1 To you, Lord, I call; you are my Rock, do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you remain silent, I shall be like those who go down to the pit. 2 Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help, as I lift up my hands towards your Most Holy Place.
3 Do not drag me away with the wicked, with those who do evil, who speak cordially with their neighbours but harbour malice in their hearts. 4 Repay them for their deeds and for their evil work; repay them for what their hands have done and bring back on them what they deserve.
5 Because they have no regard for the deeds of the Lord and what his hands have done, he will tear them down and never build them up again.
6 Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy. 7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.
8 The Lord is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. 9 Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them for ever.
Sometimes it seems as if God is silent. We cry out to him for rescue, mercy, vindication… and the heavens seem impenetrable. It seems as if David is finding this in today’s psalm and I’m sure we can think of times in our own lives when we’ve wondered if God has heard us at all; whether his attention has wandered; whether he’s aware of the desperation we find ourselves in.
This is so typical of many of David’s psalms – a desperate beginning followed by assurance at the end. However, I wonder whether anything has actually changed, in reality, from beginning to end. Did David suddenly experience breakthrough in his physical situation half way through composing this psalm? I suspect not. I hunch that it was a change in heart position that facilitated his change in attitude and perspective.
Maybe it was even simply an ‘in faith’ declaration of God’s goodness and omnipotence in all things. It all comes back to trust, doesn’t it? Do I trust that God is good? Do I trust that he carries all things on to completion? (Phil. 1:6) Do I trust that he works all things together for my good? (Romans 8:28) Do I believe that he’s there, even in the silence?
Questions for thought and discussion...
- Where does God seem silent? Can you declare verses 6-8 over that?
- How can we be real with our young people about the times when God seems silent?