Psalms 13, 39. 70 were written by David and are all dark. Psalms that were perhaps
not written by David are the dark Psalms 120, 129. Psalm 88 is attributed to a son
of Asaph and is especially dark.
Psalm 13 was written by David during a very dark period in his life.
“1 How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy
face from me? 2 How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart
daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? 3 Consider and hear me, O
LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; 4 Lest mine enemy
say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved.
5 But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. 6 I will sing
unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.” (Ps 13:1-6)
"How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? forever?" What a horrible feeling rooted in
the very depths of the heart, that God has abandoned me. Forever? "How long wilt
thou hide thy face from me?" This is much more common than realized and is felt by
Christians who live in the real world.
Jesus felt abandoned on the cross. Luther felt the same for years, "My God, My God,
why has thou forsaken me." Job felt abandoned of God: "Let the day perish wherein I
was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived. Let that
day be darkness; let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine upon it.
Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it; let a cloud dwell upn it; let the blackness
of the day terrify it.... Because it shut not up the doors of my mother's womb, nor hid
sorrow from mine eyes. Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the
ghost when I came out of the belly?" from Job 3:2-11
But Job knew where to look for help. "Naked come I out of my mother's womb, and
naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be
the name of the Lord." Job. 1:21
Some of God's choicest saints have battled depression for years, some for their entire
"How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long
shall mine enemy be exalted over me?" "How long shall I take counsel in my soul."
This is the road to insanity. Pr 12:15 "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but
he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise." He takes counsel in his soul. He has "tried to
do right," that is, right in his own eyes. He has tried many cures. But this only
intensified his feelings. Pr 19:21 "There are many devices in a man’s heart;
nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand."
God cannot deny Himself. Man was not created to live under his own wisdom and
under his own opinions. These are the way of death. The Apostle Paul knew this, and
told the elders of Ephesus, Ac 20:27 "For I have not shunned to declare unto you all
the counsel of God."
Paul also prayed for the church, that the Father in heaven, "would grant you, according
to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in
love, May be able to comprehend will all saints what is the breadth, and length, and
depth, and height: and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye
might be filled with the fulness of God...." Eph.4:16-19
Jesus put it this way, Joh 12:25 "He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth
his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal." God will not become an
instrument and an enabler of my self worship. I am to put off the old man with his
The enemies of my soul are strengthened when I war against Christ and His servants.
David begins to see light and life when he prays, "Consider and hear me, O God my
God: lighten mine eyes lest I sleep the sleep of death."
It is the hope of faith that awakens the soul from death and breathes the breath of life:
"I have trusted in thy mercy: my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation." Forgiveness of
sins, newness of life, love and hope spring up from faith in the promises of God, who
deals bountifully with His people.
But faith comes only from God. It is not the bell you ring on your tricycle. It is very
often faith itself that is tested and tried by the dark valleys. "Knowing this, that the
trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye
may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."
Trials are messengers from the Lord to call upon Him for wisdom and grace [James
1:3,4], but God will not be your handmaiden to serve your lusts and desires. I must
receive the engrafted word, which is able to save my soul, for I am the problem, not the
circumstances surrounding me.
Faith teaches me that I am not my own, that I belong to Jesus Christ. That makes all
the difference in the world: HC 1: Question 1: What is your only comfort in life and
Answer 1: That I, with body and soul, both in life and in death, am not my own, but
belong to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ, who with His precious blood has fully
satisfied for all my sins, and redeemed me from all the power of the devil; and so
preserves me that without the will of my Father in heaven not a hair can fall from my
head; indeed, that all things must work together for my salvation. Wherefore, by His
Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me heartily willing and
ready from now on to live unto Him.
But you say, "I don't believe that. Isn't there another way?"