PSALM 13 - Waiting Under an Unbearable Burden.
1. To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.
We are not told what great burden prompted David to write this Psalm.
But perhaps you can identify with this song of true worship, which pours from a broken heart.
How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever?
how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?
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?
How long {lit., until when}...? - This phrase occurs four times in these two verses.
In the depths of despair or grief, time stands still. To the sufferer, the agony of a broken heart feels like an unbearable burden that will never end. Yet, my perception is distorted by my tear blurred perspective, in every direction...
  • Godward -
    • ...You forget me.- Oh, but the LORD does not forget us (eg., Isa 49:14-16), though we forget Him (Jer 2:32).
    • ...You hide Your face from me.- The Lord does withhold His favor, due to our sin (eg., Deu 31:17; Isa 59:2). Yet, He is ready to shed His grace upon those who turn to Him, in repentance and faith (eg., Psa 80:3,7; Dan 9:17; 2Cor 4:6).
  • Inward - counsel in my soul... sorrow in my heart daily {ie., continually, perpetually}-
    Depressed with my situation, my thoughts are dark and hopeless. Psa 77:2-12
  • Outward - my enemy is exalted over me.
    Overwhelmed by the power of my enemies, I believe their lie concerning God, and again, my distorted gaze turns darkly in His direction. Psa 3:1,2; 143:3,4; Rev 6:10
Blinded by our own sorrows, we often fail to sense the LORD's continual sorrow, for our unbelief and rebellion (eg., Num 14:11,27; 1Kin 18:21; Mat 17:17).
3 Consider [and] hear me, O LORD my God:
lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the [sleep of] death;
4 Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him;
[and] those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved.
Consider and hear {or, Look attentively and answer} me, O LORD my God...
The request is directed: to the only One who can lift such an unbearable burden:
  • The LORD, the eternal 'I Am' who keeps His promises to all generations. Ex 34:6,7
  • God (HB=Elohim} - the Mighty One, before whom no enemy can stand.
  • my God - God answers the prayers of those who know Him. Psa 25:4,5; 34:22; 37:3-5; 141:8
The request is focused: Lighten {ie., enlighten, brighten, shine} mine eyes...
The request is urgent...
  • lest I sleep the sleep of death.- Unremedied despair leads to retreat from life, or possibly suicide.
  • lest my enemy say, I have prevailed.; Psa 25:2; 35:19,25
  • [lest] those who trouble me rejoice, when I am moved. Psa 55:22
5 But I have trusted in thy mercy;
my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.
6 I will sing unto the LORD,
because he hath dealt bountifully with me.
But I have trusted in thy mercy {HB=chesed, loving-kindness, steadfast love} -
My enemies will be disappointed, by the LORD, who loves me, and whom I trust. Psa 32:10; 33:18,21-22 heart shall rejoice... I will sing...-
The salvation {HB=yeshuah}, which lifts the unbearable burden, fills the heart with unrestrainable joy which breaks forth in song. Psa 43:4,5; Isa 12:2
...because He hath dealt bountifully with me. Psa 116:7
Far from being forgotten forever (v.1), the once darkened eyes now see that the LORD had always known his need, and had been working unseen to reward his feeble faith with the rich blessings of His Salvation. cp. Eph 1:7,8

This Concludes the study in Psalm 13.
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