Summary: Some people think that is wrong to ask God for troubles that come our way. While it is wrong to complain, this sermon argues that you can approch God with a right attitude to understand.
How Can I Ask God?
“If God is a God of love, how can He allow bad things to happen?” This is a question asked often by non-believers and believers alike. At times this is more likely an excuse rather than an honest question. Other times this is a heart-felt question. Children of God themselves take extremes in this issue or others pertaining to life. Some say it is wrong to ask God about anything (legalists) and others say that you can question God about everything (liberals). Psalm 13 teaches us that we can ask God and also how to do it.
The Book of Psalms is the largest book in the Bible. It consists of 150 Psalms (chapters). It is the blueprint of worship for Israelites. We find in it Psalms of praise, thanksgiving, royalty, and also of lamentation. 35 / 150 Psalms are lamentation psalms. The structure of this lesson is also the structure that “lamentation psalms” follow.
A. Four times the Psalm asks the question “How Long?” It is the heart-felt anguish of the Psalmist. It is attributed to David, the “man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22).
B. The reasons he asks the question “how long” repeatedly are outlined in 1b-2:
1. He thought God had forgot him (1b)
2. He thought God was not wanting to show kindness to him (1c)
3. He was wrestling with his thoughts (2a)
4. He had sorrow in his heart (2b)
5. He thought that his enemies were prospering and triumphing ahead of him (2c)
C. Basically, what he is been saying is:
1. God, I don’t see you.
2. My heart and mind are struggling to understand, and others are prospering when they shouldn’t.
D. The circumstances around him were such that did not make sense to him. There are times that we feel the same.
A. It is important to note that he is not addressing his prayer as an angry fist toward heaven.
B. He addresses God as…
1. O LORD – YAHWEH – I AM (1, 6).
a. It is a state of being verb. It is also present tense.
b. The name he uses suggests the eternal unchanging nature of God.
2. O LORD my God
a. Not only God is the unchanging eternal God, He is Psalmist’s God.
b. He prays “my God.”
c. Jesus taught us to address Him “Our Father in heaven.” Mat 6:9
A. In verses 1-2, David, expressed his concern.
B. In verses 3-4 he will speak out his request. What does he want God to do for him? Based on his concerns he wants God to…
1. Look favorably on him – “look on me…O LORD my God.”
2. Explain his problems – “answer”
3. Give him understanding and discernment – “give light to my eyes”
4. Help him not become the skull of his enemies – “my enemy will say, ‘I have overcome him,’ and my foes will rejoice when I fall.”
A. The Psalmist is perplexed man, not an unbelieving fellow. He says “But I trust…”
B. The “but” makes a contrast between what is said before and what he says now.
1. Up to now, he has shown concern and petition.
2. Now, he shows confidence in the LORD’s…
a. Unfailing love – God offered Israelites countless opportunities.
b. Salvation – God delivered them throughout their history.
A. Verse 6 concludes the Psalm with praise. Praise and not doubt is the proper answer to perplexed situations and circumstances in life.
B. The Psalmist concludes “I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me.”
1. When we praise God we focus our hearts on Him.
2. When we praise God we shift the focus from the problem to the Solution.
It is okay to ask God for help to understand. There are times that we are in a situation because of some wrong choice others have made. A drunk driver or a kamikaze blowing himself or herself up is not our fault. But there times that God will allow something to happen in our life to get our attention.
When these moments do come (and trust me they will) then we long for understanding. It is in these moments that we turn to the One who holds all the answers and ask for help to understand. We still respect Him for who He is, and approach His throne with confidence and praise. This is how we ask Him “why” or “how long” or “what does this mean”