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Psalm 13

Psalms of Summer  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The text teaches God's people how to overcome various personal crises in life.

Notes & Transcripts
Public Reading
(ESV)
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
1 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
3 Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
4 lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
5 But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
6 I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.
(PRAYER)
We are going to talk aboutHow to Overcome Crisis in Your Life.”
INTRODUCTION
We are going to confront 2 different crises this morning, and the 1st is personal crisis.
and the 1st being personal crisis is the type that can hit you at any point in life.
Personal crisis come in the form of a financial hardship, poor health, straying loved ones, difficult work situations, or hateful people.
Often times, a personal crisis will become all-encompassing, having a theological, psychological, and sociological dimension. The crisis will eventually take over your life and transform who you are. If you can relate to any of the above, you will love .
begins with a sigh and ends with a song. It moves from despair in crisis, through prayer, to confident hope that God will handle the situation.
Theme: begins with a sigh and ends with a song. It moves from despair in crisis, through prayer, to confident hope.
The distress is
Context:
BODY
When you find yourself in an all-encompassing crisis like the psalmist, it will eventually have a theological, psychological, and sociological dimension that will wreak havoc in your life.
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
Notice 3 things that will help you overcome personal crisis in your life:
I. Description of the Crisis: Cry Out to God (1-2)
4 “how longs”
A. Description of the Crisis: Be Honest with God (1-2)
1. Abandonment (1)
1 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever (passively forgotten)? How long will you hide your face from me (actively forgotten)?
It is to be noted that in his distress his first concern is for his relationship with God. For any troubled soul, this is a good place to begin!
2 How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day (Internally - depressed)? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me (suffering externally - oppressed)?
( Internally - depressed)? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me (suffering externally)?
2 How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day (trying to figure it all out, but suffering internally)? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me (suffering externally)?
He is less concerned with why and more concerned about his relationship with God.
You may explain to a child all the medical reasons why he must have a shot in the arm, but when the nurse gets ready to plunge that needle into his arm, he runs to Mommy.
Comfort comes not in always knowing the reason why, but in knowing the comforter.
In (context of concern for worldly existence) we find God’s promise, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.
How many times have you perceived your crisis as a lack of relationship with God, or his general lack of concern for you?
In we find God’s promise, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Which do you do in crisis: (1) question God, (2) find comfort in God?
When you are in crisis, focus first on your lack of perceived relationship with God
II. Prescription for the Crisis: Call out to God (3-4)
3 Consider (look) and answer me, O Lord my God (Yahweh; Covenant God); light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
4 lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
And so his cry, How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? It is to be noted that in his distress his first concern is for his relationship with God. For any troubled soul, this is a good place to begin!
Even Jesus, on the cross, would cry out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (). Yet this same Jesus, who knew the agony of the cross, knew also the glory of the resurrection.
In we find God’s promise, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5 ESV
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Do you cry out to others or God?
When in crisis, do you call out to God or cry out to your friends?
Call out to God amid your crisis, and your agony will turn to glory!
II. Devotion in Crisis: Confidence in God (5-6)
A. Trusting in God’s Loyal Love Brings Confidence (5)
5 But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
B. Remembering God’s Past Blessings Brings Confidence (6)
6 I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.
When Pompeii was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, there were many people buried in the ruins. Some were found in cellars, as if they had gone there for security. Some were found in the upper rooms of buildings. But where was the Roman sentinel found? Standing at the city gate where he had been placed by the captain, with his hands still grasping his weapon. There, while the earth shook beneath him there, while the floods of ashes and cinders covered him—he had stood at his post. And there, after a thousand years, was this faithful man still to be found.
Trust game of falling back
Green, M. P. (Ed.). (1989). Illustrations for Biblical Preaching: Over 1500 sermon illustrations arranged by topic and indexed exhaustively (Revised edition of: The expositor’s illustration file). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
God has never left his post. Look back at what he has done, and have confidence in what he will do.
CONLCUSION
This Psalm clearly teaches us that we can overcome personal crisis in our lives by crying out to God, calling out to God, and trusting God to take care of our crisis, but the 2nd crisis I want to tell you about is a universal crisis.
The universal crisis that you are facing now is that even though God created you and loves you, you have done things to other people that violates God’s Word, which leaves you guilty of death and eternal separation from God. But God loves you so much that he wants to save you.
You may be asking yourself, “What must I do to be saved?” (repentance and faith).
RESEARCH SECTION
Theme: David’s trials were such that he wondered how long he could hold on. But trials produce endurance, and the outcome is joy and singing (WBC).Theme: The Cry of the Afflicted (Ross).
The psalm is an individual lament, in which the worshiper comes to God with a desperate inquiry—“How long?”—and concludes on a note of hope and confidence. The distress which the worshiper laments is probably the fear and proximity of death, brought on perhaps by grave illness (see further the Comment). The psalm begins with a series of lamenting and nagging questions, but eventually the psalmist calms down and is able to look forward to a time of deliverance and joy.
Craigie, P. C. (2004). (2nd ed., Vol. 19, p. 141). Nashville, TN: Nelson Reference & Electronic.
Theme: This is an individual lament Psalm (“prayer for help”), and though the exact context of the crisis of this Psalm is unknown, it is either a physical, emotional, social, or economic crisis. But 2 things are clear: (1) the Psalmist understands his crisis as both spiritual and theological crisis - this is about his relationship with God; and (2) this Psalm is now available to any believer for reuse in a variety of life situations.
begins with a sigh and ends with a song. It moves from despair, through prayer, to confident hope. The
Tesh, S. E., & Zorn, W. D. (1999). Psalms (p. 153). Joplin, MO: College Press.
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. I. The Psalmist’s Lament (1-2)[I. Affliction of abandonment (1-4)]{I. Complaint (Questioning) in the midst of Crisis (1-2)}{A. Abandonment}
The distress is all-encompassing, having a theological, psychological, and sociological dimension
Futato, M. D. (2009). The Book of Psalms. In Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, Vol 7: The Book of Psalms, The Book of Proverbs (p. 67). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
Here [David] speaks not so much according to the opinion of others, as according to the feeling of his own mind, when he complains of being neglected by God.… When we are for a long time weighed down by calamities, and when we do not perceive any sign of divine aid, this thought unavoidably forces itself upon us, that God has forgotten us.… Thus, it seemed to David, so far as could be judged from beholding the actual state of his affairs, that he was forsaken of God. - Calvin
Futato, M. D. (2009). The Book of Psalms. In Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, Vol 7: The Book of Psalms, The Book of Proverbs (p. 67). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
1 How long, O Lord? (1) Will you forget me forever [i.e., passively forgotten as if too busy to care - neglected]? How long (2) will you hide your face from me [i.e., actively withdrawing protection - abandoned]? {B. Anguish}2 How long (3) must I take counsel in my soul [i.e., as a result of God’s abandonment, he is now suffering internally] and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long (4) shall my enemy be exalted over me [i.e., not only is he suffering from within, he is now suffering externally]? The Psalmist’s problems with himself and his enemies and with his own self are also God’s problems (do you ever feel like you are alone in your problems?). On the basis of a holistic and organic understanding of all of life being caught up in God, the Psalmist cries out for deliverance.The 4 “how longs” introduces the intensity of the situation as well as 4 questions (c.f., text for 4 questions).
And so his cry, How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? It is to be noted that in his distress his first concern is for his relationship with God. For any troubled soul, this is a good place to begin.
Even Jesus, on the cross, would cry out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (). Yet this same Jesus, who knew the agony of the cross, knew also the glory of the resurrection. In we find God’s promise, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Tesh, S. E., & Zorn, W. D. (1999). Psalms (p. 154). Joplin, MO: College Press.
In these two remarkable verses we discover that the path to ecstasy begins at the gate of honesty. “The one who laments his suffering to God does not remain in his lament. But before this point can be reached, the suffering must express itself, it must be put into words
Futato, M. D. (2009). The Book of Psalms. In Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, Vol 7: The Book of Psalms, The Book of Proverbs (p. 67). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
II. The Psalmist’s prayer for delivery (4-5){II. Request for deliverance from crisis (3-4)}3 Consider and answer me (how long?), O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, He parallels the request of his prayer with his complaint in 2 ways: (1) repetition by using three imperative verbs - consider [look], answer, and illumine; and (2) matching the content of the request to the complaint - “look” instead of hiding face, etc. David understands that God stands at the center of the crisis, and he understands that God can deliver him on the crisis.
There is no confession or statement of sin to suggest that the trial was a judgment deserved; the urgency of the psalmist’s plea springs from a sense of profound anxiety, not penitence. As a member of the covenant people, his expectation was to be remembered by God and to see the light of his countenance (), but the long absence of such privileges evoked the anguished cry of lament; the eye that was dim was clouded with both ill health and its consequent grief (cf. ), so that the prayer is a request for restoration to health and deliverance from grief. When the eye was enlightened, it would signify a state of health (cf. ). But there is more than a prayer for physical health in the psalmist’s plea; at a deeper level, he desires to return to close fellowship with the Lord. Thus, when God’s face was hidden, the light of his countenance could not shine upon the psalmist (see vv 2–3), but when God turned to him again, not only would the psalmist see the light of the divine countenance, but his own eyes would be enlightened. When his eyes were enlightened, both spiritually and physically, he would not fall into the sleep of death which seemed so imminent.
Craigie, P. C. (2004). (2nd ed., Vol. 19, p. 142). Nashville, TN: Nelson Reference & Electronic.
Thus the prayer for deliverance takes up the themes of the lament; lament is pointless unless it culminates in prayer. Specifically, the psalmist prays that the Lord would “enlighten” his eyes;
Craigie, P. C. (2004). (2nd ed., Vol. 19, p. 142). Nashville, TN: Nelson Reference & Electronic.
4 lest my enemy (personification of death) say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes (enemies in general) [those who scoff at our faith in Christ] rejoice because I am shaken. III. The Psalmist’s expression of confidence (5-6)[II. Anticipation of Deliverance (5-6)]{Ongoing faith (confidence) in the midst of crisis (5-6)}Though the crisis still remains, David is under the conviction that the Lord has heard his prayer and his lament turns to praise.5 But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. 6 I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.inverted parallelism that highlights rejoicing and praising today, because of what God has done yesterday.
The confidence is expressed within the tension which exists between past experience and future hope. The past experience of the psalmist has been one of trust in God’s “lovingkindness,” namely the faithful covenant love of God which characterized all his dealings with his chosen people. The present reality was of such a nature as to undermine that past experience of trust, but it is in the nature of confidence to transform the present on the basis of past experience and thus to create hope for the future; and so the psalmist can affirm that he will “rejoice” in God’s deliverance, even though it has not yet come. The actual song of praise would burst forth once deliverance had been accomplished, but the knowledge that deliverance was coming created an anticipatory calm and sense of confidence.
Craigie, P. C. (2004). (2nd ed., Vol. 19, p. 143). Nashville, TN: Nelson Reference & Electronic.
The divine gift of life brings with it many mysteries, not least of which is the intimate connection between what we commonly call “body and soul.” From the perspective of Hebrew anthropology, the essence of a person could not be conveniently split into parts—for example body, spirit and soul—as was done at a later date in the context of Greek thought. Human life was a whole, a single entity. Yet, from a more practical perspective, there were deafly different dimensions to the life of a person: there was the physical body, the mind (in Hebrew “heart”), and the emotions (“soul,” v 3). But, as is demonstrated so clearly in this poignant lament, the parts did not function independently. The health of the physical body affected the mind and the emotions; conversely, the mind and the emotions could affect the physical body, or at least the interrelationship between the parts.
It is the dominance of the body with which the psalm begins; the physical body was engulfed in sickness and near to death. But because, in the Hebrew conception, there could be no life apart from the body, the inner person was profoundly affected by the state of the physical body. The nearness of death created a chasm in the sense of relationship with God; when death came, that relationship could not continue. Yet the inner being of the psalmist was not willing simply to submit in resignation to the affliction of the body; if such were the case, the psalm would end after v 3. Recognizing the danger, the psalmist calls for help and deliverance; the cry comes from within, though it relates to the external life of the body as much as to the torment of mind and emotion.
The confidence which finally comes (v 6) is based primarily upon a change of attitude, not a change in physical well-being. The essence of life was a relationship with God—for that, the inner and outer beings existed. And so the personal threat afflicting the body was countered by memory of past trust (v 6a) and anticipation of future deliverance (v 6b). Such a counterattack did not in itself change the state of the body; it simply provided the framework of confidence within which the present could be accepted and the future anticipated with joy.
Craigie, P. C. (2004). (2nd ed., Vol. 19, p. 143). Nashville, TN: Nelson Reference & Electronic.
APPLICATION:(1) not only can we carry the burden of our crises to God, but also our relationship when it feels as if there is a problem in our relationship.
Agony and ecstasy, at the same time! Is this true of you? Yes! For “we are simultaneously people of the cross and people of the resurrection” (McCann 1996:728). In this world you will have trouble (); there will be crosses to bear (). But “you have been raised to new life with Christ” and “your real life is hidden with Christ in God” (, ). You also have the Holy Spirit “as the first installment that guarantees everything [God] has promised us” (). “The agony and the ecstasy belong together as the secret of our identity” (Mays 1980:282). Luther said it well when he said that speaks of the “state in which Hope despairs, and yet Despair hopes at the same time.… There is no one who understands who has not tasted it” (quoted in Perowne 1966:1.180). The apostle Paul understood : “Our hearts ache, but we always have joy” ().
Futato, M. D. (2009). The Book of Psalms. In Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, Vol 7: The Book of Psalms, The Book of Proverbs (pp. 68–69). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
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