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  • Writer's picturePastor Mike

March 23 2024


Saturday March 23

“No One Cares for My Soul”

 

Psalm 142:1-4

A Contemplation of David. A Prayer when he was in the cave.

1 I cry out to the LORD with my voice; With my voice to the LORD I make my supplication.

2 I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare before Him my trouble.

3 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, Then You knew my path. In the way in which I walk They have secretly set a snare for me.

4 Look on my right hand and see, For there is no one who acknowledges me; Refuge has failed me; No one cares for my soul.

 

Something interesting I just learned studying for this chat on Psalm 142 is that this is the last of the psalms attributed to David that relate to the years in which he was fleeing from Saul.  For other psalms that David wrote concerning this particular period of his life see, Psalms 7, 34, 52, 54, 56, 57, and 59. The title tells us that this is a psalm of David, written when he was in the cave. It does not tell us which cave, whether it is the one at Adullam (1 Sam. 22) or a cave in En Gedi (1 Sam. 24).

 

We should also note that Psalm 142 is a maschil psalm, (a contemplation), a psalm that was written for instruction. David felt that the lessons he had learned in his troubles should be recorded to help and encourage others. For some reason this psalm did not find its way into the Hebrew hymnbook for a very long time. It was given its place probably by King Hezekiah, who could appreciate David's experiences, having gone through troubles enough of his own.

 

For the background of this psalm, we need to remember David’s experiences up to this point. David's troubles as a young man came swiftly to a head at King Saul's court. After Saul had tried to have him murdered in his bed, he fled to Naioth. He had a secret meeting with his loyal friend Jonathan who promised to find out if it was safe for him to return home. Shortly afterward Jonathan returned for a clandestine meeting with David and warned him that his life was in danger. By this time King Saul was under the tormenting influence of a demon. Nine times in two chapters he tried to have David murdered (1 Samuel 19 and 20).

 

Thoroughly frightened, David fled to Philistia for political asylum. It was a disastrous move and he escaped from Gath only by feigning to be insane himself. It may be that his friends even questioned his faith and his courage by doing something so crazy seek help from the hated Philistines, especially the ones at Gath where Goliath was from. Back in Israel, he sought refuge in the cave of Adullam, a big cave not far from the famous "valley of the shadow." It was a natural refuge for the beleaguered outlaw in a very dark and desperate time of his early years. David pictured this time as being in a “prison” (v. 7).

 

But David finally did what God's people must always do in times of crisis: he looked to the Lord for help. He knew very little about Saul and his plans, but he did know about Jehovah and His great promises, and because of his faith in these assurances, he triumphed over both his feelings and his foes.

 

In verses 1-2, David not only cried aloud with his voice, but he cried earnestly from his heart. He was a godly young man who had faithfully served the Lord and his king, and yet there he was in a cave, hiding like a guilty criminal. Later in life, David would understand more fully that during those fugitive years in the wilderness, God was equipping him for the work he would do the rest of his life, but at the time, his situation was miserable. His feelings were so pent up within him that he "poured out" his troubles (43:4; 62:8; 102 title) and his inner turmoil ("complaint").

 

God knew David's difficult situation better than he did, but the Lord has ordained that our prayers are a part of His providential answers. When we need bread, our heavenly Father wants us to come and ask (Luke 11:9-13). The word "trouble" means "in a tight place, in narrow straits" (Psalms 120:1; 138:7; 143:11). David would learn that those dangerous narrow places usually led to wider places and greater opportunities (Psalms 18:18-19; 4:1; 25:17).

 

My friend, no matter how dark and deep the hole or “cave” we find ourselves alone in with our feelings of total abandonment from our family and friends, we can be assured that the LORD hears our prayers!

 

God bless!

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