You Are My Refuge
A Maskil of David, when he was in the cave. A Prayer.
142 With my voice I cry out to the LORD;
with my voice I plead for mercy to the LORD.
I pour out my complaint before him;
I tell my trouble before him.
When my spirit faints within me,
you know my way!
In the path where I walk
they have hidden a trap for me.
Look to the right and see:
there is none who takes notice of me;
no refuge remains to me;
no one cares for my soul.
I cry to you, O LORD;
I say, “You are my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living.”
Attend to my cry,
for I am brought very low!
Deliver me from my persecutors,
for they are too strong for me!
Bring me out of prison,
that I may give thanks to your name!
The righteous will surround me,
for you will deal bountifully with me.
Psalm 142 Commentary
by Hank Workman
Have you ever felt so utterly alone? You may be surrounded by people even but the pressing in of loneliness suffocates. It’s the isolation that comes when others are against us. It’s the remorse that moves in when we have sinned and feel the effects. It’s takes place when the ongoing struggle we have with ourselves or even others where there is no end in sight. These moments of loneliness cut us to the core. They press in where we feel as though no one understands.
David felt such in his life many times. Psalm 142 is one of them. Commentators agree where David was hiding was the Adullam cave and others found in the En Gedi. Saul was ruthlessly pursuing him and he was at his wit’s end. What is noted is David’s sheer hopelessness. Nothing is changing or so it seems. He also though to bring his concerns and his heart before God for help.
We can try and fill our lives with all sorts of empty things when we are in such a place. These are not the answer. The plea of David was for more than just help. Within this, he declares his allegiance to God and determined he would only seek Him. He knew God held the path before him and was resolved to find his way to it. Although overwhelmed by the situation, his confidence was God knew his journey and would lead him.
There is such peace found when we too declare ourselves dependent on God. He knows our coming and going, the place we find ourselves. He knew us before we were born and knows us now in the utter desolation of hurt and confusion even. Only His strength will guide and lead. Only His power will sustain.
Are you in a cave of desperation? God knows you are there. Are you in a place where everything seems hopeless? Only God can stir our hearts toward hope as we continue through our day. As David, make your pleas known. Saddle up beside Him in such times. There is no way where you are has gone unnoticed. He is there. Hang tight to this promise. He knows your path, He knows your journey and He will lead you.
Psalm 142 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
“Tell God all that is in your heart, as one unloads one’s heart, its pleasures and its pains, to a dear friend. Tell God your troubles, that God may comfort you; tell God your joys, that God may sober them; tell God your longings, that God may purify them; tell God your dislikes, that God may help you conquer them; talk to God of your temptations, that God may shield you from them: show God the wounds of your heart, that God may heal them. If you thus pour out all your weaknesses, needs, troubles, there will be no lack of what to say. Talk out of the abundance of the heart, without consideration say just what you think. Blessed are they who attain to such familiar, unreserved intercourse with God.” –Francois Fenelon
Who knows you like God? No one. When David was on the run, and his enemies were trailing him at every turn, God knew. When he was hiding out in a cave wondering if his next step would be straight into a trap, God knew. When people lied about him and deceived him and mocked him, God knew. But, here is the beauty of this prayer. Even though God knew, that didn’t stop David from pursuing Him even more. I know some Christians today who refuse to pray because “God already knows.” This is the opposite response prescribed by Scripture.
I know that one day my daughter will both want and need a car. By the time she is a teenager, she will most likely have a job and be active in school and church activities. She will need transportation, and the lessons learned through owning a car and paying for car insurance will be a valuable experience. Imagine, for instance, that when she turns 14, she begs me for a car. After turning 15 and 16, she tries to haggle, sweet talk, and fiercely express her desire and need for one. She tells me how she feels, and I listen.
When she turns 17, she stops asking. Just before her 18th birthday, she sits down and has a heart-to-heart with me about how immature she has been and how she knows it’s ultimately my decision. She agrees that whatever I decide, she will respect my decision because she knows that I love her. A short time later, I hand her the keys to her own car. My plan never changed. I had always envisioned providing her with a car. But, part of that process involved her working through her immaturity, communicating honestly with me, and patiently waiting on my timing. The same is true of God.
He desires for us to communicate and He always has a plan. Often, the way we see things does not line up with His timing. But, this does not mean we should remain silent. We can see that David poured out every aspect of his life to God, and was richly blessed. God longs to hear from you.