Psalm 142 - A Personal Relationship With God
Updated: Aug 26, 2019
I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy.
I pour out my complaint before Him; before Him I tell my trouble.
When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who know my way. In the path where I walk men have hidden a snare for me.
Look to my right and see; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life.
I cry to you, O Lord; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.”
Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me.
Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.
David had a relationship with God that was so personal. We should learn from his example, and get up close and personal with God.
This psalm was about David’s time in a cave in Adullam (1 Samuel 22:1), when he was on the run, away from King Saul. This was after he had killed Goliath and saved Israel from embarrassment, after he was placed in command of Saul’s army and defeated the Philistines again and again. The Israelites praised him as a hero above King Saul. David must have felt victorious and that God was with him during the wars. But never would he have imagined that the King would get jealous and tried to kill him.
How would we feel if we receive bad attitudes, hatred and even betrayal after all the good we’ve done for the Kingdom of God?
David said, “I cry aloud to the Lord”. We may cry, but how often have we cried aloud? I’ve hardly cried aloud, and the last time was perhaps when I was young and caned by my mum. It must have been so hurting to David, and he turned to God, “I lift my voice to the Lord for mercy”. Remember when Jesus prayed out loud to God, even to the point of sweating blood? That was intense.
God knows when our spirit “grows faint”, just as David prayed, “you know my way”. God also knows about the traps set up by his enemies.
David wasn’t alone in the cave; there were at least four hundred men, including his parents, his brothers and his father’s household (1 Samuel 22:1-4). But he expressed “I have no refuge; no one cares for my life”. Were they not concerned for him? Most (if not all) of the people who were with him were in a terrible state themselves. “All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their commander. About four hundred men were with him” (1 Samuel 22-2). He was a distressed leader, who attracted a bunch of distressed men. Instead of being able to help him, he had to help them. They could not comfort him as they had their own worries and concerns. That’s why he could not find refuge in them.
David’s prayer centred on God and himself, not anyone else or even his enemies. He did not pray for God to kill King Saul, but he asked of God, “rescue me from those who pursue me”. He wants to be freed so that he can praise God. He believed that “the righteous will gather about” him “because of your (God’s) goodness” to him. He knew it would be God’s goodness, not his own, that would draw righteous people to him. And he wanted to be amongst the righteous.
I pray that God will bring me to the fellowship of the righteous.
Andy is the head of compliance for an international bank and is happily married, with three daughters. He became a disciple of Christ three decades ago, and studies God's Word passionately. He desires to be constantly led by the Spirit.