Psalm 3-4, 12-13, 28, 55: Godly Complaints

The Psalms from today’s reading are filled with strife and distress, and rightfully so. These Psalms were written (mostly) by David while he was on the run from his son, Absalom, who had overtaken the throne of Israel from David.

One feature of these Psalms is a kind of Godly complaining. David expresses the depths of his pain to the Lord, and in his darkest moment, he asks the Lord this question:

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?

These are bold questions. Who among us who love the Scriptures would dare to suggest that the Lord would forget us? We know that He does not forget us. He never leaves us or forsakes us. Those of us in ministry might grow concerned if we were counseling someone who asked these types of questions about God, especially if that someone was a spiritual leader of David’s calibre.

But we have to remember something about these questions, they are Spirit-inspired, holy Scripture. These are God ordained questions. And they are questions that honest people ask when they are wrestling with the deep and painful things of life. The Psalms are the most honest and God honoring expressions of human emotions, and we should be encouraged to know that these sorts of questions are not sinful, so long as we can still say with confidence the closing sentiment of Psalm 13:

But I have etrusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.

In the midst of deep despair, David never forgot the goodness of the Lord. He has dealt bountifully with David, and with us. Let us sing to the Lord, and rejoice the His great salvation.

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