How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? Psalm 13:1.
Of course God does not forget His people. But Zion said…the Lord has forgotten me. Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb. Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you, Isa 49:14,15.
Everyone knows God does not forget us, but even a nursing child, when hunger strikes, wonders why his mother is not taking care of him RIGHT THIS MINUTE! “She must have forgotten me.”
If we do a little research, we can understand what David meant in the psalm. The opposite of “forget” is “remember” and both words have connotations we may not realize.
In Gen 8:1 “God remembered” Noah and the animals, and made the rain stop.
In Gen 19:29, “God remembered” Abraham, and spared Lot from Sodom.
In Gen 30:22, “God remembered” Rachel, and gave her a son.
In Ex 2:24, “God remembered” his covenant with Abraham, and sent Moses to save the people
In 1 Sam 1:19,20, “God remembered” Hannah, and gave her a son.
Do you see it? Every time we are told “God remembered” He acted. If “remembering” means to act, then “forgetting” means the opposite, no action. David could see no deliverance. It was not that he thought God had really removed him from His mind, it was that he could not see God coming to his aid when he needed it.
In the midst of trials we may not be able to see the hand of God. He often works behind the scenes. He usually uses the hands of others to accomplish His will and those hands may be slow in acting. His timetable may not match ours. In fact, we may even face times when it seems He “forgot” us. Rest assured He has not.
It is not for us to demand explanations from an Almighty Creator. It is for us to follow the solution David ultimately comes to in verse five: I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. David had not yet seen that salvation, but he trusted so implicitly it was as if it had already happened. I will sing to the Lord because He has dealt bountifully with me, v 6.
David began this psalm with fear and depression which fell on him because the trial was long and hard and he saw no relief in sight. Eventually he sank into despondency. He felt completely alone. Because he felt alone, he even looked to himself for advice. How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart? The worst counselor you can have is yourself. If all you do is look inward, you will despair. According to David, you must look outside yourself to find help and consolation.
When David states his solution, “I will trust in the Lord,” he is making a choice: “I will.” That choice to trust God cannot be taken away from you by anyone, whether a physical or spiritual Enemy.
When we face trials—especially long, difficult ordeals—we should remember Psalm 13. What began with a charge of God forgetting ended with a trust in His bounty so complete it is as if it had already been accomplished, even more (“bountifully”) than was necessary.
God did not forget the tiny flower and He does not forget us either. It is up to us to choose His help when it is offered and how it is offered, not the way we think is best, but in the manner our Wise Creator knows is best.
Behold the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His steadfast love, Psalm 33:18.