1 How 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? 3 Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, 4 lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken. 5 But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. 6 I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.
Last week I was reading this Psalm as part of my reading for the day. I love the book of Psalms. This is probably partly because it’s so poetic, but mostly because David is one of the most encouraging characters in the Bible to me. I learn a lot from all of the characters, but David is one who has always been easy to relate to. David sinned – not just private sin, either – but he always acknowledged that sin and came back to God for help and forgiveness. He kept God in the forefront of his mind as he dealt with guilt from these sins. He got discouraged just like everyone else (which is understandable, considering people were trying to kill him for much of his life), but he didn’t give up on God.
One of my goals this year has been to have a better attitude about trials and to reach forward instead of looking to the things I can’t change, which is why I was so awestruck by this passage. Psalm 13 starts out much like other Psalms, and as I read through the first four verses, I could only see his discouragement and his pleas for God to help him. I could see that he was exhausted. Then I got to verse five, and I saw the tone completely shift. Among his exhaustion and discouragement, he said He trusted in God. He says his heart rejoices in God’s salvation. But verse six was when I was really enlightened and encouraged. He said “I will sing to the LORD, because He has dealt bountifully with me.”