by Michael Todaro
The lament of Psalm 13, opens with How long… How long… How long… How long… ?
David is pouring out his soul to the LORD, Yahweh, the Great I AM… One of those laments is—How long will You hide your face from me?
And a request in the next verse jumps out—Light up my eyes!
And that Light is given a few verses later—
But I have trusted in Your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD, because He has dealt bountifully with me.
And that is how this short lament ends.
In praise. In a seemingly instant change of tune. So what happened?
Is David thinking positively? Looking on the sunny side? Did David “discover the champion” in himself? Nope.
Well, maybe David is a tough guy. He got in touch with his feminine side for a moment, now he’s “manning up”, and deciding to change his lament to praise. Is David choosing joy? Nuh-uh.
Is David just bipolar, and got some awesome psychiatrist or miracle drug before he wrote verse 5? Or to be less anachronistic, maybe he just had a few beers and decided to relax? Or after “venting” his lament, he just felt better? Did he sleep with one of his wives? Essential oils maybe? Did David get some worldly wisdom or physical coping mechanism to help his soul? Not a chance.
So what happened to David… in the middle of his lament… as he prayed this Psalm?
LET THERE BE LIGHT!
God spoke to David. The Holy Spirit shone in David’s heart to give the Light. The LORD answered David and showed Him Christ. David saw the Lord Christ the same way we behold Him. Not by looking at a picture or icon of Jesus.
No, we behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ by faith!
Check out 2 Corinthians 4:6-5:7
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.
Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight.
But wait how do we know that this applies to David? I’m quoting something in the New Testament and saying David knew Christ by the Holy Spirit’s illumination. But was David really trusting the Christ (the Messiah-King who was to come) or was David just trusting in God without knowing Christ.
I affirm that David knew Christ and had faith in who He was and what He would do. I affirm that David had faith in the same Triune God we do. David knew that Jesus would suffer, die for His people’s sins, rise from the dead, and be glorified in triumph over His enemies. David’s faith was in Christ, David wrote about Him (Luke 24:44-47), David called Christ “Lord” (Matt. 22:45, Psalm 110), the Spirit of Christ was in David predicting the suffering and glory of Christ (1 Peter 1:10-12).
And more amazingly, Paul says in what we just read that we have the same spirit of faith as David. In 2 Corinthians 4:13, Paul quotes Psa 116:10*.
So dear one, lament… Ask to see… And look at Christ. He is the Light. He is the face of God.
Set all of your hope upon the Father’s steadfast love. Rejoice in the salvation that is brought to you by the Holy Spirit. And sing to Jesus!
*Psalm 116 is an appropriate passage for Paul to quote, as he is expounding on suffering in 2 Cor. 4-5. Both passages merit further study of their similarity and parallelism.