Psa. 13:0 ¶ To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.
David is noted as the author of this psalm.
Psa. 13:1 ¶ How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?
Psa. 13:2 How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?
After reading through this psalm, it occurred to me that it would certainly make sense in relation to period that David had to hide from Saul while waiting for God’s timing to make him king. Maybe it is in light of another time of waiting and feeling oppressed by an enemy, but I am going to assume it was the situation with Saul. I am sure it seemed like God had forgotten him at times. It probably felt like his prayers were not getting through and that God was hiding from him. David didn’t understand why God was allowing his enemy to have the upper hand over him for so long. Why had He declared that the kingdom was given to David, yet have him wait so long? It seems that David is examining himself and trying to identify if he was somehow responsible. Had he done something to cause God to turn away from him?
I think probably every believer has had to struggle with similar thoughts at one time or another. It takes a lot more effort to maintain a strong spiritual perspective when you are suffering physically and emotionally. It is also important to practice self-examination to determine if you have allowed sin to come between you and fellowship with the LORD.
I loved this observation from Spurgeon (He uses words so beautifully.): “Time flies with full fledged wing in our summer days, but in our winters he flutters painfully. A week within prison walls is longer than a month at liberty. Long sorrow seems to argue abounding corruption; for the gold which is long in the fire must have had much dross to be consumed, hence the question "how long?" may suggest deep searching of heart.”
Psa. 13:3 Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;
Psa. 13:4 Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved.
David pleads for God’s consideration—for God to regard him with pleasure and favor (from the Hebrew). He yearns for the LORD to hear him and respond to him. As far as David is concerned, he might as well be dead without God’s good favor. Maybe he actually thought he was about to die. He doesn’t want his enemy to be able to rejoice in his defeat of David. He also seems to imply that his defeat will appear to be a defeat against his God—Almighty God.
Psa. 13:5 But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.
Psa. 13:6 I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.
In spite of his feeling that God has closed his ears to him, David declares his trust and belief in God’s mercy. He “knows” that he will eventually experience the joy of God’s salvation. He is so sure that he has decided sing his praises to the LORD in light of the goodness He has shown him.
As he has talked with the LORD, David has finally realized that he has allowed the circumstances to get him down. He is now choosing to focus on his blessings in the LORD and realizes that he should be rejoicing in those blessings. Though he may be down for a time, he can now see the light at the end of the tunnel.
It seems that David had finally remembered to remember.
Numbers 15:38–41 “Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God. I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD your God.”
1 Chronicles 16:8–12 “Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works. Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD. Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually. Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth….”
Psalms 63:5–7 “My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.”