Psalms 142

A maskil of David. When he was in the cave. A prayer.

1 [a][b]I cry aloud to the LORD; I lift up my voice to the LORD for mercy.
2 I pour out before him my complaint; before him I tell my trouble.
3 When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who watch over my way. In the path where I walk people have hidden a snare for me.
4 Look and see, there is no one at my right hand; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life.
5 I cry to you, LORD; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.”
6 Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me.
7 Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.

Psalms 142 Commentary

Chapter 142

David's comfort in prayer.

- There can be no situation so distressing or dangerous, in which faith will not get comfort from God by prayer. We are apt to show our troubles too much to ourselves, poring upon them, which does us no service; whereas, by showing them to God, we might cast the cares upon him who careth for us, and thereby ease ourselves. Nor should we allow any complaint to ourselves or others, which we cannot make to God. When our spirits are overwhelmed by distress, and filled with discouragement; when we see snares laid for us on every side, while we walk in his way, we may reflect with comfort that the Lord knoweth our path. Those who in sincerity take the Lord for their God, find him all-sufficient, as a Refuge, and as a Portion: every thing else is a refuge of lies, and a portion of no value. In this situation David prayed earnestly to God. We may apply it spiritually; the souls of believers are often straitened by doubts and fears. And it is then their duty and interest to beg of God to set them at liberty, that they may run the way of his commandments. Thus the Lord delivered David from his powerful persecutors, and dealt bountifully with him. Thus he raised the crucified Redeemer to the throne of glory, and made him Head over all things for his church. Thus the convinced sinner cries for help, and is brought to praise the Lord in the company of his redeemed people; and thus all believers will at length be delivered from this evil world, from sin and death, and praise their Saviour for ever.

Cross References 17

  • 1. S 1 Kings 8:52; Psalms 3:4
  • 2. Psalms 30:8
  • 3. Psalms 64:1; Isaiah 26:16
  • 4. S Psalms 50:15
  • 5. Psalms 6:2; Psalms 77:3; Psalms 84:2; Psalms 88:4; Psalms 140:5; Psalms 143:4,7; Jeremiah 8:18; Lamentations 1:22
  • 6. Jeremiah 25:35
  • 7. Psalms 31:11; Jeremiah 30:17
  • 8. S Psalms 46:1
  • 9. S Deuteronomy 32:9; Psalms 16:5
  • 10. S Job 28:13; Psalms 27:13
  • 11. S Psalms 17:1
  • 12. S Psalms 79:8; Psalms 116:6
  • 13. S Psalms 25:20
  • 14. Jeremiah 31:11
  • 15. S Psalms 66:11; Psalms 146:7
  • 16. Psalms 7:17; Psalms 9:2
  • 17. S 2 Chronicles 6:41; Psalms 13:6

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. In Hebrew texts 142:1-7 is numbered 142:2-8.
  • [b]. Title: Probably a literary or musical term

Chapter Summary

Maschil of David; A Prayer when he was in the cave. Of the word "maschil," See Gill on "Ps 32:1," title. This psalm is called a prayer, as some others are, the ninetieth and hundred second psalms: and was composed by David when either in the cave of Adullam, 1 Samuel 22:1; or rather in the cave at Engedi, where he cut off Saul's skirt, 1 Samuel 24:3; as Jarchi and Kimchi think. The psalm represents the troubles of David, and of the Messiah his antitype, and is applicable to the church of God, or to any particular soul when in distress.

Psalms 142 Commentaries

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