Tuesday, February 1, 2022

God’s Choicest Wines (Psalm 13)

"But I have trusted in Your mercy; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, because He has dealt bountifully with me" (Psalm 13:5–6).

Samuel Rutherford wrote, “When I am in the cellar of affliction, I look for the Lord’s choicest wines.” In Psalm 13, David describes what it is like to be trapped in his own “cellar of affliction.” He cries out to God for deliverance, but God seems to have forgotten him. He wrestles with doubt, sorrow, and despair as his enemies continue to torment him. David’s only recourse is to turn to the Lord and wait on His grace. As he waits for God’s answer, he finds encouragement by considering God’s “choicest wines”—His unfailing love, gracious salvation, and overflowing goodness.

Waiting on God for answers to our prayers, for healing, for deliverance from trials and temptations can cause even the strongest saint to grow weary and question whether God is truly involved in the lives of His people. This is why faith is so foundational, for we must put our hope in that which is not seen. When we don’t see God acting on our behalf, we too often think He has abandoned us. But despite our feelings, we must walk by faith and pray that God gives light to our eyes, which means a renewed strength of heart. Calvin wrote, “David confesses that unless God causes the light of life to shine upon him, he will be immediately overwhelmed with the darkness of death, and that he is already as a man without life, unless God breathes into him new vigour.” We, too, must realize that without God we have no hope. Even while waiting on Him, we must not turn away thinking we can succeed on our own.

David does this by meditating on three of the Lord’s “choicest wines.” First, he praises God for His unfailing love. God loves His people and He will not abandon them. Second, David rejoices in the precious gift of salvation. Even when all else seems hopeless, we can praise God for saving us from eternal damnation. We can look toward heaven and know that one day we will have complete deliverance. Lastly, David sings praises to the Lord for His abundant goodness. Too often we delve into despair because everything seems against us. But this is not so for God’s people. In all situations we can find God’s goodness shining in our lives. He sustains our life, clothes us, and protects our souls. And most importantly, He has provided a way of redemption in Jesus Christ.

Read Philippians 4:4–13. Where does Paul find strength when facing difficulties? How should we pray to God even when facing trials? What benefit is there in waiting on God in all things and turning to Him in prayer? What is Paul’s secret of contentment?