«I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.» – Psalms 13:6, ESV
The Book of Psalms is full of real, raw emotions and struggles. The psalmists tell of despair and great sorrow, but they also tell of great acts of God and truths about His character. The psalmists are continually drawn back to the Lord, no matter the circumstances. Psalm 13 is no different.
In Psalm 13:6, we read David’s declaration that the Lord had dealt bountifully with him. He declared that the Lord’s dealings with him were good. He knew the Lord had dealt with him in ways that benefited him. That in and of itself is a great statement, but to get a complete understanding of the significance of that statement, we have to go back to the beginning of the Psalm.
Verses 1 & 2 of Psalm 13 record David’s questions of “how long.” David feels as if the Lord has forgotten him; he cannot see the Lord’s face. He is in great sorrow and his enemies are prevailing over him. David deals honestly with the Lord about his feelings. He lays it all out on the line. These are his struggles and his frustrations. We get the sense that he is at the end of his rope, and he cannot take it any longer. We feel his sense of abandonment. “How long, O Lord?” When will this end? He is crying out to God for an answer. He is desperate for God’s intervention in his circumstances.
David doesn’t leave it there, though. He doesn’t just sit down and wallow in his sorrows and self-pity. In his pain and deep agony, he declares his mantra: “I’m trusting you, God. I’m singing and rejoicing in you.” Though he feels as if God has forgotten him, he knows God’s love is steadfast and unwavering. God’s steadfast love is the basis of his trust. Though he is being trampled by his enemies, he has experienced God’s salvation before and so he rejoices. He doesn’t rejoice about his difficult circumstances; he rejoices because God has saved him before, so He’ll save him again. Though he cannot see God’s face, he sings because God has dealt bountifully with him. He knows God has done good toward him before and will do good toward him again.
David gives us a great example to follow. When God seems distant, we have to rehearse what we know to be true about Him. When He seems silent, we must cling to His character knowing that He can never go against any facet of it. When we are filled with sorrow and dread, it is essential that we worship God for His goodness toward us.
Let’s be like David and declare the bountifulness of God’s work in our lives—even when we are asking, “How long, O Lord?”