Psalms 13

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

1 [a]How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?
3 Look on me and answer, LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
4 and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
5 But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing the LORD’s praise, for he has been good to me.

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Psalms 13 Commentary

Chapter 13

The psalmist complains that God had long withdrawn. He earnestly prays for comfort. He assures himself of an answer of peace.

- God sometimes hides his face, and leaves his own children in the dark concerning their interest in him: and this they lay to heart more than any outward trouble whatever. But anxious cares are heavy burdens with which believers often load themselves more than they need. The bread of sorrows is sometimes the saint's daily bread; our Master himself was a man of sorrows. It is a common temptation, when trouble lasts long, to think that it will last always. Those who have long been without joy, begin to be without hope. We should never allow ourselves to make any complaints but what drive us to our knees. Nothing is more killing to a soul than the want of God's favour; nothing more reviving than the return of it. The sudden, delightful changes in the book of Psalms, are often very remarkable. We pass from depth of despondency to the height of religious confidence and joy. It is thus, ver. 5. All is gloomy dejection in ver. 4; but here the mind of the despondent worshipper rises above all its distressing fears, and throws itself, without reserve, on the mercy and care of its Divine Redeemer. See the power of faith, and how good it is to draw near to God. If we bring our cares and griefs to the throne of grace, and leave them there, we may go away like Hannah, and our countenances will be no more said, ( 1 Samuel. 1:18 ) Finding I have that to trust to, I am comforted, though I have no merit of my own. His faith in God's mercy filled his heart with joy in his salvation; for joy and peace come by believing. He has dealt bountifully with me. By faith he was as confident of salvation, as if it had been completed already. In this way believers pour out their prayers, renouncing all hopes but in the mercy of God through the Saviour's blood: and sometimes suddenly, at others gradually, they will find their burdens removed, and their comforts restored; they then allow that their fears and complaints were unnecessary, and acknowledge that the Lord hath dealt bountifully with them.

Cross References 14

  • 1. Psalms 6:3
  • 2. Psalms 42:9; Lamentations 5:20
  • 3. S Deuteronomy 31:17; S Psalms 22:24; S Isaiah 8:17; S Isaiah 54:9; Job 13:24; Psalms 44:24
  • 4. Psalms 42:4; Psalms 55:2; Psalms 139:23; Isaiah 33:18; Daniel 7:28
  • 5. Psalms 94:3; Psalms 42:9
  • 6. Psalms 9:12; Psalms 25:18; Psalms 31:7; Psalms 35:23; Psalms 59:4; Psalms 80:14; Psalms 107:41; Psalms 119:50,153
  • 7. S Psalms 4:1; Psalms 5:1
  • 8. S Ezra 9:8
  • 9. Psalms 76:5; Psalms 90:5; Jeremiah 51:39
  • 10. S 1 Kings 19:2; Psalms 25:2
  • 11. Psalms 38:16; Psalms 118:13
  • 12. S Psalms 6:4; Psalms 52:8
  • 13. S Isaiah 33:26">Job Isaiah 33:26; Psalms 9:14; Isaiah 25:9; Isaiah 33:2
  • 14. S Exodus 15:1; Psalms 7:17; Psalms 116:7

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. In Hebrew texts 13:1-6 is numbered 13:2-6.

Chapter Summary

Psalms 13 Commentaries