How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
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?
Consider and answer me, O LORD my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.
When we know the Truth… when we have an understanding of how things ought to be… when we know our God as Savior and Lord, it is a profoundly difficult thing to be confronted with the awful fallen reality of this world. This distressing fallen reality can include our very selves, others, and creation itself. It is during these times, that we are overwhelmingly tempted to be in control. To take the quickest path of least resistance, which will change the present circumstance to be more like the way we think it should be. We can easily see examples of how foolish this can be when we observe addictions, or immature actions of children, or the consequences experienced by those who have found themselves in trouble with the law.
It is harder to see it in the same light when we find ourselves in a situation that demands God’s justice, and the crushing force of its weight is focused squarely on us. David realizes here in verse 2 that if he tries to work out his problems through his own resources, he will have nothing but sorrow. The reality described however, is that even though David is pleading for the good and perfect answer he knows God will bring, it is nowhere to be found at the present time, and he has no way of knowing just how long it will be before God reveals it. Hope and patience are wonderful gifts whose existence become tangible under such circumstances. David puts all his trust, all his faith through which he knows he has the assurance of things hoped for, (Heb. 11:1) in the steadfast love he has already experienced in the Father.
The concluding verse in Psalm 13 is a wonderful and powerful declaration that things will absolutely and confidently be resolved according to God’s good plan and perfect timing. The psalmist will rejoice and offer sincere praise to God alone, and it will not be because ‘he got it right’, or ‘did what it took’ but because of God’s abundant grace demonstrated in a manner that glorifies Him, and perhaps in ways we could never imagine. If we refuse to wait and suffer for ‘a little while’ we might miss out entirely on the greater thing that God wants to freely give.
Lord, help us to wait on you and trust in your steadfast love. Open our eyes that we may see how bountifully you have indeed dealt with us. Let us rejoice in your salvation.
– Glenn Wilder