From Complaining to Confidence

David’s Appeal – 13:3b-5 – “…light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, lest my enemy say, ‘I have prevailed over him’, lest me foes rejoice because I am shaken.  But I have trusted in your steadfast love my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.”

Notice that David here in Psalm 13 and other authors in other Psalms try to persuade God to act so that they’ll get out of their current problems!  David isn’t afraid to try and convince and motivate God to do something!  He is not afraid to do some “divine arm twisting” if that’s what it takes to get God to act.  David states that the reason God should act and save him is a) because he is in a mess, b) because of his enemies, and c) because of God!  You probably get these first two right?  Anytime we’re in a mess we beg God to take us out of it, and anytime people wrong us we talk God about it, or we should talk God about it, usually before we respond to them.  But notice the third reason?  David wanted God to act here, because he has trusted in God’s steadfast love.  What does this mean?  Well, David has trusted in this God for salvation, and God has proclaimed Himself to be “merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love and faithfulness.”  If God is that good, David is saying, “Shouldn’t You show up God?”  In David’s mind, he is calling God to be what He has said He is, and if God doesn’t show up, David is implying that God’s loving and faithful reputation is on the line.  Now before you accuse David of doing something wrong here, let me indeed tell you that though David talks like this, he knows God is sovereign, all powerful, majestic, all glorious, that nothing happens on this earth apart from His will, and that God always does what is best for him.  But David knows that prayer can really make a difference in what happens or what does not happen in his own life!  So given the situation he is in, David goes for it in prayer with God, and he’s got nothing to lose in doing so, because God hears the cries of His children and always acts for them.  You know what’s crazy about this?  We should do this too.

David’s Confidence – 13:6 – “I will sing to the Lord because He has dealt bountifully with me.”

Now we’ve come to the last verse in our Psalm, and it is strange.  Well this whole Psalm is strange isn’t it?  But really, look at this last verse – the tone totally changes.  David was bleak and had cracked emotionally and spiritually.  He’s at the end of is rope and is calling God to action to rescue him from this mess.  Then in 13:6 we read this?  What?  Some scholars believe that this verse was added onto the end at a later time because it’s so different in tone.  I don’t believe that, and you shouldn’t either, it’s wrong.  I believe this different feel for an ending shows the heart of David and oh (!) is it awesome!  It reveals that David’s heart knows that regardless of how God answers this prayer, whether He shows up and rescues him, whether He does something totally unexpected, or whether He does nothing at all, David will be ok.  Why?  Because he’s gotten what was crushing his heart off his heart, it’s in God’s hands now, and David knows deep down inside that God has been faithful in the past, and that he can trust God with his future, even if he doesn’t understand the present.  David has just traveled from complaint to confidence, how?  By taking God to task, getting mad, screaming, throbbing, crying, all in prayer.  God is now taking care of His boy, and David knows…everything will be ok.

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