How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
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?
Psalm 13:1, 2
Psalm 13 is repetitive. We can learn a lot from that.
In three parts, David cries out once again, “How long, Lord?”
He then tells, or reminds, the Lord that He has enemies and that they are oppressing him.
Then his gratitude and trust overflow.
If we don’t like repetition in our reading, we should stop here! This pattern repeats!
Seeing as it’s the WORD OF THE LORD, perhaps we will ponder the reason for so much of the same in Scripture.
For one thing, certainly, David does not seem to have spent the time we do merely mulling over his condition. He kept up a running conversation about it with God, unashamed an unabashed in his pleas for help, always bringing his heart back to the reality of God’s love, power, and Presence.
For another, he shows us that even a man loved by God has to go through stuff and is expected to keep the faith.
Warrior that he was, successful as was his career in the wilderness, he continued to get strength and all help from the source of all strength and all help.
In the wilderness or in the palace, he knew the battle was enjoined.
This too, and very important: he never capitulated. Those opposed to him were opposed to God. He had not chosen himself, but God chose him. Knowing this, he called those who sought his life by their proper names … the wicked.
Have you not, have not I, someone in your life, chosen by God but tormented, pursued by wicked powers and minions? Stretched beyond healthy human endurance? Today we can decide that those opposed to them are opposed to God, and today we can begin to cry out, “How long, Lord? They are hunted and oppressed on every side! You, though, are great and You will help when morning comes!” … and we can be as repetitive as we must until their deliverance comes.
Stretched beyond endurance … many have known this torment.
Streckbett, public domain in the U.S., by permission, Wikipedia