A Season of Psalms - Psalm 142:5-7a
“I cry to you, O Lord; I say, ‘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 too strong for me! Bring me out of prison, that I may give thanks to your name!”
English Standard Version (ESV)
“Ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no valley low enough, ain’t no river wide enough, to keep me from gettin’ to you (babe).” Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell recorded these lyrics in the late 1960s and the song is still wildly popular today in movies and TV shows. It was a featured song in the first “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie along with songs by Blue Swede, the Jackson 5, and David Bowie.
I wonder what David was singing in Psalm 142. The heading of the psalms harkens back to either or both of the events in David’s life when he was hiding in a cave from Saul: 1 Samuel 20-22 and 23-24. Whichever event David has in mind, it’s clear that he was fearful and it seemed as though the whole world was against him and no one was ready to offer assistance (v.4). In the midst of Saul’s hot pursuit, David could still say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living,” rather than complain or criticize God over his circumstances. David realized that his problems weren’t bigger than God, and that “God plus one” always equals a majority. No matter what the odds were, no matter the numerical differential between Saul’s army and David’s army, God was going to show up. As David trusted in the God who delivers, God answered his prayer and rescued him from danger.
Whenever we face trials and temptations of many kinds, let us remember that our problems are not too big for God. Even though our problems may seem great, our God is greater still. And when we feel lost and alone, remember that we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us, and that nothing shall separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Know this: There’s no mountain high enough, no valley low enough, no river wide enough that will ever keep God from reaching His children in their time of need. That’s His promise! We can take Him at His word, because His word never fails!
Further Reading: 1 Samuel 23-24; Romans 8:31-39
Pray the words of this hymn:
God will make a way where there seems to be no way. He works in ways we cannot see; He will make a way for me. He will be my guide, hold me closely to His side. With love and strength for each new day, He will make a way. He will make a way. In Jesus’ name, Amen.