David asks five questions to open Psalm 13, and four of these begin with “How long?” How long will I be forgotten? How long will Your face be hidden? How long will I sorrow and wrestle and struggle? How long will I feel like I am losing the battle? When we feel this way, and we likely all do at times, it can be really hard to wait.
Lying is awful. It hurts others and it hurts the person doing it. It is a terrible feeling to know lies are being circulated about us. Sometimes it is a personal lie, but other times it is a circumstantial lie about an inherent group or classification of people. And, for the liar, it is so exhausting to keep up the appearances which lies produce.
Sometimes, life feels like people or situations are coming at us from all sides, and we are surrounded by those who oppose us. Sometimes, that is true. And, sometimes, it is not true. Whether true or not, it typically feels true at the time.
Acrostic psalms are also written in such a way to also reveal to Jewish children (and all of us) some truths about the character of God. I particularly love this line in verse 14 – “You are the helper of the fatherless.” I had a wonderful, earthly father . . .
The interesting thing about Psalm 9 is that it is an acrostic psalm, which continues into Psalm 10. There are eight acrostic psalms in the total number of 150 psalms. Each line of an acrostic psalm begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. In English, this would be like line 1 starting with A, line 2 starting with B, line 3 starting with C, and so on.
There is really something about being outdoors that helps one to reflect on how big of a God we serve. Kansas skies feel vast, and on a clear night, so many stars are visible. Sometimes, I simply like to go outside after dark where I look at the moon and the stars and marvel at the great expanse of God.
I have found that the less I say in my own defense, the better. We can’t control what others think, and we can’t control what others say. But, we can do our best to live out our lives with integrity.
Sunday morning, I sat in the church pew. The preacher had exalted us to repent of our sins. As the worship leader sang “Just as I am,” I became convicted of a specific transgression. I knew God was calling me to the altar rail to repent of it and ask for forgiveness. The pull to move overwhelmed me.
If Psalm 4 frames the Jewish evening as an example of prayer for us, then Psalm 5 frames the Jewish morning. “In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.”
David gives us Psalm 4 which we could read, meditate on, pray to God, or sing in the evening before we go to sleep. As he wrote this psalm, I wonder if he thought of his time as a shepherd boy in the fields. Did he look at a starry sky like this and talk to God?