Psalm 13: How Long?

4 Feb

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?

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.

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.


Fearing for his life, and confused as to the ways of God, David cried out to the Lord, “How long?…How long will I have to flee from Saul?  How long will I have to hide from those who would kill me?  How long until your promises are fulfilled and I am safe?”  It was a time of uncertainty and a time in which hope could be found in no one but the Lord God.

Despite the difficult circumstances, David recognized that deliverance could be found in no one (or nowhere) but the Lord God.  He could not find adequate strength and wisdom from within, nor could he find it without.  In the midst of confessing his fears, doubts, and questions, David remembers that it is the Lord who saves.  The Lord God is the one who has promised David the throne.  The Lord God is the one who has shown steadfast love towards David, and has blessed him greatly in the past.  David will trust in the Lord, and rejoice in His salvation.

Much like David, Christ was relentlessly pursued–in His case, by the religious leaders of the day.  Much like Saul, these religious leaders wanted to kill Him because He posed a threat to their way of life, and rule over the people.   And, when Jesus went to the cross, it seemed as though His enemies were triumphing over Him.  In truth, however, it was actually the means of Christ’s victory.  In the sovereign, redemptive plan of God, a fleeing and fearful David triumphed over Saul, and a bruised and bloody Christ triumphed over sin and death.  David deliverance, and Christ’s resurrection, proved the faithfulness of God regarding His promises, love, and salvation.

We must remember that times of suffering, pain, and doubt will come.  We will ask, “How long, O Lord?”  And while we should not minimize our feelings/emotions, we should seek to reorient them in light of God’s revelation to us: His Word.  Like David, we should acknowledge the fear and anxiety, but we should remember the loving faithfulness of our Lord; He has saved us from our sin, made us His children, promises to transform us into the likeness of His Son, and give us an eternal inheritance with Him in the Kingdom to come.  He will deliver us, oftentimes by means of His Word, the Church, and the Holy Spirit.

I do not pretend to know what you may be struggling with, but I do know the power of God’s Word, and I plead with you to take heart.  Trust in the steadfast love of the Lord, rejoice in His salvation, and despite the circumstances, sing a new song to Him for He is worthy…


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