Life has gone well. Suddenly, however, it seems chaotic. Worse, even though you pray, it seems that God is not answering. That kind of change can affect individuals—and communities. What do you do when it seems that God just doesn’t hear? David wrestles with that in Psalm 13.
Cry, how long? How long will the Lord forget you? We don’t know the details of David’s situation when he wrote this plea. Is he reflecting on the Lord’s blessing he had experienced after defeating Goliath and enjoying the favor of King Saul—only to be followed by desperate escapes and intense persecution? Was he dealing with some other enemy? The discouragement is intense—he repeats the question four times. Does God really forget? Will he truly hide his face from his people? It is not that God has amnesia. Rather, his hearing, remembering, and seeing are preludes to his action (see Exodus 2:24-25), and action by God is what David finds lacking—or so it seems. That leads to David debating with himself. How does what I know about God, what he has said about himself, the faithfulness I have experienced, how does that fit with his seeming silence? It’s not wrong to wrestle honestly with those hard questions. Habakkuk borrows the same language as he experiences the ungodly behavior of the covenant people. The souls of the saints under the altar in Revelation 6 echo the cry. Believers who have seen their numbers decimated by martyrdom pray this Psalm. Continue reading “How Long, O Lord?”