Not sure if I have posted this or not, but I am posting it again. This was first published in First Press newsletter. If I already posted then I am putting it up again... It's very relevant with Hurricane Irma coming in a few hours.
Read PSALM 13
David begins his Psalm by asking God “How long?” four times. The repetition shows that David is at a point of being unable to bear or endure the situation(s) he is facing. He asks God, “How long YHWH will you forget me, how long will you hide your face from me, how long must I take counsel in myself and how long must I watch the enemy exalt over me?” Initially one would think David is having a crisis of faith as he wonders if God is even around or even cares.
Questioning God was a practice of many men and women of the Bible throughout the centuries. For example, Abraham questioned God when He promised Abraham’s wife would one day bear a son. Job questioned God when he lost everything that was precious to him. Elijah questioned God’s whereabouts when he flees from Jezebel. The Israelites continually questioned God in times of calamity.
There are people who think questioning or complaining to God is wrong, disrespectful or irreverent. I could not disagree more. God is not taken back, intimidated or offended when we bring our raw unfettered emotions to him. I believe He welcomes our cries of despair that we express to him.
David, the Psalmist, is voicing his concern to God by asking, “How long do I have to endure before you will intervene and take control of the situation?” He feels alone and abandoned by God and he is in despair as he faces his enemies. The last thing anyone wants when they are facing a trial or calamity is the feeling of being alone and abandoned. Yet, this is how David feels and he is begging God for divine intervention.
He begs, “God, hear my prayer! I have made my request known and I implore you to give it consideration. Give me the hope I need to know that I will emerge victoriously over my enemies for your name sake; lest my enemies think they have won.” However, in his despair he does not have a shallow hope that God may pull through for him; he is expecting God to hear his prayer and respond in the appropriate manner. This is hard to do, because I often allow my feelings to dictate my relationship with God.
Gerald H. Wilson writes in his commentary of Psalm 13 of three helpful responses to the question “How we can regain a sense of God’s presence when we feel as though we are all alone and far from his presence.”
Jeff has been in full-time ministry for thirty years. He currently serves as Executive Director at Anchor House Ministry at SeaPort Manatee in Palmetto, FL and he is a part-time Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Southside in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored A Lent Devotional (A Spiritual Journey to Lent) an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). All three are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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