PSALM 142.

Cry for Help in Great Extremity.

Maschil, a didactic poem, one teaching an important lesson, of David; a prayer when he was in the cave, either in that of Adullam, 1 Sam. 22, or in that of Engedi, 1 Sam. 24, teaching all believers the manner of praying to the Lord when trouble has reached its highest point. V. 1. I cried unto the Lord with my voice, in a loud appeal for help; with my voice unto the Lord did I make my supplication, with great earnestness and importunity, imploring His merciful assistance and deliverance. V. 2. I poured out my complaint before Him, depositing all his worries and cares at one time, Ps. 37, 5; I showed before Him my trouble, making known to Him all that was bothering him, all his distress. V. 3. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, fainting away with the severity of his distress, then Thou knewest my path, the entire conduct of David lying open before the omniscient eyes of Jehovah, with all its weaknesses, indeed, but also with the underlying sincerity which characterized him. In the way wherein I walked, which his duty bade him walk, have they privily laid a snare for me, to effect his destruction. V. 4. I looked on my right hand, the place of a protector, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me, no friend upon whom he could depend without reserve; refuge failed me, there seemed to be no place in which he was secure; no man cared for my soul, he felt himself utterly forsaken of men, for even the faithful ones who shared his exile occasionally did not understand him, 1 Sam. 24, 1-7; 26, 5-11. Since, then, he had no other refuge, his helpless soul was driven to the Lord alone. V. 5. I cried unto Thee, O Lord; I said, Thou art my Refuge and my Portion in the land of the living, by providing him the safe stronghold of His almighty power and the assurance of His grace and mercy in the midst of his afflictions. V. 6. Attend unto my cry, his appeal once more ringing out; for I am brought very low, he has reached the point of extreme weakness; deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I, they had the upper hand at that time and tried their best to carry out their wicked intention of destroying David. V. 7. Bring my soul out of prison, out of this extremity of sorrows in which he found himself, that I may praise Thy name, in grateful appreciation of what the Lord had done for him. The righteous shall compass me about, coming to him and surrounding him in sympathetic joy; for Thou shalt deal bountifully with me, his final triumph being a certainty beyond the shadow of a doubt in his mind, since he relied upon the promise of his merciful heavenly Father. Thus the sorrows of this present world teach all believers to have their hearts attuned to the praise of the Lord always, in setting forth His bounty.