Psalm 13 - Overcomer - How long will You forget me?
This is the 8th Psalm for the overcomer. The overcomer is persistent in prayer when under attack by the enemy (v2,4, Lk 18:1-8). Luke 18:8 indicates that the saints who will do this are rare. When the Lord comes to find faith on the earth, those who actually practice this will be the ones raptured in the immediately preceding passage, Luke 17:34-37 (Lk 21:36).
This short psalm is one of my favorites.
First, in vv. 1-2, he complains to the Lord with 4 how long?'s.
1. How long will You forget me?
2. How long will You hide Your face from me?
3. How long shall my heart be sorrowful?
4. How long shall my adversary be exalted over me?
By saying, "How long?", he knows that this time of trial will come to an end. A hymn that I expresses this well is Hymn #708 by Witness Lee (original tune).
Second, in v.3, is his actual request to God.
1. Look carefully.
2. Answer me.
3. Enlighten my eyes.
Actually, only #3 above is his actual request. The 1st two are warm-up. It is good to have such a warm up after complaining to God. We know God is careful for all that concerns us, but it may not seem so. It is good to come to the Lord as we are and tell Him, according to His word, to exercise His carefulness for us. When we speak it to the Lord, we realize it is true.
In time of trial, our need is enlightenment from the Lord. The trial we are going through positions us to receive enlightenment. This is similar to James 1:2-5.
The great hymn, The Sands of Time are Sinking, by Anne R. Cousin is an extract of the 365 letters by Rev. Samuel Rutherford, which Spurgeon said were "the nearest thing to inspiration which can be found in all the writings of mere men". Stanza 8 of 19 says:
But flow'rs need nights cool darkness,
the moonlight and the dew;
So Christ, from one who loved it,
His shining oft withdrew:
And then, for cause of absence
my troubled soul I scanned
But glory shadeless shineth
in Immanuel’s land.
Third, in vv. 3-4, he tells the Lord 3 lest's, 3 negative consequences if the Lord does not respond:
1. Lest I sleep the sleep of death
2. Lest my adversary boast over me.
3. Lest I move farther away from You, and my troublers rejoice because of it.
To sleep the sleep of death is to be so depressed that you don't want to do anything but sleep.
We should never rejoice at anyone's departing from the Lord.
4th, God answered David's prayer, enlightening the eyes of David's heart, in vv. 5-6, with 3 results:
1. Trust in the Lord's mercy
2. Joy in the Lord's salvation
3. Singing in thankfulness for the Lord's bountiful dealing with him.
It does not say that the problem was solved.
Our sufferings are part of God's bountiful dealing with us, because they enlarge us and transform us into His image.
-copyright Steve Miller 2009