294 – Psalm 13 – Introduction
If I were to ask you if you noticed the picture I selected for this week’s devotional post most of you would probably respond, “yep, it’s a rose!” without having to look at it again and you’d be correct. Maybe some of you would say, “it’s a flower”, which is still correct but not very specific. Would you remember what the picture is tomorrow, next week, or next month? if I asked you to describe it to me with as much detail as possible could you do that without taking another look at it? Could you describe it in great detail without studying it and maybe even referring back to it several times?
As you might have guessed, what I’m trying to illustrate is the difference between devotionally reading a passage of scripture and slowing down to actually study the passage. I hope the devotional posts I write and that you read at least slow you down enough to notice the wonderfully intricate details woven throughout the word of God.
Many years ago my wife and I made a road trip with her parents from North Dakota to Illinois. We stopped at a restaurant and I watched my father-in-law with some interest. He opened a sugar packet and dumped the contents into his coffee cup. He then placed the empty packet on the table in front of him, stabbed the ball of gum he had in his mouth with a toothpick, and laid the newly combined gum and toothpick down on the sugar packet. After his meal, he grabbed the toothpick and reinserted the gum into his mouth.
I said, “Pa would you like a fresh piece of Jucy Fruit?”
“No,” he replied with a wry smile, “this one still has plenty of flavor in it!”
The thing is that’s the same piece he’d been working on since the day before. What if we believers chewed on the scriptures until we got all the flavor out of them? How might that impact us? Let’s spend a few minutes “chewing on” this short Psalm.
Psalm 13 (NKJV)
1 How long, O [Yahweh]? 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 [Yahweh] 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 [Yahweh],
Because He has dealt bountifully with me.
This is far from an exhaustive list of observations, but I’d like to talk about these six. As you read them ask yourself did you notice them? Read through the Psalm a few times and list any new ones you see.
- The Psalm’s title informs us David intended this Psalm he wrote to be put to music and sung by Israel.
- David uses God’s proper name three times in this six-verse Psalm.
- There are five questions David asks of Yahweh God. All but one of them begins with the words “how long”. (verses 1-2).
- David makes one request of Yahweh (verses 3-4). It has two parts.
- “Consider and hear me”
- “Enlighten my eyes”.
- David makes one statement about what he has done (verse 5).
- There is one proclamation of what David will do containing two parts. (verse 6).
- My heart shall rejoice.
- I will sing to Yahweh.
Why did I feel it was significant to note, “The Psalm’s title informs us David intended this Psalm he wrote to be put to music and sung by Israel”? You don’t have to be a language expert to see that the original Hebrew does not contain emojis. You and I both know that when we text something to someone it can easily be misunderstood because the reader doesn’t have the benefit of reading our body language or noticing the tone of our voice, so we add emojis. When you read the above six verses did you pick up on the fact that David is pleading with God and seems to be in turmoil? Read the first two verses, then skip down and read the last two verses. Do think there would be a change in David’s tone between the two segments? In the first two verses the Psalmist is pleading, in the last two he is demonstrating his joy through song.
So why is the Psalm’s title noteworthy? Maybe it’s because David had a wonderfully private experience with Yahweh, yet he wants the nation to be touched by his experience. He wants them to sing joyfully to Yahweh as well.
We didn’t even get to verse one of Psalm 13 and yet I feel like I learned something important. I think King David had a very personal and intimate relationship with Yahweh God but made no attempt to keep it private. As a matter of fact, he went to great lengths to share his encounters with the whole nation of Israel through poems put to music (we call them songs). Yahweh too enjoyed a relationship with David and has preserved a record of those encounters through the centuries in His holy word.
God truly is good, loving, kind, and worthy of all praise, worship, and adoration.