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Psalm chapter 13

What does Psalm chapter 13 mean?

David begins this psalm on a note of despair. He feels that the Lord is far from him. David is full of sorrow, thinking about his enemy. This may have been written during the time when King Saul sought to kill David (1 Samuel 19:1–2). With an enemy using the resources of an entire nation to pursue him, David would have felt overwhelmed and helpless. Expressing sincere emotion, David feels as if God has forgotten him. He looks in vain for a way to defeat his enemies. He finally turns to the Lord in faith and asks for an answer. His question is not merely a request for knowledge, but for explanation—to know why these things are happening. David asks for enlightenment, which likely includes energy and strength. He knows that only God can rescue him. Unless the Lord intervenes, David expects to be defeated, and believes his enemies are already celebrating because of his fear (Psalm 13:1–4).

However, David's faith does not fail. Though he does not fully understand "why" these things happen, he maintains his trust in God. He relies on the Lord's unfailing love and rejoices in His salvation. David recalls the Lord's goodness to him, and this causes him to sing. The psalm begins on a note of sorrow and ends with a joyful song. Doubt brings sorrow; faith brings praise (Psalm 13:5–6).
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