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Psalm One Hundred and Forty Two

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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Maschil of David; A Prayer when he was in the cave.

Maschil. This is the last of the Maschil psalms (see note on Psalm 32 (title). Like the first, it was written by David. He was fleeing from Saul, who was determined to kill him, and was in the cave Adullam (1 Samuel 22:1). Thus, it was written before he wrote Psalm 32, which was composed following his much later affair with Bathsheba.

Psalm 142:1 I cried unto the LORD with my voice; with my voice unto the LORD did I make my supplication.

I cried. Psalm 142:1-2 is in the imperfect tense, indicating that this was David's regular response to difficult situations.

Psalm 142:2 I poured out my complaint before him; I showed before him my trouble.

Psalm 142:3 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me.

Psalm 142:4 I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.

no man cared. Under the circumstances, David's cry of anxiety is understandable. This is one of David's most familiar verses, and has often been appropriated by missionaries on behalf of the unreached souls in the difficult regions of the world. It is one of the saddest verses in the Bible. Undoubtedly there are many lonely people in the world, who feel that no one cares. But no one was ever as alone as Jesus, when not only His disciples forsook Him (Matthew 26:56), but even His heavenly Father (Matthew 27:46) as He hung dying on the cross. Thus He understands! “For in that He Himself hath suffered, ... He is able to succour them that are [tested]” (Hebrews 2:18). Jesus died all alone on the cross, so He understands, and can “be touched with the feeling of our infirmities.” Therefore, at His “throne of grace,” we can “find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:15-16).

Psalm 142:5 I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.

Psalm 142:6 Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I.

Psalm 142:7 Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.