Psalms,  William Daly

Psalm 13 | I Don’t Understand But I Trust You Anyway

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Normally, we want some background/history when possible for flavor/context for the text.

  • A Psalm of David
  • This Psalm is addressed to the Choirmaster (a Psalm used in temple worship)
  • This Psalm is laid out in a 2-2-2 configuration. ie, separated by grouped pairs of verses

Verses 1 & 2:

All start with David’s mournful inquiries of the Lord asking, “How long…?”. Whatever he’s going through must have been the source of such anxiety, anguish, and despair. And it must have been borne of the knowledge that David knew that at any moment, God could end this trial. But He doesn’t. Instead, God chooses to allow David to stay right where he’s at. And that begs the bigger question:

  • WHY? If God could deliver David in a moment, with the snap of His finger, why does he allow David to continue in his suffering to the point of David asking “How long…?” 4 different times in the first 2 verses?

Our exhortation: Stand on what we know to be true about God and then to use THAT to judge our circumstances.

Therefore, let’s ask some questions about who God actually is with regard to His nature and character:

  • Is God impotent?
    • No. His word assures us that He is All-Powerful.
  • Is God uncaring and distant?
    • No. His word assures us that we who are IN Christ are His adopted children THROUGH Christ and that if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us.
  • Is God unable to move?
    • No. Scripture affirms that God is not only Sovereign over all His creation but that He is Supreme. He does what He wills and doesn’t do what He doesn’t will.
  • Does God require something from us first?
  • No. Scripture affirms repeatedly that God is Self-Reliant and dependent on NO MAN.
    • Doesn’t He require faith from us?
      • How much faith did Lazaurus have when Christ raised him from the dead? God often intervenes when we have no faith at all. He even intervenes in the lives of those that hate Him. Where’s their faith? Surprise: faith isn’t an activator of God’s providence over your life. God’s word in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians in Chapter 2, Verse 8 clearly teaches us that faith is a GIFT. So faith comes from God. Our faith doesn’t even originate with us. It’s a gift. Why? So that NO MAN MAY BOAST. God is not a genie. He’s not a Cosmic ATM machine in the sky. God is moved by NO man. He moves according to His own will, when He decrees to move and He can never make a mistake. He can never be wrong. He can never mess up the timing of things.
  • Does God even know what’s going on in my life?
    • Yes. His word declares that God is All-Knowing. Nothing can escape His knowledge.
  • Does He need us to “plant a seed”?
    • No! The God of scripture doesn’t NEED anything FROM you to move. He doesn’t NEED any of us at all for anything! All things depend ON God and yet He is dependent on nothing.
  • With regard to prayer, if God is sovereign, then why even pray?
    • First: We are commanded to pray. So that part involves obedience.
    • Second: God has created and ordained certain means to accomplish His will. And one of those means is prayer. He has chosen to use our prayers as one of the means by which He accomplishes His will.
      • He doesn’t NEED our prayer. But He has chosen, according to His own will, to involve you and I THROUGH prayer, to establish His will. If we fail to pray, God will prompt other believers to pray. And God’s will is accomplished.
  • Third: Sincere communication with our heavenly Father. By participating in prayer, we are participating in a very intimate aspect of our relationship with Him.

Sometimes God seems distant and sometimes He leaves us with nothing more than the knowledge of Who He is to support our faith. Let every one of us trust in the Word of our God and NOT in what we can see with our eyes.

Many of us have all sorts of reasons to disbelieve God based only on what we see with our eyes. But let us always refuse, and say, “No!”. “I will not believe what I see. I will believe what my God has said”. “I will trust in the nature and the character of my God”. He can safely be relied on.

We all feel abandoned from time to time. And because we DO sometimes, God provides encouragement from His word through it. It’s why we GO through the Psalms.

Verses 3 & 4:

Next pair of verses, David prays, “[3] Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, [4] lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.”. This isn’t a rote, mechanical prayer to a disaffected deity in the sky. This wording shows us not only the relationship between David and God but also David’s ownership of his relationship with God.

David goes on, “…light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death…”. He needs to see God in the darkness that surrounds him. And then having seen the light of God IN the darkness, David is assured that God is his guiding light THROUGH the darkness.

  • A story about an Afghani pastor and his congregation.
    • Singing the final verse of a worship song
    • An Afghani brother whispered in his ear that the Afghan President had just resigned and that the Taliban were now in control.
    • They sang these words: “Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also; the body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still; His kingdom is forever”. (“A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”, a hymn).

Verses 5 & 6:

[5] But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. [6] I will sing to the LORD, because He has dealt bountifully with me.”. “I DON’T understand – but I trust You anyway! I choose to stand on what I know to be true about YOU God, in order to make sense of my situation. My heart SHALL rejoice in your salvation”. What a change in heart.

We see David’s trust in action:

  • David’s declaration OF trust in God is based on WHO GOD IS. The only thing certain IS God. The only thing certain ARE His promises. (Romans 3:4) “Let every man be a liar but let God’s word be true”, right?
    • God has promised to preserve us. So hang on. Just wait.
  • David says in Verse 6 that God has dealt bountifully with him. We don’t deserve what provisions that God has given us. God HAS dealt bountifully with us – what is the basis for our complaint?
    • We certainly don’t deserve salvation.
      • We deserve His Justice. But we got His Mercy.
      • Christ deserved Mercy but what He got was God’s Justice in our place.

Stand on the truth of WHO GOD IS to be your hope in your trial. “I don’t understand – but I trust You anyway!”.