Summary: Despite feeling alone, the child of God is never deserted. David enables us to explore the comfort of God’s presence with His people, even in the day of battle.

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“Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;

be gracious to me and answer me!

You have said, ‘Seek my face.’

My heart says to you,

‘Your face, Lord, do I seek.’

Hide not your face from me.

Turn not your servant away in anger,

O you who have been my help.

Cast me not off; forsake me not,

O God of my salvation!

For my father and my mother have forsaken me,

but the Lord will take me in.

“Teach me your way, O Lord,

and lead me on a level path

because of my enemies.

Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;

for false witnesses have risen against me,

and they breathe out violence.

“I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord

in the land of the living!

Wait for the Lord;

be strong, and let your heart take courage;

wait for the Lord!”[1]

Hank Williams, Sr., keened:

I’ve never seen a night so long

When time goes crawling by.

The moon just went behind a cloud

To hide its face and cry.

Did you ever see a robin weep,

When leaves began to die?

That means he’s lost the will to live;

I’m so lonesome I could cry[2]

What does it mean to be lonesome? What are the causes of loneliness? How should a Christian answer the challenge of loneliness? Loneliness is one of those emotions that cannot be strictly correlated with the presence or absence of people. It is not uncommon for people to seek solitude in the midst of hurried lives; alone with their thoughts, those who deliberately seek such blessed quietness cannot be said to be lonely. On the other hand, we can be in a crowd and yet be lonely; we can be surrounded by noisy throngs and yet be desolate. To be forlorn and friendless is to be lonely. Undoubtedly, the greatest sense of aloneness comes when we believe we are rejected by kith and kin. Loneliness, then, is not related to the number of people in our vicinity; rather, loneliness is a condition resulting from a lack of connectedness.

Prisoners, isolated from family, perhaps even deserted because of embarrassment, feel alone. In fact, our current correctional system uses isolation as punishment because we know that being alone can induce real pain. The elderly are often ignored by family, and because of removal to nursing homes and the passage of time their circle of friends is diminished. Those suffering from extended illness commonly feel lonely because of their isolation. Time weighs heavy on the heart of those who are isolated as result of the vicissitudes of life.

While there is no “cure” for loneliness, there are responses that will soothe the lonely heart. There are responses outlined in the Word of God that will make those who look to God less susceptible to the prolonged weariness and debilitation that attends the periods of loneliness that come to each of us. A review of the Psalm that is now before us will prove beneficial in providing encouragement for the one who looks to God as a refuge and a help.

*God’s Gracious Invitation* — This Psalm divides naturally into two parts. In the first six verses, David exults in God’s goodness and deliverance. Listen to those early verses.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation;

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