Pastor's Blog

Psalm 142:1

A maskil of David. When he was in the cave. A prayer.

I cry aloud to the Lord;

I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy.

One of the things that we know about David, the second king of Israel, is that he was a great warrior. As we read about his life in the Old Testament books of history we are aware of the fact that he was able to lead military forces very effectively. We know that he was a courageous young man, taking on a lion, a bear, and a giant in hand to hand combat.

I point all that out because of the content that we are reading today in Psalm 142. For me, one of the most important parts of Psalm 142 is the subtitle. This Psalm is a maskil. In opening up a couple of commentaries this morning I read that means that this a Psalm of instruction. David is telling the listener (or the reader) these are some things that I have learned that I believe will be helpful to you as well.

The subtitle also gives to me the setting in which these lessons of life were learned. He was in the cave. That is where David lived while King Saul was pursuing him with the intent to execute him. While living in the cave David had 600 men come to him and commit themselves to follow his leadership. They were men of war. They were soldiers. To borrow a term from modern times- these were “macho men.”

It was in that context that this song was born. The man who took out the giant and then led the armies of Israel in great conquests tells his soldiers and us when you are in trouble – when you are afraid – when you feel like you are alone and no one cares - pray. Cry out to the Lord. Tell him what is going on in your heart. One of the things that made David a great man was the fact he was able to say “I am not self-sufficient, I need God’s help!”

David teaches us that when troubles come there at least two things we can do in prayer that will lead to a sense of peace and well being. First, tell the Lord just how it is. Instead of taking his complaints to the people around him who really didn’t have the power to do anything about his complaints, David poured it all out before God in prayer. Secondly, David made the declaration

“Lord, you are my refuge – you are my portion.” In other words, Lord I am going to depend on you and your mercy. Lord, I am going to trust you with the outcome.

Those are instructions to live by. Those are instructions that will lead to success in battle. Those are instructions that will help you survive when you are feeling low.

Suggested Readings To Read Through The Bible In A Year

Wednesday December 22, 2010   Revelation 13 and Psalm 142

Thursday     December 23, 2010   Revelation 14 and Psalm 143:1-6

Friday         December 24, 2010   Revelation 15 and Psalm 143:7-12

Saturday     December 25, 2010   Revelation 16 and Psalm 144

Sunday        December 26, 2010   Revelation 17 and Psalm 145

Monday       December 27, 2010   Revelation 18 and Psalm 146

Tuesday      December 28, 2010   Revelation 19 and Psalm 147


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