Psalms 142:1-7 142 I cried unto the Lord with my voice; with my voice unto the Lord did I make my supplication. I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me. I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul. I cried unto thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living. Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I. Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.
Psalm 142 is called the Psalm of Maschil which means a Psalm of instruction. This Psalm is David’s. It was a prayer that he made to God inside a cave as he fled from King Saul.
We are not told in which cave David was hiding on this occasion, but in 1 Samuel 24 David was in the wilderness of En-gedi inside a cave that was mentioned. This was the cave where God put King Saul into David’s hands. David cut off the skirt of King Saul's robe, however, he was saddened because he had risen his hand before the anointed of Jehovah.
There was also the cave of Adullam. This was the cave where David first took refuge when he fled from Israel to escape King Saul. The cave of Adullam is the cave where David was joined by all the afflicted, all who were in debt, and all who were bitter in spirit. This was about 400 men that came to him on that occasion. David was able to help and inspire them. These men later became known as David's mighty men.
Both of these caves are well known in the Old Testament, but we aren’t sure which cave David was in when he penned Psalm 142. Nonetheless, here we find David in a cave. In this cave he is anguished and worried. If King Saul finds him, he is going to kill him. At that moment and in this chapter we find two great truths.
First, we see the correct way to think during trials, and secondly, we see the incorrect way to think during trials.
Here we find that even great Christians like David have problems focusing on how to think correctly during times of trouble.
First, let’s look at the INCORRECT way of thinking David had when he went through trials.
A. David allowed his mind to question God's silence.
Psalm 142:1 I cried unto the LORD with my voice; with my voice unto the LORD did I make my supplication.
God knows everything and He is in control of everything that happens in our lives...even if it does not seem like it, even if we don't understand it.
How many of us, when we are going through trials in our life, we cry out to God and seek Him, but it feels like He does not hear us or that He is not with us?
David's problem was that when he prayed and asked God to help him he wanted God to answer him in his own way.
B. David set his eyes on his circumstances instead of his God!
Psalm 142:2 I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble.
We often see more of the wind and the waves than the Creator of the sea. Sometimes we must wait for His answer to our cry, because as human beings, in the midst of problems we tend to focus more on circumstances then on the Creator.
Remember this: our overwhelming circumstances do not overwhelm God!
C. David's spirit was overwhelmed within him!
Psalm 142:3 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me.
David felt that his circumstances were irreparable. Therefore, the desperate feeling overwhelmed him.
Overwhelming means fainting or drowning; it caused him to faint or drown.
D. David participated in a self-pity party!
Psalm 142:4 I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.
Although David had been hiding in a cave from his enemies, he was surrounded by men who loved him and would have died for him! Yet he felt completely alone and vulnerable. We too can fall into self-pity like David did.
Lastly, let’s look at the CORRECT way of thinking David had when he went through trials.
A. David realized that God was his Refuge and Portion.
Psalm 142:5 I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.
When you get to the place where God is all you have, that's when you discover that He is all you need.
He is everything we need, and He has everything we need!
B. David realized that God was stronger than his enemies.
Psalm 142:6 Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I.
He knew that King Saul was bigger than he was, but he also knew that God could deliver him.
Nothing and no one is greater than the God who created everything.
We don't have to ask ourselves if God can; we just have to ask ourselves if God wants.
C. David realized that only God can be glorified in his circumstances.
Psalm 142:7 Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.
David's deliverance was one that only God could accomplish and therefore, only God could be glorified. He returned his trust to the hands of the One who could do anything and thanked Him in advance for His deliverance.
The great truth about this story is seeing how David, after allowing his feelings to control his thinking, came back to his senses. He came back to the way a child of God needs to really think when trials come.
As humans, sometimes in trials we will be moved into thinking incorrectly, but we should always remember that God is always with us.
Life is not made up of the things which we possess, it is made up of the eternal relationship which we have with Christ.
As a Christian you must, on purpose, do what we can to allow good things into our hearts.