1 With my voice I cry out to the LORD; with my voice I plead for mercy to the LORD.
2 I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him.
3 When my spirit faints within me, you know my way! In the path where I walk they have hidden a trap for me.
4 Look to the right and see: there is none who takes notice of me; no refuge remains to me; no one cares for my soul.
5 I cry to you, O LORD; I say, "You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living."
6 Attend to my cry, for I am brought very low! Deliver me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me!
7 Bring me out of prison, that I may give thanks to your name! The righteous will surround me, for you will deal bountifully with me.
This psalm was written before David became king. At this point, David was hiding out, on the run from Saul. God had told Saul that David would be king in his place one day. Saul, wild with jealousy, tried to kill David, hence the hideout.
Read Psalms 142:1
Abandoned by everyone
• How was David feeling (v 1-4)?
Distress and loneliness (you’ve been abandoned, nobody cares about you, or understands the trouble you’re in) are normal reactions to have in times of trouble. These feelings are not wrong, but what they lead to could be...
• But what was David’s reaction in his dire distress (v 2)?
• How is this an example to you when times are tough?
• How do you tend to react instead?
Notice what gives David his great confidence (v 3a).
• What else do we learn about David's situation (v 3b-4)?
• What did he tell God (v 5)?
David knew he was abandoned by others (worse, opposed by them)—but not abandoned by God. He knew God was both
his “refuge” (a place to escape to for safety) and his “portion” (his satisfaction).
• Did David bottle up his emotions (v 6)?
• What did David admit about himself?
• Why did David want to be rescued (v 7)?
• Why was he sure he would be?
By the time he had finished his prayer session, David was full of assurance. He knew God could work deliverance, and restore freedom and thankfulness, and the chance to meet God's people again.
We tend to focus on applying these psalms to ourselves. Let’s think about how we can apply it to others this time. You’re drinking coffee after church and chatting with people. In response to “How are you?” you get the usual “Oh, fine, thanks.” But something tells you that there is more to be told.
• How would you take the conversation on, and what would you encourage the person to do from this psalm?