“How long, oh 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, oh 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.”
I just want to read this whole Psalm so you get the whole feel of it and let it lead us to pray. What an awesome Psalm that has been sung throughout centuries by the people of God in the middle of suffering, in the middle of injustice, in the middle of confusion. And question, did you hear verse one and two? Four times, how long, oh Lord? How long? How long? How long? How long will this continue? Do you ever feel like that in your life and circumstances you’re walking through? How long, God? When’s it going to stop? Or to look around the world and see evil and injustice and just say, how long? When is it going to stop? You get weary. You get weary in a sin sick world. How long, oh Lord? And even asking, will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long will it seem like you’re not there?
Today, we praise God for the steadfast love that he has shown towards us.
This is honest. This is honest crying out to God. There’s a reason this Psalm has been sung throughout centuries. Because in this sin sick world, these are real emotions, these are real questions. A cry. Verse three, “Consider an answer me, oh Lord, my God.” I’m looking to you. I need your help. And then you get to verse five and the Psalmist says, “I trust in your steadfast love and my heart rejoices in your salvation and I will sing to you.” What a reversal. What a transformation. This is the song of faith amidst the questions of this world to look to the Lord and say, but I trust in you. I trust in your love, I rejoice in your salvation and I sing to you. Why? Verse six, “Because you have dealt bountifully with me.”
This is where we go back to Psalm 9:1, where we recount the wonderful deeds of the Lord, and we remind our souls amidst our questions that the Lord is indeed good. The Lord is gracious and merciful toward all who trust in him and he saves all who trust in him. So we say together with the Psalmist, oh Lord, how long? In so many different ways in our lives, in this world around us, we have these questions. We honestly confess these questions, cry out with these questions to you. And we do so with trust in you.
And God, I pray. I pray for those who are listening to this right now. I’m praying right now for whom trust is hard to come by right now, who are having a hard time trusting you. I think that’s what’s happening here in Psalm 13. We confess there are days when we don’t understand why it feels like you’re far from us. But God, in those moments, and I pray specifically in this moment for anyone who’s there, that they would know that you are with them. They would know that you love them, that your love is steadfast.
God, we praise you for that phrase. Steadfast love. We praise you that your love never fails us. That nothing, neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth nor anything else in all creation can ever separate us from your love. We praise you for your steadfast love. For your salvation that is guaranteed. Amidst our questions, we praise you for the assurance of salvation we have in you. We rejoice in your salvation, Lord Jesus. We rejoice in the fact that one day, you will return and a new heaven and a new earth will be ushered in. And there will be no more tears, no more crying, no more sin, no more suffering, no more pain, no more death, no more questions. Just joy in your presence forever and ever and ever and ever.
So we will sing to you. We sing in our hearts to you right now because you are a bountiful God. You are a gracious and merciful God, and you have dealt bountifully. And you promised, you promised to deal bountifully with us. All glory be to your name, oh God, that when we have questions and when we are hurting, your love is steadfast and your salvation is sure. We praise you, Jesus, for this reality. And we rest and rejoice in, trust in, and we worship you today. We pray all of this in Jesus’ name. Amen.