We know that our G-d is a faithful G-d, but there are times when we do not sense His presence with us. There are times when He seems distant and does not seem to be watching over us. This is exactly what king David is experiencing here. This Psalm teaches us an important lesson –
about how we should think and what we should do when G-d seems far away from us.
v1: ‘How long’ – this is a phrase that is going to be repeated a few times in this Psalm. It is a phrase that is related to G-d moving. David is wanting a move of G-d in his life. He wants G-d to sustain him in the midst of his present-day realities.
· Forever – continually. This word tells us that David feels as though he’s been going through this for a long period of time. David has reached a point of desperation and is longing for G-d to manifest Himself.
· G-d hiding His face is an idiom. David feels like G-d has removed Himself (and His blessing) from David’s life. The removal of G-d’s face from our lives is not necessarily as a consequence of disobedience.
v2: Almost all the commentators see this as David taking counsel within himself (he doesn’t feel like G-d is around for Him to take counsel from G-d) – he is going over and over in his mind regarding his situation, why he is suffering, why he is alone etc. He is empty and confused spiritually.
· Daily sorrow (intense sorrow) in the heart (the place where thoughts are thought) wears a person down. David feels as though he’s at a breaking point.
· Daily – each and every day. There’s no change. From sorrow to sorrow to sorrow.
· Enemy – David may be suffering for the sake of righteousness (1 Peter 3:14)
v3: Consider – to look carefully upon something. David wants G-d to examine him.
· The word translated ‘hear’ here is a word for response. David wants G-d to respond in his situation.
· L-rd MY G-d – David affirms that G-d is his. David’s extended period of sorrow, trouble, aloneness, feeling that G-d is absent etc has not changed David’s perspective and covenantal commitment to G-d. David’s commitment to the G-d of Israel was not based upon G-d’s response or activity (or lack thereof) in his life.
· Enlighten my eyes – David wants to understand what he’s going through, and he wants to understand it based upon G-d’s illumination (G-d’s perspective).
Note: We all go through difficult times. Sometimes those difficulties are short lived, but at other times they are extended far beyond a few months. At times like this we must not give up. We need to seek G-d’s perspective in the situation (sometimes we will only learn the answers in eternity – nevertheless we need to know, whether we get an answer or whether we don’t, that whatever is happening G-d is still L-rd and He has a purpose for what we are going through).
· Biblically there is a connection between sleep and literal death. When we go to sleep there is an expectation that we will wake up the next day. When sleep is likened to
death in the Scripture it’s to encourage the reader that death is not the end – we should expect a resurrection (a Kingdom experience). David, however, even though he knows that death is not the end, wants G-d to respond to him in this life so that he can live in a fruitful way while still alive.
v4: David feels like he is going to die, if G-d doesn’t respond to him, and that his enemy will then triumph (rejoice) over him.
· ‘When I am moved’ – the word used here is a word for collapsing – not being able to withstand the attacks of the enemy. It’s a word that speaks about a change in location.
v5: David is not going to change – he’s going to do what he always does i.e. He continues to trust and rejoice in G-d. David is convinced here that this is not his end. He does not feel that he has completed G-d’s purposes.
· Mercy (grace)…salvation: there is a connection between these two things. In this case salvation is related to victory – accomplishing G-d’s will in our lives.
v6: I will sing: This is a word of worship and a statement of David’s faith. David’s situation doesn’t stop him from worshipping. The enemy only has victory over us if he can get us to stop worshiping G-d. No matter how bad things are in our lives and no matter how far away G-d feels we need to continue to worship Him.