Study Guide – Psalm 142

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

How do you feel about David pouring out complaints to God? Is this OK? How might it actually reveal the depth of David's faith?

3 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.
4 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.

Contrast these verses to Psalm 121. Which psalm do you think was written first (and why do you think that way)?

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

How do the two lines of David's prayer in verse 5 complement each other? What does it mean to have God be your "portion"?

6 Listen to my cry,
    for I am in desperate need;
rescue me from those who pursue me,
    for they are too strong for me.
7 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. NIV

Take a moment to read 1 Samuel 24. It is likely that David wrote this psalm was written in a cave near Engedi (near the Dead Sea) just before a remarkable encounter with King Saul. How does this context deepen your appreciation for David's prayer in this psalm and for David's actions in 1 Samuel 24?

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