Bountiful dealings, Psalm 13

Do you ever feel as if God has forgotten you? Does it feel as if he’s hidden his face from you forever?

You’re not alone! Many believers have often felt isolated and alienated, including that psalm master, David.

No psalmist conveys the range of human emotions better than David. In his short Psalm 13, he cries from the depths of distress and soars to the heights of hope.

The psalm begins with a series of questions that demonstrate David’s depth of depression and overwhelming despair (Psalm 13:1-2, ESV):

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
    How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul
    and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

David feels as if his isolation from God will last forever. He can’t bear his feelings of abandonment any longer. His heart is weighed down every moment of the day by his fruitless introspection. His enemy gloats in triumph. 

Bowed down to the point of death, David pleads with God:

Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
     light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
    lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken (3-4, ESV).

Death and the enemy’s victory seem certain. David begs for deliverance from the only One who can grant it.

God hears and answers his prayer by granting him hope and confidence:

But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
    my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
    because he has dealt bountifully with me (5-6, ESV).

David first reminds himself that he has trusted in God in the past, and God’s love never fails. He then realizes that his heart will rejoice in God’s salvation. That enables him to praise God in song, remembering the many times in the past that God has dealt bountifully with him.

No matter how alienated and isolated we feel, no matter what enemy gloats in triumph over us, God’s steadfast love has not deserted us. Our deliverance is so sure that we, like David, can speak of it as a done deal. 

God has rescued believers from the punishment and power of sin. We can sing to the Lord because he has dealt bountifully with us. 


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