296 – Psalm 13 – What will you do?

In our trek through Psalm 13, we have only two verses to consider. If you look at my previous articles in Psalm 13 you will see I made a short list of observations and have been working through them. These observations are certainly not an exhaustive list but hopefully have helped us to slow down and notice some details we might have otherwise missed. Here’s the list of observations again. 


    1. The Psalm’s title informs us David intended this Psalm he wrote to be put to music and sung by Israel.
    2. David uses God’s proper name three times in this six-verse Psalm.
    3. There are five questions David asks of Yahweh God. All but one of them begins with the words “how long”.  (verses 1-2).
    4. David makes one request of Yahweh (verses 3-4). It has two parts.
      1. “Consider and hear me”
      2. “Enlighten my eyes”.
    5. David makes one statement about what he has done (verse 5).
    6. There is one proclamation of what David will do containing two parts. (verse 6).
      1. My heart shall rejoice.
      2. I will sing to Yahweh.


Let’s continue from the observation, “David makes one statement about what he has done”, and see what we can discover. 


Psalm 13:5-6 (NKJV)

           5       But I have trusted in Your mercy;

    My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.

           6       I will sing to the [Yahweh],

    Because He has dealt bountifully with me.


When practicing the inductive Bible study method we want to remember to consider conjunctions. Conjunctions are essentially connecting words like therefore, and, for, but, etc. Words like for and therefore signal to the reader that additional detail or a summary statement of what was previously said is forthcoming. The use of the conjunction “and” sometimes demonstrates a list, which could be progressive (ordered) or random. A progressive list of how to construct a house might be stated this way, “Your house includes foundation, and walls, and roof”. This list is ordered or progressive. You first lay the foundation, then raise the walls, and finally, put the roof on. The conjunction “but” always demonstrates a contrast between two things.

So as interpreters, it’s our job to discover what two things are being contrasted by the word “but” in verse five. If you ponder the passage a bit you will see that the contrast is between what David’s enemies might or probably will do, and what David has done and continues to do. This brings us to our observation. The one thing David tells us about his past actions is that he has “trusted in [Yahweh’s] Mercy”. 

This creates two questions in my mind. First, what is “Yahweh’s Mercy”? Think through the life of David, what one word would you pick that is an accurate synonym for the Mercy of Yahweh in his life? Simply put it is the word salvation. It’s not limited to eternal salvation, but rather is the much broader definition of the word salvation which is the word deliverance. David has trusted in Yahweh’s Mercy or deliverance. This brings me two the second question in my mind, have you and I trusted in Yahweh’s Mercy? Maybe we would be quick to respond, “yes I have trusted in Yahweh’s Mercy (salvation/deliverance) by placing my faith in Jesus Christ for my eternal salvation”. If that’s our answer, that’s wonderful! But I want to probe a little deeper. Have we, as believers in Christ Jesus, trusted in Yahweh’s mercy? When we get in a bind, do we turn to Him or do we attempt to “deliver” ourselves? 

Trusting in Yahweh’s mercy is not a sign of weakness. It is actually a demonstration of a mature Christian life. The beauty of trusting in His mercy is it leads naturally into verse six, which covers our final observation. “My heart will rejoice…”

What will my heart rejoice in? Yahweh’s salvation or deliverance! What a wonderful way to celebrate Yahweh’s goodness toward us! Finally, verse six. Mediate on verse six. I will, I purpose to enact my will, I promise to sing to Yahweh! Why will I sing? I will sing, “because He [Yahweh] has dealt bountifully with me”!

This short Psalm has been a wonderful reminder to me from King David, to keep Christ in the center of my life. God has not forsaken me even though I might not sense His presence or see His hand in my life at the moment. I need not engage my enemies, but can instead rely on Yahweh’s deliverance to sustain me. Walking with Christ in this manner will create in me, songs of worship to the one and only worthy recipient of that worship! 


Yahweh is truly worthy of all praise, worship, adoration, and service! Won’t you join me in doing just that?

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