The Psalmist is having a little woe wobbly woe is me moment here. I think we can all relate. It is probably a psalm about a time of captivity. It's like when you feel like you are a cat in a paper bag and can't fight your way out; perhaps not a true prison but it feels a little like one. Oh, so you've never felt like you were in a paper bag? Well, good for you.
"How long, wilt thou forget me?"
It's like, "I thought we were in love, Lord. So where are you now? Huh? A form of "how long" is repeated four times in the first two verses. In the words of Adam Clarke, it "point(s) out at once great dejection and extreme earnestness of soul." Dejection from rejection, a total lack of trust in God more like it. The bugle sound of someone coming to the rescue has not been heard yet. It's a love me or hate me but don't ignore me kind of moment here. Have you ever felt forgotten by God?
"How long, O Lord?
Wilt Thou forget me forever?
How long wilt Thou hide Thy face from me?
How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
Having sorrow in my heart all day long?
(Did you break up with me God?)
How long will my enemies exalt over me?"
Did you ever have your heart broken?
I had a boyfriend break up with me once. It hurt. In fact, when I ran into him accidently, he purposefully walked by, only a couple feet away without looking at me. Ouch. That was a lot of pain for my achy-breaky heart. I had sorrow in my heart all day long. Forgotten? Hardly. In fact, that was my man about forty-three years ago, the hippie dude who had fallen away. As you might have noticed, he got is life back right with God, and we got back together. Because we were in love.
I like to find heart-shaped stones, do you?
But perhaps rock hard is not the best illustration of a heart.
I heard a counselor once say in a conference that there is a difference in real feelings and true feelings. We really do feel really, real feelings. But we must choose to base our lives on what are true feelings. What is true? So, should we be swept away by what we are really feeling or upon what is true? How about true love? It is a commitment, not a passing notion. But it must be based on what is right as well.
"Consider and answer me, O Lord, my God;
Enlighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death..."
This "enlighten my eyes," has a reference to I Samuel 14:29. Remember when silly Saul laid down the law that no one could eat until they had won the battle, but neglected to notice that his own son was too busy fighting bringing the victory to have stuck around to hear him say that? When they told Jonathan this he said, "My father has troubled the land. See how my eyes have brightened because I tasted a little of this honey?" In other words, "Give me a little sugar, God. I'm dying here."
Ezra 9:8-9 has also been referenced: "But now for a brief moment grace has been shown from the Lord our God, to leave us an escaped remnant and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and grant us a little reviving in our bondage...our God has not forsaken us, but has extended lovingkindness to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us reviving to raise up the house of our God..."
Do you feel like you need your eyes enlightened, brightened? Do you need a little grace, a little place--as small as a peg in His sanctuary to hang your heart? Do you long for His lovingkindness, His reviving?
"Lest my enemies..."
Did you ever feel your heart to be a little hollow?
"Satan's ordinary method in temptation is to excite strongly to sin, to blind the understanding, inflame the passions; and when he does, he triumphs by insults and reproaches." (Adam Clarke) So we should never fall into the temptation that will only fuel the enemy of our soul. Rather say...
"But I have trusted in Thy lovingkindness;
My heart shall rejoice in Thy salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me."
Aren't you glad that the Psalmist came around to right thinking? Where are you on that journey thinking a time that God has forgotten you? Are you still up the miff tree? Has the waiter said, "Table for the Pity Party of one"? It comes back to trusting in His lovingkindness. Are you singing yet?