Have you ever felt all alone? As though your friends have turned against you? As though there is nowhere to turn for help? Well, you’re in good company with this Psalm, which is ascribed to “David, while in the cave.” A bit of background tells us that David was on the run, pursued by his one-time King and protector, Saul. David was a wanted man, but at the same time, nobody wanted to come to his aide. “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen” could have been David’s theme song in these days. Psalm 142 and 143 comprise a single Psalm; here are selected verses from them:
1 I cry aloud to the Lord;
I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy.
2 I pour out before him my complaint;
before him I tell my trouble.
3 When my spirit grows faint within me,
it is you who watch over my way.
In the path where I walk
people have hidden a snare for me.
4 Look and see, there is no one at my right hand;
no one is concerned for me.
I have no refuge;
no one cares for my life.
5 I cry to you, Lord;
I say, “You are my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living.”
6 Listen to my cry,
for I am in desperate need;
rescue me from those who pursue me,
for they are too strong for me.
7 Set me free from my prison,
that I may praise your name.
Then the righteous will gather about me
because of your goodness to me.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I entrust my life.
9 Rescue me from my enemies, Lord,
for I hide myself in you.
10 Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
lead me on level ground.
Prayer: A song! One of the greats, by Louis Armstrong