New European Commentary


About | PDFs | Mobile formats | Word formats | Other languages | Contact Us | What is the Gospel? | Support the work | Carelinks Ministries | | The Real Christ | The Real Devil | "Bible Companion" Daily Bible reading plan

Deeper Commentary

Psa 13:1 For the Chief Musician. A Psalm by David.
How long, Yahweh? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me?-
By the end of the Psalm, David is rejoicing (:5,6). This doesn't have to mean that half way through the prayer, an answer came. Rather is this absolutely true to the experience of prayerful men. We begin prayer in desperation, but in the course of that prayer we are persuaded of God's action, and conclude the prayer in grateful peace with Him. "How long?" is the cry of the exiles, so the Psalm was likely reused in their context.

Psa 13:2 How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart every day? How long shall my enemy triumph over me?-
"My enemy" is clearly Saul (1 Sam. 18:29; 19:17). The David who had once triumphed over his enemy Goliath now felt that Saul was triumphing over him. This, in the bigger Divine picture, may have been to keep David from pride at the amazing victory and triumph. David was indeed to triumph / be exalted over Saul (Ps. 18:48), but he saw it is God triumphing / being exalted (Ps. 18:46). His praise Psalms are full of this word and idea- of the exaltation of God (Ps. 57:5,11) and not himself.

Psa 13:3 Look, and answer me, Yahweh my God. Give light to my eyes, lest I sleep in death-
David was persuaded that he would one day be slain by Saul (1 Sam. 27:1), yet here in Ps. 13:3 and often in the Psalms he persuades himself, in the course of the same prayer, that in fact God will save him and keep His promise to make him king in Saul's place.

Psa 13:4 lest my enemy say, I have prevailed against him; lest my adversaries rejoice when I fall-
Typical of the shame-based mentality in which he lived, David seems to fear more than death the thought that his enemies would rejoice over his dead body. Saul sought to "prevail against him" (Ps. 13:4), but Saul used the same word in telling David (in a rare moment of reality and humility) that he knew that David would prevail against him (1 Sam. 26:25). Those flash moments of reality and humility which Saul had are to be our warning. The Psalms condemn him as generally proud. We must live life in a spirit of humility, rather than just experiencing a few flash moments of it.

Psa 13:5 But I trust in Your grace. My heart rejoices in Your salvation-
As explained on :1, David rallies himself t the joy which comes from faith in grace. Perhaps there was a significant gap in his prayer between verses 4 and 5.

Psa 13:6 I will sing to Yahweh, because He has been good to me
- Like us, our faith that God will finally come through for us in the future should give us joy now. This faith in God finally 'being good' to David led him to be the same to Saul- the word is used of how David was 'good' rather than evil to Saul, not slaying him when he had the opportunity (1 Sam. 24:17).