Bible Commentaries

Psalms 142

Verses 1-7

In this psalm human need is yet more vividly set forth. Here is seen the consciousness resulting from the difficulties described in the previous psalm. Here there is a combination of fighting and fears within and without.

The onslaught of the foe and the trembling heart constitute an experience which can only be described as that of a spirit overwhelmed. There are two notes running side by side throughout the song. The first is that of this terrible sense of helplessness and hopelessness so far as man is concerned. The other is that of the determined application of the helpless soul to Jehovah. There is the utmost urgency in this method. “I cry with my voice ... I pour out my complaint ... I show before Him my trouble.” The whole need is gathered up into the tremendous statement, “Refuge hath failed me; no man careth for my soul.” This is answered by triumphing faith in the words, “O Jehovah ... Thou art my refuge.” The song ends with an earnest cry for deliverance, and an affirmation of confidence that the cry will be heard and answered.