The Psalmist had a distorted view of God. Even though God was his source of hope and trust, he believed that his way was only revealed to God after he became overwhelmed.
When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me. (Psalms 142:3)
What his words failed to reveal is the belief that God knows the end from the beginning. Before God created the heavens and the earth, he knew each step that the psalmist would take in his life and for every situation. What can we do to help people like him?
The psalmist was overwhelmed because of the circumstance that surrounded him. From his word, we can learn what a believer experiences and what we can do to help him.
There are six key words or phrases in this passage which are important for understand what he is experiencing and how to provide help.
Know – to scrutinize
Cared – to seek or ask, make inquest
Refuge – way to flee
Portion – inheritance
Brought very low – bring down, pull down push down
Prison – shutting up, fastener
The psalmist was stating that he was overwhelmed because nobody scrutinized the situations in his life. They did not ask or seek about his condition nor did they provide a way of escape. He felt alone, pushed down and shut up in that place.
What can we do? We can observe people and ask the Lord to reveal to us the trials and difficulties that they are facing. We can overcome our fears and reach out to them by speaking to them and asking questions directed at their needs. When we understand what they are facing and how they feel, we can point them to God, who is their refuge and strengthen them in the understanding their right to claim God and his provision of refuge as their own. Pray together with them and then continue on your own in your private prayers.