Walk Of Life – Day 9 March 2023 – Thoughts From The Book Of Psalms
Psalm 142 – Strive Through Wilderness
Psalm 142 is a maskil or contemplation of David written in a cave probably Adullam (1Samuel 22:1) or the caves of En Gedi (1 Samuel 24:1). Adullam seems to be the best fit, which would suggest that Psalm 34 and Psalm 57 are also associated with this period of David’s life. Maskil is translated as ‘a psalm of instruction’ inspired by the good lessons learnt on the knees in the wilderness which David wanted to teach others.
The theme of this psalm is first that of this terrible sense of helplessness and hopelessness so far as man is concerned. The other is that of the determined application of the helpless soul to Jehovah. After running for days form Saul the King who was determined to kill David, he became exhausted and helpless not knowing where to go anymore. Finally he took shelter in a cave where he sort out God on his knees. After giving David great success as a soldier, one might think why God took him through this testing time, even when he was not in wrong.
Helplessness / Hopelessness in a Man – Among all the places recorded in the Bible, wilderness is an important place where God prepares his chosen for greater purposes.
- Hagar – She ran from her mistress into the wilderness only to meet an angel of God and receive a blessing of a son, Ishmael and to name God first in the Bible, “El Roi, the God who sees me” (Genesis 16:13).
- Israelites – He took the Israelite through the wilderness for forty years till the next generation where prepared to take over the Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua. Here they were trained to follow the Law given by God to Moses for his people.
- Elijah – He flee from the evil queen Jezebel after a great victory God gave him on Mount Carmel, when his focus moved away from God. There in a cave he cried to the Lord and was strengthened physically (food cooked by angel, 1 Kings 19:8) and spiritually (a gentle whisper from the LORD, 1 Kings 19:12) for his future tasks (1 Kings 19:15, 16).
- John the Baptist – He spent his life living in the wilderness separated from worldly life being strengthened for the public ministry God had anointed him for. (Luke 1:80)
- Lord Jesus – He went to wilderness after his baptism in preparation for God’s will to be established through him. During his ministry, He went often to lonely places to be with his Father to receive instruction for the next task.
Wilderness literally means a desert, an uninhabited and uncultivated area without water, a wasteland, or an area of wild fields where animals graze. But today spiritual wilderness experiences can be multi-faceted. It is a time when one can stay alone away from the noise and busyness to find help from the Father to overcome the struggles, discomfort and suffering. You might feel overwhelmed, confused, discouraged and think that God has abandoned you as He chooses to remain silent. But it’s not, He is taking you through the wilderness to refine, prepare and train you to do his good work.
Determination to Seek God’s Favor – Although David was broken in his spirit, he never lost faith in God mighty hand of deliverance for him. So, he fought through his struggle on his knees till he was made triumphant by God.
This psalm encourages you not lose hope and wait patiently for God to answer your prayers. Then you will be able to understand his perfect will and praise God in the midst of people.