy in a position of power greater than his own.

3.  Consider and hear me, O LORD my God;

David calls upon his God to look upon the situation and hear his plea.  Of course, hearing means not just listening, for the LORD can always hear us, but also responding by taking David’s words into account and responding to them.

Enlighten my eyes,

This was a plea for the LORD to revive him.  It seems the sorrow David was feeling was affecting his health.

Lest I sleep the sleep of death;

David’s health problems were such that he was in danger for his very life.

4.  Lest my enemy say,

David did not want his sorrow to result in his enemies counting it as a victory on their part.

“I have prevailed against him”;

David’s troubles and illness could result in his enemies congratulating themselves on a victory if the LORD does not move to help him.

Lest those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved.

David, the righteous king, had many unrighteous men around him who were constantly wishing evil upon him.  These ones who were constantly troubling him would rejoice at any defeat David might suffer.

5.  But I have trusted in Your mercy;

This was David’s hope even in this time of great sorrow and danger.  The word “mercy” here means “lovingkindness” or “grace.”  The LORD is indeed a merciful God, and we would also do well to trust in the mercy of the LORD, not our own good works or our own righteousness, to save us from death.

My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.

Recalling the LORD’s mercy brings to David’s mind the salvation that he had received through it.  This salvation causes David to rejoice.  This rejoicing of David’s stands in contrast to the rejoicing of his enemies.  They were rejoicing in the circumstances of his life, but David was rejoicing in the things of God, the salvation He gives that is so much greater than the mere circumstances that faced him.

6.  I will sing to the LORD,

Remembering the LORD’s salvation causes David to sing to Him.

Because He has dealt bountifully with me.

The Hebrew for “dealt bountifully” indicates that the LORD had compensated him.  Yes, the LORD does compensate us for all the troubles we go through.  How great is his bounty!  We enjoy it now, and will even more in the future, when we are given his treasures that will never fade away.

To the Chief Musician.

This psalm of prayer is dedicated to this Musician, and thus is given to the people to remind them of the salvation of the LORD, and the hope it can bring even in times of great trouble when the help of God seems far away.  Yes, we need such a reminder even today.