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Psalm 142 English Standard Version (ESV)

You Are My Refuge

A Maskil of David, when he was in the cave. A Prayer.

142 With my voice I cry out to the Lord;
  with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord.
2 I pour out my complaint before him;
  I tell my trouble before him.

3 When my spirit faints within me,
  you know my way!
In the path where I walk
  they have hidden a trap for me.
4 Look to the right and see:
  there is none who takes notice of me;
no refuge remains to me;
  no one cares for my soul.

5 I cry to you, O Lord;
  I say, “You are my refuge,
  my portion in the land of the living.”
6 Attend to my cry,
  for I am brought very low!
Deliver me from my persecutors,
  for they are too strong for me!
7 Bring me out of prison,
  that I may give thanks to your name!
The righteous will surround me,
  for you will deal bountifully with me.


  • The setting of this psalm was the cave in which David hid from Saul’s pursuing army. Troubled and discouraged, David cried out to God for rescue.
  • One of the most important lessons we learn from the book of Psalms is that, like David, we can “pour out our complaints” to the Lord. We can tell him every trouble, share every dark and distressed emotion. When no one else is concerned about us, we have in God one who truly cares.
  • Sharing our fears and pain with the Lord reminds us of who God is. He not only listens, he is able to help! Our enemies may be too strong for us, but they are not too strong for the Lord.
  • We come to the Lord with our fears and our pain. And we come away in peace, with a renewed sense of hope. At last we can see ahead to a time when “The righteous will surround me, for you will deal bountifully with me”.
  • Tell God what is causing your fears and pain. Pause, and allow God to respond and to fill you with his presence, his peace and wait for his deliverance.