3-Week Series: Double Blessing


Summary: When our feelings tell us we are alone, how shall the Christian respond. Reviewing David’s life when he was fleeing from Saul provides insight into a godly response to loneliness.

“With my voice I cry out to the Lord;

with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord.

I pour out my complaint before him;

I tell my trouble before him.

“When my spirit faints within me,

you know my way!

In the path where I walk

they have hidden a trap for me.

Look to the right and see:

there is none who takes notice of me;

no refuge remains to me;

no one cares for my soul.

“I cry to you, O Lord;

I say, ‘You are my refuge,

my portion in the land of the living.’

Attend to my cry,

for I am brought very low!

Deliver me from my persecutors,

for they are too strong for me!

Bring me out of prison,

that I may give thanks to your name!

The righteous will surround me,

for you will deal bountifully with me.”

It has been said that an individual can live forty days without food, four days without water, four minutes without oxygen, and about four seconds without hope. We were created for fellowship; we long to share our lives with others who accept us as we are. Though all of us enjoy occasional times of solitude, and though some may choose to live utterly segregated from all social intercourse, we know intuitively that we were created for companionship. When we are deprived of fellowship, we grow melancholy, mournful, morose. The Psalmist had reached such a point; his situation was one in which he experienced utter loneliness. He had no friend to bear a portion of the sorrowful load. Pity the individual who stands alone against the world.

Perhaps you have been in precisely such a situation. Perhaps you know someone who has hit the bottom because they are in a desperate situation. It is highly likely that each of us will one day face a situation where we believe ourselves bereft of friends, cast off by those to whom we would normally look for encouragement, believing ourselves utterly alone in the world. Undoubtedly, it will be beneficial, if not at this moment, then eventually, for each of us to prepare for that day, or to be prepared to lift others when they face that day. In order to equip the people of God for such an eventuality, I point you to the 142nd Psalm—A Maskil of David.


“With my voice I cry out to the Lord;

with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord.

I pour out my complaint before him;

I tell my trouble before him.”

“No one cares for my soul.” Is that not a pitiful cry? It wasn’t accurate, but it did seem that way at the time David wrote this Psalm. David spoke out of his feelings, and not out of his faith. If you are guided by feelings, you will similarly cry out. Each of us has cried out in precisely such despair at one time or another.

Few times are more distressing than to be in trouble and to be entirely alone! When we encounter troubles, it is almost inevitable that we will face our trials alone. Even if we have dear friends or family members to stand with us, we will still face the necessity of making decisions alone. David actually was alone at the time he wrote this Psalm—he was alone and in trouble. The title of the Psalm is unique among the final collection of Davidic Psalms included in the Book of Psalms. This is the only Psalm that gives us the setting in this final collection.

We read that this Psalm is “A Maskil of David, when he was in the cave. A Prayer.” This is a companion Psalm to the 57th Psalm. The title of that Psalm notifies the reader that it is “A Mitkam of David, when he fled from Saul, in the cave.” “Maskil” and “Mitkam” are thought to have been musical or liturgical terms instructing the singers how the Psalms were to be sung.

“Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,

for in you my soul takes refuge;

in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,

till the storms of destruction pass by.

I cry out to God Most High,

to God who fulfills his purpose for me.

He will send from heaven and save me;

he will put to shame him who tramples on me. Selah

God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness!

“My soul is in the midst of lions;

I lie down amid fiery beasts—

the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows,

whose tongues are sharp swords.

“Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!

Let your glory be over all the earth!

”They set a net for my steps;

my soul was bowed down.

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