Psalms 13 How Long Lord…? How Long?

David laments about how long it’s taking to overcome their enemies. Enemies arise back-to-back. But the Children of Israel are only facing enemies’ generation after generation because they are not staying under the anointing of GOD. Acts of disobedience are opening the door to their enemies.

In verse 1 and 2, David ask, “How long…”, a total of 4 times. It’s interesting to note that Israel went into exile a total of 4 times; Babylon, Persia, Greece and with Rome.

Where else in the scriptures do we find similar language.... [Using one of the 7 Rules of Biblical Hermeneutics (Rule #6) known as ‘Ka-yoẓe bo mi-maḳom aḥer‘ (“Like that in another place”), i.e., the explanation of a Biblical passage according to another of similar content].

We see:

Exodus 16:28 “And the Lord said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?”

Numbers 14:11 “And the Lord said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?”

Numbers 14:27 How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me.”

David recognizes and expresses two ways in which we can feel that GOD is not with us…

  1. Removal of His Presence; (1a) can cause us to feel forgotten.
  2. GOD Conceals His Face; (1b) can cause us to feel abandoned.

Yet, in the Book of Jeremiah we find GOD’s reply to apathy, idolatry, apostasy…

“Saying to a stock, Thou art my father; and to a stone, Thou hast brought me forth: for they have turned their back unto me, and not their face: but in the time of their trouble they will say, Arise, and save us.”

Sure, we can come up with our own strategies to save ourselves, and we have. But when will we trust GOD enough to abide with Him, without turning our backs, getting comfortable and complacent, without crossing over into apostasy, forgetfulness, apathy?

What causes us to drift back into the world and turn away, and get caught in the cycle of exile? Isn’t that one of the things that David wants us to figure out?

Lighten our eyes LORD, give us Your plan. We purpose to hear Your plan; we purpose in our hearts to listen and obey. We need Your counsel to keep us out of the snares of the enemy, we need to outwit them. It is imperative that we outwit them. If You do not give us the plan, or the instructions, to keep us from venturing into the traps, plots, plans or snares of our spiritual enemies, we will sleep the sleep of death (Jer. 51:9).

Enlighten us with torah… cause us to see beneath the verses… cause our eyes to open so that we understand the message… open our ears to hear… least our enemies prevail over us, over our children and over our futures…

This is why we can trust in Your Mercy…This is why we can rejoice in Your Salvation… This is why we can sing and find joy in the midst of pain and disappointment, or distress… because we don’t allow our feelings to rule over us… because our hearts are not seared, we can receive correction, we possess the humility to repent, because we know you are Faithful, More Faithful that we are… whether we can see Your Face, or feel Your Presence, we trust in You and on Your Name, and we already know that you will never leave us or forsake us…


Sources Citied: Artscroll, The Writings, The Psalms