To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
1How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
2 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?
3Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
4lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
5But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
6I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.
The plaintive cry of David in the first sentence of this Psalm will resonate through every heart once in a while, no matter how steadfast that heart. ”How long, O Lord?” All of us have asked this question and might I say that it may often be spoken in a whinny voice. When I hear that question in my own mind it usually sounds like a 5 year old said it because I hate to wait. If you know someone who enjoys waiting, let me know, as I would like to interview them and find out how they do it.
Even though it may be somewhat whinny, at least it’s honest. David clearly feels abandoned. Based on verse 3, it would appear that David is ill and he’s pretty certain this is going to end in death if God doesn’t intervene – and quickly. If he dies, his enemies win. The situation is dire. We’ve all been to places like that in our lives. The situation seems dire and God seems silent and distant. In fact, He is never distant and rarely silent and if you hold His Word in your hands, He is never silent. After asking God the question of “how long” he retreats into prayer – the perfect place to be. Having prayed, he is then led into three stellar places: trust, rejoicing, and receiving. Verses 5 and 6 bring it all together. Has he been healed yet? Probably not. But he is choosing to trust that God will deal with his situation and thus he is already rejoicing in the bountiful grace of God.
My friend, Pastor Matt Popovits did a short video about this Psalm several years ago but it is still pertinent and brilliant. Give it a watch and you’ll be blessed.