Psalm 142 is titled “A Maskil of David when he was within a cave. A prayer.”
It was written of a time when David was in a helpless situation. He describes his feelings of isolation and desperation. It seems to refer to a time when he was being hunted by Saul (intent on killing him) and he seeks a hiding place, of sorts, in some sort of cave.
This is not something that clever strategy or negotiations will enable him to resolve. His life is in jeopardy – this is a problem.
When you get yourself into a situation or through no fault of your own, you are backed into a corner – financially, medically, vocationally, relationally, or spiritually – what do you do? Where do you turn?
In Kenya, we repeatedly found ourselves in seemingly impossible situations, that threatened our safety and were beyond our means, our knowledge and experience. We were “punching above our weight.” We came to learn that God alone is our refuge.
Attacked by a swarm of African Killer Bees – covered in stings, resulting infections.
Constantly sick with stomach and bowl infections, urinary infections from the water.
Narrowly escaping marauders – armed escorts.
Taunts and attacks from witch doctors and shamans.
Back in the 1st world, we have problems to deal with every day.Which shirt will I wear? Will I eat at home or have breakfast at the cafe? Shall I shop in Changi, Bangkok or Hong Kong? Red shoes or black shoes? Motorway or back streets?
But then, we hit PROBLEMS – what do we do? Where do our thoughts turn to? At what point does prayer become more than “God get me out of this mess?”