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Weds 20 January - Psalm 142

Psalm 142

I cry aloud to the Lord;
    I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy.
I pour out before him my complaint;
    before him I tell my trouble.

When my spirit grows faint within me,
    it is you who watch over my way.
In the path where I walk
    people have hidden a snare for me.
Look and see, there is no one at my right hand;
    no one is concerned for me.
I have no refuge;
    no one cares for my life.

I cry to you, Lord;
    I say, “You are my refuge,
    my portion in the land of the living.”

Listen to my cry,
    for I am in desperate need;
rescue me from those who pursue me,
    for they are too strong for me.
Set me free from my prison,
    that I may praise your name.
Then the righteous will gather about me
    because of your goodness to me.

- - -

Meditation on Psalm 142

What another roller-coaster ride we are on!
The previous Psalm (135) we looked at was full of praise and thanksgiving to the LORD.
Remember – He is GOOD, He is GREAT, He is SOVEREIGN, He is ETERNAL and He is COMPASSIONATE.

As we journeyed through that Psalm we were left on top of a mountain.

Now we come to Psalm 145 and we are in the depths of despair.

Verses 1-2   His appeal

  • I cry aloud to the LORD
  • I lift up my voice to the LORD for mercy
  • I pour out my complaint before Him
  • I tell Him all my trouble

At least the Psalmist knows who to turn to.
Pause a moment – think globally about the situation the world is in just now – politically, economically, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

For many people, they are ‘crying out loud.’

They are ‘lifting up their voice.’

They are ‘pouring out their complaint.’

They are talking ‘about their trouble.’

But they don’t know where to go. They don’t know who to turn to.


I am reminded of the song – ‘Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen.’ Let me quote some of the words.

‘Nobody knows the trouble I've seen, Nobody knows my sorrow…

Sometimes I’m up. Sometimes I’m down…Sometimes I’m almost to the ground’

Note the despair.

Then comes this line … Nobody knows the trouble I've seen, Nobody knows but Jesus’

James Coats, a Music teacher, wrote another song which picks up on this theme of where to go, who to turn to…

‘Living below in this old sinful world, hardly a comfort can afford,
Striving alone to face temptation so, where could I go but to the Lord.
Where could I go oh where could I go; seeking the refuge for my soul
Needing a friend to save me in the end, won't you tell me
Where could I go but to the Lord?’

This is one of the great things about the Psalms – they are so honest and Psalm 142 is no exception.
The Psalmist isn’t finished yet.

Verses 3-4   His need

  • my spirit grows faint within me
  • people have laid traps along my journey
  • there’s no-one close to me or concerned about me
  • I am on my own and no-one cares

Remember, he wouldn’t have had access to ‘The Samaritans’ or any other helpline! He’s on his own.

But is he?

No – look at verse 3. There’s just a glimmer of hope because he turns to the LORD – ‘you watch over my soul.’ 

Whatever the situation we may find ourselves in, we can have confidence in the Lord our God.


Verses 5-7   His prayer

  • he cries out to the LORD.
  • he recognises who he’s calling out to – ‘you are my refuge, my portion…’
  • he pleads for a hearing
  • he knows his desperate situation – ‘desperate need’; ‘pursued’; ‘in prison’.

And his prayer?

  • ‘rescue me’
  • ‘set me free’

The outcome he longs for is to ‘praise the name of the LORD’ and to know the fellowship of the LORD’s people with him. 

We say it every Sunday morning – whether in church or in our home.  GOD IS GOOD as the Psalmist says in verse 7b.

‘Where can I go BUT TO THE LORD?’

(Roger Purdom)

Daily Readings

Thursday 21 January - Psalm 143

Friday 22 January - Psalm 144

Saturday 23 January - Psalm 145

Sunday 24 January - Psalm 146

Monday 25 January - Psalm 147

Tuesday 26 January- Psalm 148


New International Version - UK (NIVUK)
Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Photo by Guillaume de Germain on Unsplash