The Word Made Fresh
(For the worship leader: a psalm of David.)
1How long will you forget me, LORD? Forever?
How long will you look away from me?
2How long must I worry and be filled with sorrow?
How long must my enemy lord it over me?
3Consider my plight, and give me an answer, LORD my God.
Enable me to see ahead, or I will surely die!
4Then my enemy will say, “I’ve won!”
My foes will gloat over me because I am defeated.
5But I will put my trust in your steadfast love for me,
and my heart shall rejoice because you rescued me.
6Then I will sing to the LORD,
because the LORD has been so good to me.
Superscription: this is the 10th of the “Psalms of David.”
1-6: This is a beautiful little psalm that expresses the anguish of unanswered prayer and the assurance of faith. All of us have experienced times of spiritual dryness when it seems that our prayers fall unheard to the ground. The premise is that the psalmist has been praying but has gotten no relief from his troubles. We’ve all been there. Still, he is not worried that God will never hear him. Rather, he is wondering how much longer he’s going to have to suffer. The middle two verses resume his prayers for deliverance. He tries to convince God of the worthiness of his request by saying that his enemies will think they’ve won if God doesn’t act. This is a common theme in the Psalms and reflects a common concern of kings and others in positions of power. The last two verses can be read in two ways: either we must imagine that some time has passed, and the situation has been resolved to the psalmist’s satisfaction; or we may read it as a statement of faith that God’s help is a foregone conclusion.
Patience is the theme here and is the theme of many of the psalms. Whenever troubles beset us, we need to persevere in prayer; the LORD will answer when the time is right – when we have learned what we need to learn from the situation.