Psalms are raw. A lot of new songs in today’s Christian world don’t seem to be as raw as most of the psalms that we find in Scripture. In the psalms, people like David say things that we aren’t allowed to say (we don’t allow ourselves to be this real, this raw and churches certainly do not encourage it).
In Psalm 13, David is quite honest with God. David feels abandoned. It’s interesting that in Psalm 12, David also feels abandoned. There, he states that godly and faithful people have disappeared. He is alone. Now, in Psalm 13, it is as if (for David) that God has disappeared. Where is he? How long?
Abandoned. F.B. Meyer preached a sermon aimed at people who dwell in the dust. Like David in these psalms. Probably more like me than I would want to admit (to myself or to others).
Meyer identified five kinds of people who dwell in the dust:
(1) those who feel forsaken by God,
(2) those who feel their prayers are going nowhere,
(3) those who are discouraged with life’s possibilities (or their lack of),
(4) those stuck in stressful situations,
(5) and, those who see no way out of hard and taxing circumstances.
Meyer includes, “a person’s problems are compounded when he or she falls into three or four of the above classifications at the same time.”
Been there, done that.
Psalm 13 breaks down quite simply:
- Verses 1 and 2 express David’s feeling of abandonment.
- Verses 3 and 4 are a prayer in which he asks God to turn his face toward him and to answer his questions.
- Verses 5 and 6 express David’s recovered trust in God and have a tone of rejoicing.
In these verses David recalls that God has been good to him in the past and says that he is sure God will be good to him again.
David’s reflection moves from self (his feelings of being abandoned) to God (who actually has been good to him and will no doubt continue on that path).
The lesson seems to be don’t dwell in the dust. But it doesn’t discount the truth that dwelling in the dust does and will happen. Thank you God for giving us an honest (sometimes brutally honest) man after your own heart in David. He struggled, he suffered, yet you always gave him a heart to climb back into your powerful grip.
So, I wrote in my bible “Don’t dwell in the dust – Ephesians 2:6-7 is true now!”
This is not a “pull yourself up from the bootstraps” message to self. I’m saying, “you are dust, you will encounter days when you are covered in it, but even then, nothing will change the fact that ‘even when we were dead in our trespasses, God made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.'”
David says, “how long?” Which no doubt means his struggle was prolonged. For many of us, it is. In fact, in just two verses, he repeats it four times.
God has reasons for being silent, but never is it because he has abandoned me. I am learning this, re-learning the truth that God is for me and recklessly loves me.
Lack of apparent “blessing” doesn’t mean that God has stopped working in the lovingkindness department. But soul, remember that you have been blessed by every spiritual blessing in Christ (Ephesians 1:3).
David turns to God in prayer, and I love how he trusts in God’s unfailing love in verse 5. David made some requests in the previous two verses, but in verse 5 he caps it with this: your steadfast love never ends, even if my “how long’s” continue, and my enemies gloat over me, yet you still love me. David’s trust lies there. Right where my trust needs to be.