How Long, Ps 13:1-2


Four times in Ps 13:1-2 David asks the Lord, How long. His questions remind us that we often grow impatient with the Lord.  David was wondering how long the Lord would forget him, how long he would hide from him, how long he would continually sorrow, how long his enemy would be exalted over him.

Doctrinally, the passage fits Israel, particularly in the Tribulation.  Notice that David will rejoice in the Lord’s salvation and sing unto the Lord for dealing bountifully with him.  These are true of Israel at the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Spiritually, we can make an application to us during times of our personal trials.  There are times when you get so down that you are sure the Lord has forgotten you or that your enemy will destroy you.  So, let’s take some instruction and consolation in the answers to these questions concerning how long.  Here are the questions:

How long wilt thou forget me? Ps 13:1 – The Lord will never forget Israel [Is 49:14-16] and the Lord will never forget you if you are his child [Heb 13:5; Jn 6:37].  Never let yourself be convinced by your own thoughts, someone else’s comments or the devil’s temptations that the Lord has forgotten about you.  Trust him not your feelings.

How long wilt thou hide? Ps 13:1 – The Lord hides from Israel for a period of time because they turned their back on him [Ps 10:1, 30:7-12].  But it becomes like the child’s game of hide and seek.  Once Israel turns from their sins and seeks the Lord, the Lord comes for them.  Sometimes it seems that the Lord hides from us; we pray and it seems that the Lord is not listening.  There are several reasons for this.  Sometimes, like Saul, we have been disobedient and the Lord won’t answer [1 Sam 28:5-6].  Sometimes, like Hezekiah, the Lord just wants to see what’s in our heart [2 Chr 32:31].  Sometimes, we may have scorned the wisdom of God [Prov 1:24-30].  There are several other good reasons.  You are not going to mock God and get away with it.  In every case, though, the Lord will not hide forever.  He is looking for us to repent and to turn back to him. And when we do we find him to be the most loving, forbearing, kind, gentle, merciful God and full of goodness.  That’s the way Israel will find him at the end of the Tribulation [Is 63:7].

How long shall I sorrow in my heart? Ps 13:2 – continual sorrow is a tough thing to endure.  During the Tribulation, Israel goes through so much sorrow that they nearly despair of ever being saved.  But they are saved nevertheless [Jer 30:7].  You and I will go through sorrow, but God has not forsaken us.  Don’t despair.  Let sorrow accomplish her work and then it will end.  In sorrow there is wisdom [Ecc 7:2-4].  In suffering and sorrow there is learning [Heb 5:7-8].  In suffering and sorrow there is strength [1 Pet 5:10].  In suffering and sorrow there is reward [Rom 8:16-18].  And so forth.  You will sorrow until you have grown through the sorrow.

How long shall mine enemy be exalted? Ps 13:2 – Israel’s enemies get such an upper hand in the Tribulation that it looks like Israel is going to be destroyed forever.  Then Jesus returns and ends the fight and Israel is delivered.  They become the ruling nation of the world [Zech 14:1-3; Is 60:11-12].  Likewise, you are going to have enemies that will try to destroy you.  The devil is the most formidable [1 Pet 5:7].  But you’ll have some men against you, too [Jn 15:20].  Don’t despair, they will not be exalted forever.  Run to the Lord and trust in his name [Ps 18:1-3]. Your enemies will not prevail above him, though they may fight you longer than you think you can stand. Hold on.  One of these days you and I will rule [Rev 5:9-10].

Conclusion: the Lord hasn’t gone anywhere.  He is right here with you.  If you have strayed from him you need to seek him and return to him in repentance.  If you are going through something else then stay close to the Lord.  He may not seem like he’s there because the trial is so tough; but he’s there.  If you ask how long, he probably won’t answer.  But he’ll be there for you before you know it.  Hang on.