Psalm 142

The Word Made Fresh

(A hymn of David when he was in the cave. A prayer.)

1I cry out to the LORD,
and beg the LORD to come to my aid.
2I pour out my troubles to the LORD
3because when I am about to give up
the LORD knows what I should do,
for my way is strewn with hidden snares.
4I look around me and see there is no one to help me.
There is no place for me to hide, and no one who cares.
5So, I cry out to you, LORD. You are my hiding place.
You are my safe place in this world.
6Listen to my plea, for I have nowhere else to turn.
Rescue me from my enemies, for they are too strong for me.
7Set me free from my prison, and I will praise your name.
I will be strengthened by those who are righteous
when they see that you have rescued me.


Superscription: the 13th and last of the “Maskils,” a kind of hymn (see note at Psalm 32). The 69th of the 72 “psalms of David.” The reference to David being in a cave applies to his early years as an outlaw trying to avoid Saul’s wrath (1 Samuel 22).

1-4: The complaint of this little psalm certainly speaks to David’s circumstances, and it is easy to see why it was thought that David was the author. In any case we find again a situation in which the author feels persecuted and believes that there are people out to get him.

5-7: He cries out to the LORD for protection and rescue and promises in return to pay his debt of thanksgiving.


Whenever we are oppressed by the circumstances of life, whether by people who are trying to dishonor us or circumstances threatening to harm us, prayer can be a refuge, and will help us remember that God is with us, especially in the most trying of times.