How Long Lord?
Ever driven any where with Children in the car? What is the question that is most frequently asked? “How much longer?”
Ever notice that no one ever asks that question during the good times?
At the beach: How much longer before we can go home?
During an intense soccer game: How much longer before we can go home?
Opening birthday presents at a party
Only ask during the difficult times, same is true in our lives.
What are some times we are tempted to ask, “How long Lord?”
In this Psalm David goes from protesting to praying to praising
I. In Psalm 13 David is protesting vv. 1-2
1. Notice the question that he asks: “How long?” (4x’s)
Also adds: “for ever?”
a. Forgot me
b. Hide your face from me
c. Have sorrow in my heart
d. My enemy is exalted
3. His helplessness v. 2
How long shall I take counsel in my soul?
How long shall I arrange plans?
*David forms plan after plan with no purpose
*He seeks a way to escape but is unsuccessful
One lesson that we learn is that it is ok to cry out honestly to God
Don’t know occasion for writing:
*Running from Saul: confused by God’s plan
*After sin with Bathsheba
Obviously frustrated with God
Someone once said, "The trouble is that I’m in a hurry, but God isn’t!"
II. In Psalm 13 David is praying vv. 3-4
1. Notice how desperately David is seeking an answer from the Lord
“I need you to give me understanding or else I die”
When was the last time we that desperately sought an answer from the Lord?
2. Sometimes the answer is in continueing to pray and wait on the Lord
Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I’ll never forget the example of Heather LaMont waiting to have heart surgery, “I am waiting for God to give me His peace.
3. David’s desire in seeing God work v. 4
Lest the enemy believe that He defeated the righteous
Could be a pride issue, but with David it seems to be more of a “God be glorified issue.”
*Same with Goliath in 1 Samuel 17:20-26
III. In Psalm 13 David is praising or surrendering to the Lord vv. 5-6
1. David went from protesting to praying to praising (surrender)
He trusted in God’s mercy
He then went on to sing because of God’s bountiful dealings
Important to note that his situation did not change, only the way he looked at it did. Often we come to prayer expecting God to change the situation, sometimes He does, but often He only changes the way we look at it!!
2. Surrender involves trusting God and then acting on that trust
One day, while my son Zac and I were out in the country, climbing around in some cliffs, I heard a voice from above me yell, "Hey Dad! Catch me!" I turned around to see Zac joyfully jumping off a rock straight at me. He had jumped and them yelled "Hey Dad!" I became an instant circus act, catching him. We both fell to the ground. For a moment after I caught him I could hardly talk.
When I found my voice again I gasped in exasperation: "Zac! Can you give me one good reason why you did that???"
He responded with remarkable calmness: "Sure...because you're my Dad." His whole assurance was based in the fact that his father was trustworthy. He could live life to the hilt because I could be trusted. Isn't this even more true for a Christian?
Tommy Dorsey is known as the Father of Gospel Music. He had enjoyed a career as a successful Jazz musician but his life fell apart. After taking some time off from music he surrendered his talents to be used for the Lord. In 1931, just as he was coming to the peak of his success he and his new wife were overjoyed to learn that she was due to have a baby. It was almost time for the baby to be born when he left his apartment in Chicago early one morning while she slept to go play at a series of meetings in St. Louis. That evening when he finished playing as he came down from the platform a boy brought him a telegram with only four words on it, "Your wife is dead." He rushed to a phone and all he could hear on the other end was "Nettie is dead. Nettie is dead." When he got back, he learned that Nettie had given birth to a boy. He swung between grief and joy. Yet that night, the baby died.
Tommy Dorsey buried Nettie and their little boy together, in the same casket.
And then he fell apart. For days he closeted himself. He felt that God had done him an injustice. He didn’t want to serve God any more or write gospel songs. He just wanted to go back to that jazz world he once knew so well. And then a friend led him to a piano, as he lay his hands upon the keys Something happened to him. He felt at peace as though he could reach out and touch God. He found himself playing a melody, it just seemed to fall into place along with the Lyrics
Precious Lord, take my hand,
Lead me on, let me stand,
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn,
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light,
Take my hand, precious Lord,
Lead me home.
As the Lord gave him the words and melody, He also healed Tommy’s spirit. He later wrote, "I learned that when we are in our deepest grief, when we feel farthest from God, this is when He is closest, and when we are most open to His restoring power."