Text: Psalm 142
I cry out to the Lord with my voice; With my voice to the Lord I make my supplication. I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare before Him my trouble. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, Then You knew my path. In the way in which I walk They have secretly set a snare for me. Look on my right hand and see, For there is no one who acknowledges me; Refuge has failed me; No one cares for my soul. I cried out to You, O Lord: I said, “You are my refuge, My portion in the land of the living. Attend to my cry, For I am brought very low; Deliver me from my persecutors, For they are stronger than I. Bring my soul out of prison, That I may praise Your name; The righteous shall surround me, For You shall deal bountifully with me.”
Don’t keep your cares locked up in your heart, dear Christian, but open your soul to God, open your heart to Him in words of prayer. The devil is a mute spirit who wants to tie our tongue, so that we cannot “cry to the Lord.” And he is a proud spirit who wants to make our heart obstinate, so that we should not “make supplication to the Lord with our voice.” I am sure you know this dark hole in which the soul sits silently and broods over its own misery, blames God and everyone, and rejects thoughts of comfort. Our psalm “instructs” us to break this sorrowful silence: 1) You are not the only one who eats the bread of tears. On the contrary, all faithful people receive their cup of suffering. David was so afflicted and so inwardly anxious that his spirit would faint within him. He felt so alone and forsaken in his distress that “refuge failed him,” and no one cared about him. When the saints experience such things, they become like Christ; for in Him these words are perfectly fulfilled. 2) Humble yourself before the Lord. I could say, nothing is more important. Nothing is so contrary to the devil; nothing so promises your peace. Know that you deserve punishment, and pray for grace. Take note of the words of our psalm: “Humbly I pray to the Lord with my voice.” 3) You should learn to believe on the Lord; you should flee all idolatry, so that the Lord, the Lord alone is your God. “My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psa 73:26). 4) He “knows your path” and cares for you. His eye watches over you and His ear is open to your cry. “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you” (Isa 49:15). 5) So your worries soon will end. “For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning” (Psa 30:5). He shall bring your soul out of prison, and you shall praise His name, and the righteous shall praise the Lord for your salvation.
Now follow David’s instruction: Call to the Lord with your voice, pray humbly to the Lord, pour out your cares before Him, make your need known to Him. Call to the Lord and say: “You are my refuge, My portion in the land of the living. Attend to my cry … Bring my soul out of prison” (Psa 142:5-7). God’s Spirit Himself shall loose your tongue, and when with humble heart you lay everything on the Lord, your cares shall become joy and your lament a song of praise.
Lord, help us in this by Your Holy Spirit. “Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise Your name; the righteous shall surround me, for You deal bountifully with me.” Amen.
I pass through trials all the way,
With sin and ills contending;
In patience I must bear each day
The cross of God’s own sending.
Oft in adversity
I know not where to flee,
When storms of woe my soul dismay;
I pass through trials all the way.
I walk with Jesus all the way,
His guidance never fails me.
Within His wounds I find a stay,
When Satan’s power assails me,
And by His footsteps led,
My path I safely tread.
In spite of ills that threaten may,
I walk with Jesus all the way.
Brorson: I walk in danger all the way L 283:2.5 ELH 252:2.5 tr. D. G. Ristad;
tune: Der lieben Sonne Licht