By: Pastor Jarren Rogers
If you’ve ever read through the Psalms, you may come to the conclusion that all of them fall into one of three categories:
1. A Psalm of Praise and Thanksgiving
2. A Song of Sadness, Anger, and Lament
3. All of the Above
David, like most of us, had highs and lows. Regardless of where he was in life, he made sure to translate his circumstances into a psalm of prayer.
Scholars have attempted to guess the events that inspired David’s various Psalms. For instance, if he’s writing about how great everything is going and thanking God for it, based on the time period, we can discern that he wrote it during a time of peace. Or, because David wrote a Psalm of anger at a specific point in time, scholars can infer that he wrote it at a time when he was betrayed by his friends. Or perhaps, because David wrote a Psalm of Sadness/Lament in a specific year, scholars can conclude that his mother-in-law was in town (haha).
But some Psalms give us a very clear picture of exactly where David was when he wrote them. Take Pslam 142, for instance:
A [Song] of David. When he was in the cave. A prayer.
Wow. It doesn’t get much more specific than that. When David was writing Psalm 142, he was crouched in the darkness of a cave, hiding from his enemies. I imagine his cloak is pulled tightly around him as he plucks quietly on his harp. Beside him, lay a few bits of parchment, a quill, and ink. On one paper, you can find lines of music intertwined with words that have been scratched out and scribbled in the margins. One such line is this:
“I have no refuge; no one cares for my life” (Psalm 142:4).
Of course, you don’t have a refuge, David. You are hunkered down in a cave, all alone, fearful that your enemies may find you out.
I wonder how many of us can relate to David, in this moment. If someone was writing the story of your life, could they describe your present circumstances as:
A [Song] of (Your Name Here). When they were in the cave. A prayer.
A cave. Darkness. Loneliness. Coldness. Hopelessness. Fear.
Not everyone meets Christmas with joy. Sometimes they enter the holidays living in a cave.
If that sounds like you, you’re in good company. David knows what that is like.
But he also knew who to cry to.
“Cry to you, Lord; I say, ‘You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living’” (v. 5).
When we find ourselves crouched in the cave of our anxieties, it’s important to remember where our refuge is found. We have a God to cry to. Like David, no circumstance of life should be separated from our songs and prayers to God.
He desires your lament. Your praise. Your anger.
He is our portion. Pray to Him.
Read more of this Advent Devotional and other Daily Pursuits at www.dailypursuits.blog