1772.) Psalm 142

 David’s Spring and Cave in Ein Gedi National Park, Israel.

David’s Spring and Cave in En Gedi National Park, Israel.

Psalm 142   (NIV)

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

Caves are interesting places to visit, but I certainly wouldn’t want to live in one! They are OK when the path is well marked and the electric lights are working, but let the lights fail, and accidentally lose your jacket, and get lost in those labyrinthine paths with unfriendly creatures — no, thank you! Yet here in this psalm David, who is feeling alone and trapped and strained to the nth degree, teaches us how to pray when we feel almost ready to “cave in” on account of our overwhelming trials.

The outline comes from Derek Kidner’s book Psalms.

My plea:  vs. 1-3a.
Help me, Lord, because you know my path.

I cry aloud to the Lord;
    I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy.
I pour out before him my complaint;
    before him I tell my trouble.

I complain to God, but do so in submission to his will and his ways.

When my spirit grows faint within me,
    it is you who watch over my way.

My plight: vs. 3b-4
The enemy has me trapped and lonely, with no one to care for my soul.

In the path where I walk
    people have hidden a snare for me.
Look and see, there is no one at my right hand;
    no one is concerned for me.
I have no refuge;
    no one cares for my life.

Ps142 nobody-cares

One major factor in David’s tale of woe is the constant threat of his enemies; they are always setting a trap where they think he will walk. When he looks to the right, that is, to the place of an advocate or helper, there is no one. Everyone seems indifferent to his desperate need. No one cares for his life. It is really a haunting cry, “No one cares for my soul,” a harsh indictment against a selfish, depersonalized society—and perhaps today against a sleeping church.

–William MacDonald

My portion:  vs. 5-6a
The Lord is my refuge and my portion.

I cry to you, Lord;
    I say, “You are my refuge,
    my portion in the land of the living.”

Help me, Lord, to wean myself away from seeing this world and its pleasures as my portion. Help me choose you.

Listen to my cry,
    for I am in desperate need;

My prospect:  vs. 6b-7
The Lord with deliver me so that I may give thanks to him in the company of the righteous.

rescue me from those who pursue me,
    for they are too strong for me.
Set me free from my prison,
    that I may praise your name.
Then the righteous will gather about me
    because of your goodness to me.

Ps142 cave

“There is no cave so deep, so dark, but we may out of it send up our prayers, and our souls in prayer, to God.”

–Matthew Henry

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is Kari Jobe and “Love Came Down.”  And we rejoice that God is Love!

_________________________

New International Version (NIV)   Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Images courtesy of:
En Gedi.    http://www.wliw.org/21pressroom/files/2010/11/06_israel.jpg
nobody cares.    http://alecsharp.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/nobody-cares.jpg
cave.    https://bibledaily.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/cave.jpg
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