Trials are hard, at times they seem to suffocate us and weaken our walk with God. David shares with us his own difficulty in these six verses.
Commentary, Psalm 13
For the choir director: A psalm of David.
O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever?
How long will you look the other way?
2 How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul,
with sorrow in my heart every day?
How long will my enemy have the upper hand?
V. 1-2, David believes that he has been forgotten. A phrase is repeated an astounding four times, “How long?” It seems that impatience is a significant issue for him. Often when it gets this bad, we desperately look around to find anything to fill the gap. Anything.
Something else struck me. Within these two verses, you’ll find five hard questions. Whenever you find a question in the psalms especially, you must stop reading and take a closer look–why is he asking this?
V. 2, “Anguish…sorrow, every day.” Somehow David is alert enough to recognize (and admit) that his life is saturated with real difficulty. It seems it comes and when it comes there’s no relief– it’s a constant, gnawing, challenging pain which can be physical, emotional, or spiritual (or all three).
Turn and answer me, O Lord my God!
Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.
4 Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!” Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall.
V. 3, “ Turn and answer me, O Lord my God! Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.” (I love this version–“sparkle“). David knew that life could be exceptional, it was meant to gleam and shine. There is much more than just breathing in life. He speaks of being restored. He looks toward God to change his world again.
V. 4, Also, he is quite aware that his life is being threatened. The word, “gloat” is an interesting translation. It has the idea of relishing someone else’s failure. The dark prince savors your defeat. He has been looking forward to this desperate moment. The enemy rejoices at his failures.
But I trust in your unfailing love.
I will rejoice because you have rescued me.
6 I will sing to the Lord
because he is good to me.
V. 5, “ But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me.” The Lord has covered David with His hand. His life has been saved by a love that never falters or weakens. Never! He knows that God has rescued him.
Notice how David responds to the wonderful goodness of God.
- I trust.
- I rejoice.
- I sing.
V. 6, Tremendous verse; it is really wonderful. When we finally get to this last verse, we see that we have “run the gauntlet” with David. And we have learned how to sing.
Often good jewelers display their diamond necklaces on a black background. The darkness intensifies the brightness of the jewels. They become even more beautiful to look at. David is singing and praising the Lord in His nearness. The darkness has only strengthened his faith.