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Psalm 13

Prayer for Deliverance from Enemies

To the leader. A Psalm of David.


How long, O L ord? Will you forget me forever?

How long will you hide your face from me?


How long must I bear pain in my soul,

and have sorrow in my heart all day long?

How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?



Consider and answer me, O L ord my God!

Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,


and my enemy will say, “I have prevailed”;

my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.



But I trusted in your steadfast love;

my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.


I will sing to the L ord,

because he has dealt bountifully with me.

3. Look upon me, answer me. As when God does not promptly afford assistance to his servants, it seems to the eye of sense that he does not behold their necessities, David, for this reason, asks God, in the first place, to look upon him, and, in the second place, to succor him. Neither of these things, it is true, is prior or posterior in respect of God; but it has been already stated in a preceding psalm, and we will have occasion afterwards frequently to repeat the statement, that the Holy Spirit purposely accommodates to our understanding the models of prayer recorded in Scripture. If David had not been persuaded that God had his eyes upon him, it would have availed him nothing to cry to God; but this persuasion was the effect of faith. In the meantime, until God actually puts forth his hand to give relief, carnal reason suggests to us that he shuts his eyes, and does not behold us. The manner of expression here employed amounts to the same thing as if he had put the mercy of God in the first place, and then added to it his assistance, because God then hears us, when, having compassion upon us, he is moved and induced to succor us. To enlighten the eyes signifies the same thing in the Hebrew language as to give the breath of life, for the rigour of life appears chiefly in the eyes. In this sense Solomon says,

“The poor and the deceitful man meet together; the Lord lighteneth both their eyes.” (Proverbs 29:13)

And when Jonathan fainted for hunger, the sacred history relates that his eyes were overcast with dimness; and again, that when he had tasted of the honeycomb, his eyes were enlightened, (1 Samuel 14:27.) The word sleep, as it is used in this passage, is a metaphor of a similar kind, being put for death. In short, David confesses, that unless God cause the light of life to shine upon him, he will be immediately overwhelmed with the darkness of death, and that he is already as a man without life, unless God breathe into him new vigor. And certainly our confidence of life depends on this, that although the world may threaten us with a thousand deaths, yet God is possessed of numberless means of restoring us to life. 273273     “Toutesfois Dieu ha en main des moyens infohis de nous restablir ca vie.” — Fr.

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