2007-07-23 - Psalm 142
Originally Published 2006-12-06
1 I cry out to the LORD with my voice; With my voice
to the LORD I make my supplication.
2 I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare before Him my trouble.
3 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, Then You
knew my path.
In the way in which I walk They have secretly set a snare for me.
4 Look on my right hand and see, For there is no one
who acknowledges me;
Refuge has failed me; No one cares for my soul.
5 I cried out to You, O LORD: I said, "You are my refuge,
My portion in the land of the living.
6 Attend to my cry, For I am brought very low; Deliver me from my persecutors,
For they are stronger than I.
7 Bring my soul out of prison, That I may praise Your
name; The righteous shall surround me,
For You shall deal bountifully with me."
This is a poem of deep anguish, reflecting a time in David's life where the
reality of his cave experience was twofold. Not only was he physically in
a cave, cut off from humanity; but he was also in an emotional cave, feeling
This mighty man of faith felt as we often do today. Many of us, in a trial
of blinding darkness & great pain or fear, experience our faith turning
from supernatural to natural. It is hard for us to feel God's protection
during these times, to feel His presence, & to feel the luxury of complete
safety in His unfathomable will. We are not alone in this, as David exemplifies
for us here.
But in the midst of his cave, David determined to set aside his feelings
and humanistic mindset, and instead to meditate on things of God. He confesses
his trust and relies on his faith, knowing that although he could not see
God, he trusted "that somehow God must be near." Then, he vocalizes a promise,
possibly considering the power of the spoken word, as he claims God's victory
for the outcome. Verse 7 says "the righteous shall surround
me, for you shall deal bountifully with me."
This psalm is more than a lesson for us to learn from. It's more than simple
encouragement. It hits its mark in the realistic bullseye of our own hearts
and minds. This psalm deals directly with the emotions we all have felt and
often later are ashamed of, knowing in our spirit, but not sensing in our
conscious awareness. How many times have we cried out from our cave, asking
God where He is at, or if He sees what's happening? Knowing He knows all
this and more, yet unable to understand it ourselves - that is God's omnipotent
omnipresence in all of life's struggles.
Here, God shows us His deep abiding love for us by helping us to understand
we are not alone in this, and how to deal with it.
(vs. 2) Tell God what your problem is.
(vs. 3, 4) Allow yourself to face the truth of your emotions. Don't deny
them in order to "make yourself strong in the Lord."
Remember it is NOT your strength that will get you through, rather
your weakness. The word tells us that where we are weak, in that place is
when His strength is able to manifest. Remember, you can do all things through
Christ who strengthens you. It is "'...not by might, nor
power, but by my spirit,' says the Lord." You can only effectively
deal with your emotions when you face them.
(vs. 3) As David did, make your "preliminary confession of trust." Just as
God knew David's path from the beginning, so He knows yours. Jeremiah 29
reminds us again that He knows the thoughts that He thinks towards us, and
that is to give us a hope and a future. Starting from verse 10, it reads:
"I will visit you and perform My good word toward you,
and cause you to return to this place. 11 For I know the thoughts that I
think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give
you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to
Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you
search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the LORD,
and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all
the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD,
and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away
(vs.4) Renew your confession of trust. Take your mind off of this world,
and place it up in the heavenlies. Set aside your feelings, and lift up your
cross as well as your mind, eyes and head. Walk in the covenantal promises
of the Lord:
Jeremiah 31:2-4 Thus says the LORD: "The people who survived
the sword found grace in the wilderness "Israel, when I went to give him
rest." 3 The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: "Yes, I have loved you
with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you.
4 Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt, O virgin of Israel! You
shall again be adorned with your tambourines, and shall go forth in the dances
of those who rejoice.
(vs. 7) Vocally declare God's promises!
(vs. 7) Praise God, just as Moses did when he went to the top of the hill
of Rephidim during the battle with Amalek & lifted his arms in praise
to the Lord for the victory in battle! Exodus 17:8-11 reminds us that our
enemies are defeated in our praises.
Surround yourself with prayer partners.
Remember in Exodus 17: When Moses' hands became tired, they came to hold
up his arms. 12 But Moses' hands were heavy and grew weary.
So [the other men] took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Then
Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side and one on the other side;
so his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 And Joshua mowed
down and disabled Amalek and his people with the sword. 14 And the Lord said
to Moses, Write this for a memorial in the book.
Comments or Questions,