How are you? Have you read Psalms 13 before? What were your thoughts? I don’t know about you, but I have much pondering to do with this psalm. For example, I wonder why some psalms, like this one, say “to the chief Musician”. Do you know? Anyway, I invite you on this journey of pondering Psalms 13 with me in the next few weeks.
Who is the Chief Musician of Psalms 13:1?:
The beginning of Psalms 13 mentions a “chief musician”. There is some speculation as to who is meant be “the chief musician”. Some say it could have been one of musicians of the time. Maybe David wrote Psalms 13 to be played in one of the services back in the day. Maybe David wanted the musician to know or practice or use this psalm for some reason. Who knows? Maybe David was writing a note of sympathy to the musician. My mind can come up with many reasons why these words are part of the psalm.
Others speculate that “the chief Musician” could be God. I mean, God is “the Chief” everything. Why not consider Him the “Chief Musician”? It seems as though David is talking to God throughout the psalm anyway, so it would make sense that the opening statement is directed towards God.
Why Did David Write Psalms 13?:
I wonder why David wrote Psalms 13. Was there a particular time in his life where he was feeling particularly low? We know that he had his share of low times. Could one of those times have brought on the need or desire to write this psalm?
Or, maybe David had a much more meaningful and positive reason for writing Psalms 13. Maybe David wanted to write the psalm to glorify God. Maybe he wanted to show that despite feeling the lowest of lows, one can still pray, trust in God, and feel God’s help and presence.
The Emotion of Psalms 13:1:
I don’t know about you, but I can feel the emotion in Psalms 13:1. Let’s look at it. After the introduction, it says, “How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD?” Can you imagine the desperation? If David wrote this in the midst of a difficult situation, it sounds like he had been there for quite a while. It sounds like he had started questioning whether God was even listening to him any more or if God was mad at him or something.
Have you ever felt like questioning God? Have you ever felt like you have been going through a situation and you have been praying your heart out, but nothing changes? Have you felt this kind of “almost ready to give up” desperation?
One might not feel that questioning God, or yelling at God, or crying to God, whatever David might have been doing here. Yet, it sounds like David was being very vulnerable and honest with his feelings. I don’t know if it is “right” or not. However, I do think that God likes honesty.
With the second question in Psalms 13:1, the “for ever?” we can see that David was feeling this for a while. Or, he was showing that the despair or lowness had been for a while. If it wasn’t for something he was going through, he could have been magnifying the fact that people even in the lowest of their lows, can call on God.
In the last question of the verse David asks God, “How long wilt thou hide thy face from me?” Whether David was feeling it himself or wanted to stress that it is possible for people in general, he was showing that it might feel at times that God is ignoring you. Have you felt that before? Have you felt that God has ignored you?
It seems like David felt desperate and overwhelmed. I wonder if he also felt depressed and angry. I can imagine David yelling out, maybe even crying out to God in desperation. He may have even been standing and dropped to his knees out of exhaustion, almost as a sign of overwhelm and on the brink of hopelessness.
We read about how God seemed to rely on God quite a bit and trust in Him most of his life. Feeling a desperation and fear or concern that God might be ignoring him seems quite the opposite of that usual trust and reliance.
How often have you read Psalms 13:1 or any of the verses in God’s Word and glossed through the verses like the words in any other book? We could read Psalms 13:1 and think, “Okay, a man from long ago was having a bad day. It doesn’t affect me.” Yet, all of God’s Word is meant to teach us no matter how long ago it was written.
I find that it is easier to get more out of God’s Word, when I ponder it. I feel that it is important to find ways to relate to it and find the meaning of not only the people in the day, but for me in my day as well.
Like I said, I think whether or not David was going through something at that particular time or not, he was trying to show that no matter how low you are feeling, even in the lowest of your lows, you can call out to God. Even though he might be down, questioning, upset, scared, desperate, or whatever he is feeling, he is still calling out to God.
Thank you for your Word. We may not know things like why David wrote the exact things he did thousands of years ago, but help us to remember that all your Word can help us and lead us to you. Help us not to gloss past verses that seem outdated. Help us to know that even in our lowest of lows, we are called to turn to you. Even if it might feel that you are listening, we are called to turn to you and trust you. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
If you enjoyed this post, please stay tuned for the rest of the series on Psalms 13. Also, you might like to read these similar posts:
*Are You Wearing the Whole Armor of God?
*Love and Fear
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