Saturday, June 11, 2011

Psalm 142

No One Cares for My Soul
Attend to my cry,
For I am brought very low.
~ Ps. 142:6
Have you ever felt like that in this title - that no one cares about you?  No one cares about your sorrows or your troubling circumstances?  Clearly David was in distress when he penned Psalm 142.  My Bible notes that this is a "prayer when he was in the cave."  Possibly either Engedi, Adullam, or some other lone cavern where he could conceal himself from Saul and his blood hounds.

Psalm 142 is a 'Maschil," or psalm of instruction.  David is teaching us the lessons he learned in the cave, learned on his knees - of how to order our prayers in times of distress.  Spurgeon tell us such instruction is among the most needful, practical, and effectual parts of our spiritual education. He who has learned how to pray has been taught the most useful of the arts and sciences.
Spurgeon notes there can be little doubt that this song dates from the days when Saul was sorely persecuting David, and David himself was in soul trouble.  His fortunes were evidently at their lowest, and, what was worse, his repute had fearfully fallen; yet he displayed a true faith in God, to whom he made known his pressing sorrows.
When my spirit was overwhelmed with me,
Then You knew my path.
~ Ps. 142:3
A truth to remember when we are overwhelmed:  God knows our path - the situations we face.

Matthew Henry notes:
When our spirits are overwhelmed by distress and filled with discouragement; when we see snares laid for us on every side while we walk in His way, we may reflect with comfort that the Lord knows our path. Those who in sincerity take the Lord for their God find Him all-sufficient, as a Refuge and as a Portion.

There can be no situation so distressing or dangerous, in which faith will not get comfort from God by prayer.

Divine help is most given when most needed. A refuge and a portion when all others fail.
Man has many friends in prosperity, one only in adversity.G.R.

David concludes his prayer with faith in his God to deliver him - for which he shall praise God's name.  He believed in God's word and promise to deal bountifully with him. 

Good men live by prayer. He who gets to the throne of grace is covered by the cloud of glory, through which no sun can smite by day, nor moon by night.
William Swan Plumer

  • God hears my cry
  • God knows my 'path' - each of my situations and circumstances
  • God is my refuge and my portion
  • As David, I am totally dependent upon the Lord
  • God deals bountifully with His children
  • I praise God that He hears my cry, even from the depths of my soul
  • I bless God that He is my refuge and my portion when it seems as though no one cares for my soul
  • I bless God that He is worthy of my trust, the One on whom I can completely depend
  • I bless the Lord that He dealt bountifully with His servant David . . . and deals bountifully with me today!
 PRAYER: by pastor Bob Hostetler 
Lord, my soul is in turmoil.
I am stricken with grief.
I have no answers,
only sadness
and unrest.

But, as Henri Nouwen once wrote,
"in the midst of much inner turmoil and restlessness,
there is a consoling thought:
maybe you are working in me
in a way I cannot yet feel, experience, or understand."

I know that's true.
I don't much like it, but I know it.
So in faith I cling to you.
I know that you are God.
I know you are not sleeping.
I know that you see into my heart,
and that you do some of your best work
in darkness.

So work, Lord.
Lead me.
Teach me.
Soften me.
Mold me.
Break me and put me back together,
as you wish.

I will do my best to submit,
to listen,
and glorify you,
by your grace.

I will not give up on you,
I will not stop praying,
I will not hold back in worship,
I will not blame,
I will not lash out...
by your grace.

Let this little death
I am experiencing now
be for me (as it was for Jesus)
a path to resurrection life,
in whose name I pray, amen.

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