Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;
Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved.
In verses one and two, David listed his woes. “God has forgotten me; He has turned His face away; I have no one but myself from whom to get counsel; my enemies are winning!”
But as he listed his complaints, he began to get a glimpse of his own negative thinking. He knew that God would not forget him, or turn away from him. And perhaps there was a little flame of truth in his heart that still burned, showing him the futility of trusting only in himself.
In the next two verses, we see a different spirit in David. It is as if he has lifted his head up off the floor, seeking to see God’s truth instead of wallowing in his own misperceptions. “Think of me, God! Hear me! Give light (understanding) to my eyes, so that I don’t die in my misery!”
One of the major symptoms of clinical depression is a deep need to sleep ALL the time! The paradox, of course, is that often the one who suffers depression finds sleep to be elusive, impossible to maintain. Sleeplessness leads to a host of other symptoms, including deep anxiety, forgetfulness, and a sense of being out of place, out of time. There can also be a sleep so deep that it is an escape from all that is troubling to the victim, a safe place where he can hide from everything and everyone–sleep so deep that is like death.
David is worried about his enemies. He is afraid, because Saul has soldiers who will do his bidding. David had, at this time, no human help nearby. It bothered him a lot to think of his enemy rejoicing over his defeat.
If you’ve ever used a pair of binoculars, you know that they have to be adjusted to your own vision. For me, that meant the left lens had to be set very differently from the right. I was nearsighted in my right eye, but quite farsighted in my left. It is no wonder that I often had sick headaches after working on a typing project, for instance, in which the eyes shift back and forth.
David needed to adjust his vision–in this case, his insight! Going back to yesterday’s post, if you missed it, will help you to understand how twisted his thinking had become. You can find that link at the bottom of this post.
In his prayer in today’s verses, he asks God to bring light to his eyes–his mind, his heart, his understanding. He knew he was a mess, but he finally asked God to change his perspective instead of just complaining about his misery.
Finally, lest we be too quick to jump to judgment on David, I want to remind you of Someone else who believed God had forsaken Him. Jesus, as he hung in agony under the weight of the sin of all mankind, knew that God could not look on Him because He became sin for us (II Cor. 5:21). Jesus cried out from the cross, “My God, My God, Why hast Thou forsaken Me!” (Matthew 27:46). In His deep agony, Jesus’ heart was broken because the Father had to turn away from the sight of His Son bearing the sin of the world on His own body.