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REFLECTIONS. This psalm was Israel’s plaintive song in the time of trouble. It eased their hearts in captivity, that a bright morning would break, and chase their night away; that God would make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. The hidings of God’s face are the greatest calamities which can befal the believer in his pilgrimage; and they are to be deprecated as the last of evils. Those cheering emanations from the fountain of light, of life and love, which gladden both angels and saints, are the essence of happiness and heaven; and when they are suspended or interrupted, we should investigate the cause with the must scrupulous care. As God is perfectly happy in himself, and the source of happiness to all his creatures, we are, when under spiritual desertion or the hidings of his face, not to be still and quiet, but languishing for the return of comfort.
It is an additional affliction when the hidings of God’s face are connected with outward troubles. So here: David was long in exile, and his enemy was exalted over him. But it should be remarked, that when temporal troubles come, we are apt to look at them till we sink into darkness and discouragement. This we should guard against, and never look at trials without looking also to the Lord.
David, surrounded with darkness and trouble, prays for deliverance, because of the daily sorrow he felt in his soul. Hence our cloudy days should be days of humiliation, for there is no consideration which should more seriously induce the soul to examine and abase itself before God than the hidings of his face. He next prays for comfort and deliverance, lest he should sleep the sleep of death, and leave the enemy in triumph, saying, I have prevailed against him. Then what would become of all the promises made to him by Samuel, and in the name of the Lord?
Faith in those promises supported him when he saw no prospect of deliverance. He trusted in the mercy of God, and rejoiced in his salvation. Thus the church should ever do: the promises are the anchor-hold of faith. By these we anticipate help; and while the enemy rejoices with presumptuous hope, we rejoice in that God who will presently disperse our gloom by the brightness of his appearing.
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Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 13". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent