Category : General
Psalm 142:4 (KJV)
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.
It was observed, “If we think only of ourselves, of our own comfort, or convenience, or safety, our selfish-Hess is most inexcusable. It is not only vast regions, dark and dead, through the debasing influences of heathenism which beckon onward the philanthropist and the Christian to help, but there is an important work to be done at our very doors.”
Here we find that David shows that there was good cause for the dreadful sufferings he experienced, since no human aid or comfort was to be expected, and destruction seemed inevitable. When he speaks of having looked and yet not perceived a friend amongst men, he does not mean that he had turned his thoughts to earthly helps in forgetfulness of God, but that he had made such inquiry as was warrant-able after one on the earth who might assist him. Had any person of the kind presented himself, he would no doubt have recognized him as an instrument in the hand of God’s mercy, but it was God’s purpose that he should be abandoned of all assistance from man, and that his deliverance from destruction should thus appear more extraordinary. In the expression, none seeking after my soul, the verb to seek after is used in a good sense, for being solicitous about any man’s welfare or safety.
The words translated “looked” and “beheld” are in the imperative mood in the Hebrew. They are not, however, improperly rendered as to the sense. They refer to David’s state of mind at the time, and give vividness to the description. The psalmist seems to be in the presence of others. He calls upon them to look around; to see how he was encompassed with danger. Look, says he, in every direction; see who there is on whom I may rely; what there is to which I may trust as a refuge. I can find none; I see none; there is none. The “right hand” is referred to here as the direction where he might look for a protector: Psalm 109:6, 31.
In a world where no grain of sand escapes Nature’s notice, where there are no runaway stars or suns, where a Divine Ruler leads a beautiful world out of darkness, fire-mist, and chaos, man cannot support the thought that there is no place for him in God’s loving providence. So momentous are those events named a betrothal, a marriage, the death of babe, or mother, or statesman, that men wish to associate them with a Divine Friend. Indeed, the most bitter cry that ever arises from human lips is this one: “No man cared for my soul.” In a world full of conflict, full of labor, whose fruitage is often sorrow, man fulfills his journey across the wilderness towards the promised land, supported by the thought that the angels of God’s providence go before him.
Friends, one thing is certain; David is far from self-conscious in his prayers! He shows no concern for how he might sound or appear. Image and style play no part in his cry to the Lord. He suppresses nothing, but pours out his “complaint” and articulates his “trouble”. There’s wisdom in this, for as Spurgeon reminds us, “an unuttered grief will lie and smolder in the soul, till its black smoke puts out the very eyes of the spirit” (144). If we can learn anything from David’s experience it is that we must tell God everything: how we have sinned, fallen, failed, and broken down. We need to tell him how fickle our faith is, how weak and worn we are.
Have a great and God filled day!