Psalms 13:1-2 says, To the chief Musician, A psalm of David. How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? For ever? How long wilt thou hide thy face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? In Psalm chapter 10 verse 1 something similar to these verses was said, Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? Why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble? In times of trouble, sorrow, and persecution it can seem as though God stands afar off. In such times men will wonder if God has forgotten them forever. The word forget used here in verse 1 can also mean to cease to care. God does not change. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever. God is love. God cares. God is not going to stop caring. God is not going to forget. The only thing that God forgets is the sins of men when they turn from their sins to Christ. God never stops caring.
It is however perfectly natural in a time of sorrow or tribulation to wonder how long it will last. To ask this question is not a lack of faith. Sometimes God tells us exactly what we want to know and sometimes He does not. Either way God does not change and God does not forget His Children. It is impossible to understand all the reasons why God may do something the way He does, but you can be sure He takes into consideration each of the billions of souls on this earth that need to turn from their sins and turn to His Son.
As an explanation to Psalms 13:1-2 consider the information given in the Bible regarding the return of Christ and the end of the world. Mark 13:31-32, Heaven and earth shall pass away: But my words shall not pass away. But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. First Thessalonians 5:2, For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord cometh as a thief in the night. First Thessalonians 4:16, For the Lord himself shall descend form heaven with a shout, with the voice of the arch angel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
No one knows when Christ is going to return. But we do know that it is in 2 parts. First He going to come and take all believers off the earth. The year, the day, and the hour of this no one knows except the father. After this event which is called the rapture we know from the book of Revelation that there will be a 7 year tribulation, and at the end of that time Christ will return to stamp out all opposition.
Here is a perfect example of where both a specific detail is given: 7 years, and another specific detail is left unknown: when the rapture will occur. What good would it do if God told us the exact hour of the rapture? It would do little good. Because then Christians could sin it up and just repent in time for the return of Christ. But knowing that He can and will return at any moment they should be ready with oil in their lamps. On the other hand the great tribulation will be the worst time-period in human history for war, and human suffering. Therefore, God has let men know the exact duration of that time so that they will know how much time they have to repent and how much longer they have to endure.
Psalms 13:1-2 says, To the chief Musician, A psalm of David. How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? How long wilt thou hide thy face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? When in a time of sorrow just remember God has not forgotten you. It may be that you do not know how long your suffering and sorrow will last. It may be that God will tell you if you only ask Him. But do not think that God has forgotten you. It is very simple. If you are in a time of suffering and sorrow, and you feel like God has forgotten, then pray to Him and ask Him to turn His face upon you.
Psalms 13:3-4 says, Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved. God has love and mercy and compassion greater than we can imagine. So of course, when God sees the sufferings of men and the sorrows of men He wants to heal them, to comfort them, to give them strength and to lighten their eyes. Jesus is the great physician.
The proper attitude to have in life is to understand that there will be sorrows and there will be sufferings. You should expect these things to happen. Life is a spiritual journey and struggle. God will not remove every suffering and sorrow from your life. There is nothing wrong with wanting and desiring peace and happiness in life, but if that becomes your primary expectation and goal in life you will be greatly disappointed. All men desire that their troubles go away. But the godly man desires that if his troubles do not go away, that he endures them, and becomes refined as though by fire so that his faith is greater. When you do find the need to plead to God to remove a trouble or a suffering especially when you feel that it is too great to bare, you should carefully consider what is the motivation of your heart. Is it simply so that you can have things go away, or is it because you are concerned how things will affect the lives of other men and their attitude towards Jesus? Because sometimes when things do not work out for you in this life, it will have the effect of influencing others to see the glory of God. And sometimes when things do work out, it will have the same effect.
Notice the phrase in verse 4, when I am moved. This phrase means to be greatly shaken, to slip, to fall, or to be over thrown. God does not want us to fail. God does not want us to sin. God does not want us to be shaken by the sorrows and troubles of life. God does not want our enemies to look at our circumstances and feel like they have prevailed, but he wants them to see that we have prevailed not by circumstance but by faith in the promises of God.
When something in life is overwhelming you, there is no doubt what you should do is pray the prayer of Psalms 13:3-4 and say, Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved. This principle is taught also in the New Testament in First Corinthians 10:13 that says, There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. In other words sometimes the way of escape, or the way to not be moved is that God will end that suffering or sorrow, and sometimes it simply means He will give you the strength to endure it. However, neither of these is likely to happen if you do not pray to Him and ask Him. John 16: 24 ask, and ye shall receive...
Psalms 13:5-6 But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me. If there is one thing you can always count on it is that you will find mercy from the almighty God whenever you look to Him for it. What do we do when the sorrows and the troubles of life bring us to the point that we fear we might be moved? We look to God for mercy, and we rejoice in His salvation. The word salvation can refer to either your physical circumstances or your spiritual circumstances. Of course the spiritual is more important than the physical. In these last verses of Psalms it says that Jesus has dealt bountifully. Notice the only thing mentioned is salvation. There are many things to be thankful for and to praise God for, but the mercy of God and all of His bountiful dealings with us are a result of salvation through Jesus Christ. Jesus said, what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world but lose his own soul. But it does profit a man if he loses all the world and gains salvation.
There is a reason that in these last verses of Psalms 13 that only salvation is mentioned in connection to the mercy of God and his bountiful dealings. When the pits of Hell compass you about, when you have lost all in this life, when your enemies are nigh to prevailing against you, there is no greater light for the eyes than the eternal light of salvation. There is an old Hymn that goes, Jesus keep me near the cross. Do not just stand near the cross, but stand with both hands firmly clasped to it and you will not be moved. Because in the end even if you lose everything, even if your enemies seem to prevail against you, even if your own failures seem too great, it is the cross that cannot be moved, and those that cling to it shall not be moved. I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.
Now notice the word bountifully. This word can be used to mean reward. In fact it is translated that way in Second Samuel 22:21, The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness: according to the cleanness off my hands hath he recompensed me. These three words should stand out when you read these last verses of Psalms 13: mercy, salvation, bountifully. The rewards of being righteous and holy, the rewards of living a life without sin and fulfilling the law, the rewards that Christ earned through his life on this earth is the bountifulness given to those who trust in Him. Men for the most part are the very opposite of what God is like. We are sinners and He is holy. We are weak and He is strong. We fail, but He doesnt. We forget but He remembers. We see through a glass darkly but if we can remember the mercy, the salvation and the bountifulness of Christ, how shall we be moved? The reward is what awaits at the end of the journey of this life.
Isaiah 64:4, For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. First Corinthians 2:9, But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. The LORD Jesus does not forget. He cares. He will lighten the eyes with mercy, salvation, and bountifully.
Copyright; 2011 by Charles
F. (Rick) Creech
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