How Long? by Claude Thomas




HOW LONG?
Psalm 13



Introduction: In sports, there is a strange thing called "momentum." It is that almost intangible matter that prompts a change in the direction of the game. I have seen it in action. A team will be struggling just to stay in the game. Then the momentum, almost mysteriously, swings their way and the team rises with a renewed strength and determination to capture the opportunity to victory.

In Christianity, we sometimes are struggling when we would like to be soaring. From the Psalmist, we learn that on the pathway of prayer, fueled by faith, we can move from desolation to delight. Listen to his words.

In our text, David moved from desolation to delight. In three couplets of verses he climbs the stairway from the depths of despair to the fine vantage point of faith. The pathway from desolation to delight is prayer, and the energy to get there is faith.

I. Distress of Problems - vv. 1-2

Explanation: The reality was that problems were present. David's question, "How long?" was repeated four times in two verses. The repetition reveals the intensity of anxiety of the situation. The problems were pressing. The repetition also reveals a certain impatience by David. His distress was neither small in nature nor short in tenure.

How long? That was his question because his whole world of relationships was in question. First, his relationship to God was failing because it appeared as if God were no practical help at all = "forget me" and "hide face from me." Secondly, his relationship to himself was frustrating. "Counsel" and "sorrow" = turmoil within himself, and answers or solutions would not come. Thirdly, his relationship to his enemy was frightening because the enemy was "exalted" above him.

Transition Statement: That is a tough place to be! It all appeared to be going down the depths of despair. Contemporary man has occasion to relate.

Application: The quagmire of contemporary man is that ...


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