Walking in Expression
How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? 2 How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart daily? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? 3 Consider and hear me, O Lord my God; Enlighten my eyes, Lest I sleep the sleep of death; 4 Lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed against him”; Lest those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved. 5 But I have trusted in Your mercy; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. 6 I will sing to the Lord, Because He has dealt bountifully with me.
This Psalms was probably written during David's difficult times and years of exile when he was running away from Saul. Saul was pursuing him and David was running away hiding in caves; i.e. the cave of Adullam (1 Sam 22) or the cave in Engedi (1 Sam 24). It is obvious David was in danger and was depressed and feeling abandoned. In times of need David looked unto the Lord for help. He knew little about Saul and his plans, but he did know about Jehovah and his promises. In this Psalm David deals with his feelings, foes, fear and his faith. Because of his faith in these assurances his feelings, foes , fear by faith. God promised David of the throne of Israel, yet that day of coronation seemed further and further away. Saul was doing bad things and God was not judging him and yet David was doing good and yet he felt abandoned by God. David was overwhelmed by all that was happening to him.
The Inward Struggle – Feelings
Have you ever had inward feelings, struggles or questions from within were you are saying How long Lord is this going to end. How long am I going to wait and expect a something. These are the inner struggles of all men but God is in control. David was certainly disturbed with what the enemy was doing, but he was more concerned with what God was not doing. How long is perfect question to ask when your heart is right with God. How long is this going to end. This is not first time David asks the Lord this same question. In Psalms 6:3, he says “My soul also is greatly troubled; But You, O Lord—how long?” The saints in heaven even ask it, Rev 6:10, “And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”
When we are in trouble and we pray for help and none comes, we tend to feel deserted. David felt the Lord was ignoring him and hiding His face from him instead of smiling upon him. To behold God’s face and see God’s glory always encouraged David. If there is a storm in the sky hiding the sun, the sun is still shinning. It is dangerous to give in to our feeling because our feelings are deceptive and undependable. Jeremiah 17:9”says “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?”
Faith is not leaning on our own experiences, skills and trying to plot our own schedules. Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Examples of people that relied on God even if they were experiencing roller coaster are Joseph and Moses.
In fact when Jacob knew that Simeon had been left in Egypt in hostage, he gave up and announce everything was against him yet God was causing everything to work for him. Genesis 42:36 “And Jacob their father said to them, “You have bereaved me: Joseph is no more, Simeon is no more, and you want to take Benjamin. All these things are against me” We must not deny our feelings and pretend everything is going well, there is no sin in asking, How long? But at the same time, we must realize how deceptive our feelings are and that God is greater than our hearts and can lift us above emotional storms of life. Our times are in His hands. The Lord is greater than our Hearts.
The outward Danger – His foes
What is surrounding can change your mind if you are not careful. Though you can conquer your feelings what is surrounding you can take you back to your past defeated feelings. It is good to have peace within you, but you also need protection around you. That’s David prayed three times
>1st Request; Look on me: This is a plea asking the Lord fix His eyes on His servant and scrutinize him. David felt that God had hidden His face and He wanted Him to turn His face towards him.
> 2nd Request; Answer me: David felf he had been deserted and His prayers were accomplishing nothing, and he wanted the Lord to answer him and give some kind of encouragement.
> 3rd Request; Give light to my Eyes: This involved not only spiritual enlightenment (Ps 19:8) but also physical and emotional vitality and strength.
When the mind and the body is weary, it is to be discouraged. Perhaps David was ill and in danger of death. If he died what would happen to the throne of Israel. As much as David was concerned about his own need he was concerned about the glory of God. If David failed God’s name could have been ridiculed. Don’t allow the enemy to gloat over me, was his prayer. If there an areas where you are saying Lord don’t allow the enemy to gloat and rejoice over me, I want you to pray.
The upward look – faith
The little word but in verse 5 indicates transition from fear to faith. Transition from questioning to claiming God’s promises. In their false confidence let the enemy rejoice but I will in the Lord. Yes, it was a roller coaster, but God is still on the throne, His character has never changed. He is still the same yesterday, today and forever more. God does not change. He is a loving God. God’s mercy was all that he needed, for it will never fail. God’s people do not live on explanations, they live on promises and those promises are unchanged as the character of God. When the 2 blind cried for mercy, Christ healed. Refuse to be silenced by an circumstance when you are crying to the Lord. Your faith and cry will reach the ears of the Lord. Matt 9:29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.”
Relying on the Lord leads to rejoining in the Lord and His salvation. The word bountifully in verse 6 focuses on the goodness of God and His generosity in dealing with His people in grace. Psalms 103:2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Psalms 116:7 Return to your rest, O my soul, For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. Psalms 119:17 Deal bountifully with Your servant, That I may live and keep Your word. Let’s trust God in all terrains. When David stopped looking at his feeling and foes by faith he started looking to the Lord
Regardless of any feelings and circumstances Prayer can give way to praise. God was equipping David and ourselves for the work that we will do for rest of our lives. Let me tell you when we need bread our Heavenly Father wants us to come and ask. Those dangerous narrow ways usually lead to wider places and greater opportunities. What life does to us depends on what life finds in us. No matter the circumstances around us or feeling with us, God cares for us. We can be confident that He is working all things for His glory and for our good. In the Lord we always have all that we need. David will behold the hand of the Lord rescuing Him from the enemy. The greatest part on the styory is that David became a king. The promise was fulfilled. Your promise will be fulfilled. God is not a man that He should lie nor the son of man that He should repent from what He has promised. Has He promised shall He not do (Numbers 23:19).
In Psalms 142:7 David says the same word in verse 6; He says, “Bring my soul out of prison, That I may praise Your name; The righteous shall surround me, For You shall deal bountifully with me.” Don't get comfortable in your prison. Cry to come out!!!!
May the Lord deal bountifully with you. The word Bountifully means giving generously, in large in quantity; with abundance. Jesus said in John 10:10, "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." When God gave us Jesus Christ, He gave us all that we ever need. God is not limited and He is still doing miracles. All we need is mercy. Cry for mercy!!!!!
Scriptures says in Matt 9:35 "Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people." Above your fear, feeling and foes that are surrounding you. Choose faith today and mercy.