Psalm 13: inscribed on His hands
Psalm 13 For the director of music. A psalm of David. (1) How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? (2) 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? (3) Look on me and answer, LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, (4) and my enemy will say, "I have overcome him," and my foes will rejoice when I fall. (5) But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. (6) I will sing the LORD's praise, for he has been good to me.
Note: it’s interesting as I look back at these posts. I wrote these during the pandemic which makes for an interesting mindset to be studying the Psalter for sure. Also, I am a bit scattered always, but I don’t believe in coincidences. This psalm in particular, as you read it you will learn, spoke to me of Jesus and His great sacrifice on the cross for you and me . . . and the day I published was also Good Friday. And yet, I mistakenly worked on Psalm 13 when I was supposed to be working on Psalm 12. Not a coincidence. God helps me to write these, I cannot do it on my own. I do not have the will power nor the knowledge without Him.
Therefore, my knuckle headedness is excused away, and we will celebrate divine authorship in the appointed time. Thank you, Father.
Back to Psalm 13.
This short, sweet little poem starts with despair and ends with joy. Isn’t that how our prayers go?
Whenever you look into David’s psalms, you may somewhere, or another see yourselves. You never get into a corner, but you find David in that corner. I think that I was never so low that I could not find that David was lower; and I never climbed so high that I could not find that David was up above me, ready to sing his song upon his stringed instrument, even as I could sing mine.Charles Spurgeon, English preacher, 1834-1892
Some versions of the Bible translate the dedication “to the director of music” as “to the Chief Musician.” There are many Bible scholars who believe that David wrote these and sent them off to the worship leader of his time. But there are some who believe that these poems were written to God Himself, that God is the “Chief Musician” that David sings to.
If you think about it that way, then Psalm 13 is David’s cry of anguish and fear of being abandoned. It’s a prayer, and God quickly calms his heart and leaves joy in the place of fear. Does He do that for you?
How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever? Psalm 13:1a
We know that the Lord walks beside us. We know that He will ultimately deliver us. When cling to these promises. But are your cries sometimes like David’s?
Not, “Will you deliver me, Lord?” But, “When? How long, Lord?”
Do you feel this way now? As our world suffers, as we face a trial of humanity- of this generation- we are all crying out. “How long, Lord?” “When will you deliver us?”
This is Holy Week, and during this week, we ask the same- “Lord, how long?”
Jesus knows this personally. He understands. He knows this for real. As Jesus hung on that cross, He was completely alone. His Father, our Father, turned His face away as He had to do. The wrath of God was poured out upon Jesus’s shoulders. All the sins of the world- from you and me- were on Jesus’s shoulders and the Father had to hide His face.
Jesus was alone.
So that you and I never have to be.
From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Matthew 27:46
The Father could not look upon the Son as He took my sin, your sin, our sin onto that cross. He turned away. But the Good News- because of what Jesus bore for you and me- no matter what we do, God will not abandon us. No matter where we go, He never looks away.
David had to recognize his sin, confess, and make the atonement sacrifice. Jesus was the atonement sacrifice for our sins.
But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me." Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely, they may forget, yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands. Isaiah 49:14-16
This is a clear prophetic statement during the time of Isaiah (six hundred years before Jesus) of what Jesus would do on the cross. He would bear the marks of our sin, revealing His great love, on the palms of His hands.
In the Gospel of John, Thomas doubts (and why he is called Doubting Thomas to this day),
“I will not believe he is alive unless I can feel the marks of the nails on his hands.”
Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!" Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." John 20:26-29
My friends, He is alive. Do you believe this? He will never forget us. He will never turn His back on us. He can’t- we are written on the palms of His hands.
I trust in your unfailing love. My heart rejoices in your salvation. Psalm 13:5
And suddenly, the authors perspective changes, and so can ours. Despite what is going on around us and because He is trustworthy . . .
I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me. Psalm 13:10 KJV
Father in heaven, thank you for sending your Son to earth. Thank you for His life and sacrifice. Thank you for raising Him on the third day, for that blessed Easter day. Father, heal our land, protect our loved ones, and revive your church. Thank you for never leaving us. Amen.