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Our Christian Psalms ~ 13 PDF Print E-mail
Psalm 13 - is our "How Long?" Psalm.

"How long ... O Lord?" Four times in rapid succession that plaintive cry rises heavenward. Faith, crying with anguish of heart and desire for God, has found its perfect expression. Thank God for a prayer song like this!

Likely this Psalm was written by David after his lamentable fall into sin in the matter of Bathsheba. His salvation is sure, for he is forgiven, but God has left the sword of chastening in his life so he must cling to God's promises and love, in the midst of the consequences of his sin (2 Samuel 12: 7-14). Some of his intense spiritual wrestlings are recorded in Psalms 51 and 32. In this Psalm we find him wrestling with a time of desertion - God has withdrawn the comforting sense of his favour from him for a time. Living with the consequences of his sin, and in the complex mix of his own unworthiness and shame before God, and as an object of ridicule by "his enemies" he is hanging onto, longing after, and crying out to God in faith.... "How long..." That is an awful place to be but the saints are familiar with it.

God by his dealings is answering with a, "Not yet." That delay is very painful. "How long will you forget me, O Lord? forever? How long will you hide your face from me?" Nothing breaks the heart of a repentant soul like this sense of having been deserted and forgotten by their heavenly Father. One day is too long for a broken heart. How distressing then is a week, a month, or a year?

The intensity of that cry is only increased as David counsels his own soul: "How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily?" The saints do not lack for occasions to counsel their own soul: "Why are you cast down, O my soul? and why so disquieted in me? Hope in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance" (Psalm 42:5, 11; 43:5). The believing mind is filled with this internal dialogue of faith but God must comfort the sorrowing heart. It is an added grief to know that the consequences of sin have put our witness to the Lord, "... how long shall my enemy be exalted over me?" Lord deliver from this shame, for your own name's sake.

In verses 3 and 4 David brings two arguments as to why God should show him his favour. He appeals to his relationship to Jehovah, you are "my God." That is a mighty argument for Jehovah is ever faithful to his promises for Christ's sake. And he casts himself on mercy as a needy, dependant, truster in God! "Lest ... lest..." he pleads. He is casting himself into God's faithfulness as the only deliverance from the struggle within and enemies without.

In verses 5 and 6 he comes to rest within God's mercy. "But I have trusted in thy mercy..." He knows himself to be, and is beginning to feel the comfort of being, safe within God's steadfast, unchanging covenant love! He is beginning to understand that by delaying his help, the Lord his God has brought him to trust in a much deeper and more meaningful way than ever before. This has not destroyed him it is healing him! He can see that he has every reason to hope in God now he can look to the future, and say: "...my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me."

Believer, this is God's way with those he unites to Jesus Christ for salvation. 'Say, He will chasten, in love, every son whom he receives he will bring me to the end of myself so that I might learn to put my hope and trust wholly in Him! That peaceable fruit of righteousness must adorn the inner sanctuary of my heart' (See Hebrews 12:6-13)

Delay is often God's way it is a good and a wise way. If it is his way with us, we may be assured that it is the only way we ever be brought to desire and trust as we ought! Let us not complain or doubt in such a time. Rather, cry, "How long, O Lord..." , following in the way of faith which Christ perfected and prepared for us through David's experience.

Turn to Psalm 13, at such a time.

Pastor Connors.


2 Samuel 12:7-14 (KJV)
7And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;
8And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things.
9Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.
10Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.
11Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.
12For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.
13And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.
14Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.

Psalm 51 (KJV)
1Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
2Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
3For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
4Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
5Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
7Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
9Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
10Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
11Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
12Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
13Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
14Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
15O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
16For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
17The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
18Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
19Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.

Psalm 32 (KJV)
1Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
2Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
3When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.
4For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.
5I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
6For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.
7Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.
8I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.
9Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.
10Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.
11Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.

Psalm 42:5, 11 (KJV)
5Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.
11Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

Psalm 43:5 (KJV)
5Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

Hebrews 12:6-13 (KJV)
6For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
7If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
8But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
9Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
10For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
11Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
12Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
13And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.

Psalm 13 (King James Version) 
1How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?
2How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?
3Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;
4Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved.
5But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.
6I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.

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