Give ear to my words, O Lord;
consider my groaning.
Give attention to the sound of my cry,
my King and my God,
for to you do I pray.
David is asking God to hear him, to REALLY hear him.
He asks God to, give ear, consider, give attention to…to what? My words. My groaning. The sound of my cry.
David is asking God to pay attention to his distress…to hear his words as he describes his distress and not to just hear his words but to hear the emotion with which he speaks, to hear his groaning, to hear the sounds he makes in between his words as they are interrupted by his own inability to stop crying.
Why does David ask God to hear him? Doesn’t he have good enough theology to know that God is everywhere and hears everything? I’m sure he did. And yet all through the Psalms we see David asking again and again for God to hear him. Why?
One possibility is that while David intellectually knew that God could hear him, he may not have FELT like God was listening to him, and his asking for God to listen is simply a very human response to the feeling that God was absent. And this is why I love the Psalms. Through David’s cry God gives us both permission and a pattern. He gives us permission to cry out to him in honesty about how we feel. About our doubts that he is hearing us or seeing our situation. But then he gives us a pattern to follow. A pattern of coming to him in the midst of that doubt and expressing our need for him to listen, to consider, and to pay attention to us in our distress. Our very asking is not just a confession of doubt but a step of faith that can cut though the doubt and remind us that God does indeed hear us.
As a mom I can usually discern the sound of my kids cry before I even see them or see specifically what they are crying about. I can tell an angry cry from a hurt cry…and I can tell a cry that has both sad and mad in it and I can tell them apart from a cry that is pretending to be distressed as part of their play. I can also usually tell each kids cry apart from the other. Our Father is an amazing parent. His ability to hear and discern our cries, his compassion for the pain behind our groaning, his understanding of our weaknesses and fears and doubts and insecurities are infinitely greater than a mom’s ability to understand the cry of her children. If you are hurting, if you are doubting, if you are confused, insecure, anxious, angry, guilty…cry out to the one who made you- cry out to your parent, your Father. Cry out in humility knowing you desperately need your father to hear you, forgive you, heal you, make you secure, give you clarity, fill you with his love, and make you a person that is guarded by his perfect peace. Cry out in faith despite your doubt, knowing that He DOES hear you who come to him in humility and who cast yourself upon his good will and loving-kindness.
I find it incredibly interesting that David, after asking God to hear him, gives God a reason why he should hear him…his reason…”For, to YOU do I pray” (emphasis added by me). It’s easy to skip over this but its profound and full of meaning and that meaning comes out when you listen to the reasons he didn’t give, and who he didn’t address. David didn’t say, “hear me because I come to you in such great faith,” “hear me because I have done x,y,or z.” He says, hear me because I’m talking to YOU and YOU are my King and my God. David is pointing out that he isn’t asking another god, he isn’t asking another earthly king, he isn’t asking his best friend, he isn’t depending upon his own strength or his own kingly authority, He is simply coming to his God and King and asking HIM to hear- because he knows this King of Kings, this God of god’s, is THE one who can help him and who will do so based upon His own divine authority and faithfulness.
One thought on “Asking God to Listen (Psalm 5:1-2)”
United praying to God for His help as we press on together. Be glorified, Lord Jesus.