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Psalm 13:3

ESV Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
NIV Look on me and answer, LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
NASB Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; Enlighten my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,
CSB Consider me and answer, Lord my God. Restore brightness to my eyes; otherwise, I will sleep in death.
NLT Turn and answer me, O Lord my God! Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.
KJV Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;

What does Psalm 13:3 mean?

As part of his heartfelt cry of confusion and pain (Psalm 13:1–2), David pleads with God for an answer. David is not only asking for a resolution to his struggles, but an explanation.

Part of David's struggle is his effort to make right decisions, especially in the face of a powerful enemy (Psalm 13:2). He asks the Lord to light up his eyes. In Hebrew thinking, light was the embodiment of wisdom, truth, and goodness. David is asking God to grant him a proper perspective on his troubling situation. James 1:5 directs believers to pray for wisdom when facing trials (James 1:2–8).

David also longs for encouragement. He seems resigned to death and defeat unless God intervenes. Many of the threats David faced in his life were lethal, including those from men like King Saul (1 Samuel 19:1–2). Fear of death was not an exaggerated reaction, but a very real concern.

The apostle Paul must have felt discouraged when he asked the Lord three times to remove his "thorn in the flesh" (2 Corinthians 12:7–8), but the Lord did not remove it. Instead, He told Paul, "My grace is sufficient for you" (2 Corinthians 12:9). No trial can overwhelm the believer who draws encouragement by relying on God's all-sufficient grace. David, as well, retains his trust in God despite these hard circumstances (Psalm 13:5–6).
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