David is very bold with God. He asks God some very poignant and seemingly brazen questions. We all understand the frustration of waiting for someone, or the discouragement we feel when someone fails to follow through on a responsibility or a commitment in a relationship. In our frustration or even disappointment we might ask: “Where were you? What happened? Why didn’t you follow through on what you were supposed to do? Don’t you care? How often do you need to be reminded?”
But, and this is a big but, in Psalm 13, David is asking God these questions. Here is what David asks God:
- “How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me?
How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
having sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long will my enemy be exalted over me?” Psalm 13:1-2 (NASB)
Why the tough questions?
We do not know the exact situation David was in that brought about these questions. David does not disclose that in the psalm, and scholars have not pinpointed a specific event. Anyone familiar with the life of David knows that he had many situations in his life that could have given rise to these questions.
Questions Reveal Heart
As we read these questions, we get a sense of the underlying desperation and sheer need of David. On one hand he is asking God some heavy duty “why questions,” but on the other hand he is pleading with God for help. Anyone who has felt fear, desperation, or despair in their life from some emotional, spiritual or physical pain has probably asked questions like these. Who has not felt tired of waiting for God to work, wondering why He isn’t, and then feeling forgotten? I know I have.
Take heart if you are asking such questions, they may reveal your faith in God. In many instances these questions signify faith, not a lack of it. Such questions may arise from dependence on a trusted Father, not anger at abandonment.
In our agony we can ask some piercing questions of ourselves and of God. Most often these questions are a way of pouring out our heart to God as we seek to find Him in our troubles. The very thing we consider bold or even brazen about asking such questions of God may actually be our faith trying to become more sure.
The main point here is that David had a relationship with God in which he felt he could ask such questions of the all-powerful God who creates and sustains all things; the One who has life and death in His hands. David did not distrust God’s love, but intimately poured out his soul to God.
In his wrestling, David did find God. In verses 5 and 6, David’s heart of faith is more readily seen.
“But I have trusted in Your loving-kindness; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me.” Psalm 13:5-6
Ask and You Shall Receive
So, what questions do you need to ask God? What is weighing on your heart? What feelings are you wrestling with? What battle do you need deliverance from? In reverence and trust, ask Him; pour out your heart. You may not get every question answered the way you expect, but you will be drawn closer to God.