At the end of the psalm David has obviously gotten to the point of recovering a sense of God’s presence. He says that he is trusting in the Lord's unfailing love, rejoicing in the Lord's salvation and looking forward to the day when he will again sing to the Lord of his goodness. How did David get to this position? I touched on this when I was giving the outline of this psalm earlier. The turning point was prayer.

When all things seem against us,
To drive us to despair,
We know one gate is open
One ear will hear our prayer.

Yesterday we concluded that the third reason we can feel abandoned is because of dark thoughts and uncontrollable emotions.

Let me make two more points here. First, some people are more prone to morbidity than others, and it is helpful to know this, especially if we are among them. Martyn Lloyd-Jones begins his book on depression by saying that "foremost" among all causes of spiritual depression is "temperament."5 Knowing that you are temperamentally inclined to depression may not cure the depression, but it is an important factor to weigh when evaluating your condition.

A second cause of depression, leading to feelings of abandonment, is an extension of the first: a prolonged period in which the blessings of God given in an earlier time seem to have been removed. I think this is what David is talking about in the second line when he asks, "How long will you hide your face from me?" This means more than merely being forgotten by God, which is what the first question addresses. To say that the face of God is shining upon us is a way of saying that God is being favorable to us or blessing us. So, if God is hiding his face, what this must mean is that the times of blessing or favor seem to have ceased.

Psalm 13 has a simple but very important outline, which we need to keep in mind. There are three parts, each consisting of two verses. Verses 1 and 2 express David's feeling of abandonment. Verses 3 and 4 are a prayer in which he asks God to turn his face toward him again and to answer his questions. Verses 5 and 6 express David's recovered trust in God and have a tone of rejoicing. In these verses David recalls that God has been good to him in the past and says that he is sure God will be good to him again. We need to note the place of prayer in this psalm. It occurs in the very middle and is the turning point. That is an important thing to know.

You may have noticed in your study of the psalms that at different places in the psalter we find increasing intensity and even apparent desperation as we move along. We find this movement as we pass from Psalm 12 to Psalm 13.

In Psalm 12 David feels himself to be alone in the sense that godly or faithful persons seem to have disappeared from around him. Instead of upright persons, he is surrounded by "people of the lie." This is bad enough, of course. If we feel alone in any trying situation, we feel desperate. But when we come to Psalm 13, we find that David feels abandoned now, not only by godly or faithful men, but by even God himself. Can anything be worse than that? It is hard to think so. When Jonah was trying to get away from God, he thought that being abandoned by God would be desirable. But when he was thrown into the sea, was swallowed by the great fish and finally did sense himself to be abandoned by God, he found that he did not like the feeling at all. He compared his state of abandonment to Sheol or Hell and cried out in distress, asking God to save him (cf. Jonah 2).