Biblical topics
Bible Study
Pope Shenouda
Father Matta
Bishop Mattaous
Bishop Moussa
Bishop Alexander
Habib Gerguis
Fasts & Feasts
Family & Youth
3ds Max 2016
Account Payable
Accounts Receivable
Active Directory
Adaptive Access Manager
Adobe Premiere Pro
Apache Hive
Asset Management
Big data
Building OA Framework
Business Intelligence
C Sharp
Cash Management
Crystal Reports
Data Acquisition
Data Architecture
Data Archiving
Data Guard
Data Mining
Data Modeling
Data Structure
Data Visualization
Design Illustration
Expression Web
Fusion Middleware
General Ledger
Google Drive
GoPro Studio
Hyperion Planning
Massive UE4
MS Access 2016
MS Exchange Server
MS OneNote 2016
MS OneNote 2016 
MS Outlook 2016
MS PowerPoint 2016
MS Publisher 2016
MS SharePoint 2016
MS Word
Oracle 12c Administration
Oracle EBS
Oracle E-business tax
Oracle Financial Applications
Oracle Identity Manager
Oracle Mobile
Oracle Payroll Fundamentals
Oracle Performance Tuning
Oracle Product Lifecycle
Oracle project
Oracle Purchasing
Oracle RAC admin
Oracle SOA admin
Photoshop CS6
Project Management
R Programming
SQL Server
Subledger Accounting
Supply Chain Planning
Visual Basic
Visual Studio
Weblogic Server
Windows 10
Windows Server

||    Pope Shenouda    ||    Father Matta    ||    Bishop Mattaous    ||    Fr. Tadros Malaty    ||    Bishop Moussa    ||    Bishop Alexander    ||    Habib Gerguis    ||    Bishop Angealos    ||    Metropolitan Bishoy    ||

How long, O Lord Will You forget me?

Ps 12 (13)




As is psalm 121, is considered to be the

keeping psalm, this psalm is the one of fear of


It is a psalm of a tired person who is afraid that

God may have forsaken him…

And it seems that his tiredness lasted for so

long and he became troubled because of its length.

That’s why he cries to the Lord saying: “How

long” and repeats it four times:

“How long, O Lord?

Will You forget me forever?

How long will You hide Your face from me?

How long shall I take counsel in my soul,

Having sorrow in my heart daily?

How long will my enemy be exalted over me?”

This psalm was said by Prophet David

when he was being pursued by King Saul.

This evil king envied him and feared losing his

kingdom for him. That is why he was pursuing him

from one wilderness to another, from one cave to

another and from one place to another aiming to

kill him by all means, if he can…

The war was unequal. Saul has no objection in

killing David if he falls in his hands. And he tried

that more than once. Yet David could not kill that

enemy every time he falls in his hands. That is

because he is the anointed of the Lord, and David’s

conscience does not allow him to stretch out his

hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the

Lord (1S 24:6) (1S 26:9, 11).

Thus he said in his psalm “How long will my

enemy be exalted over me?”.

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

It is a psalm that starts with worrying and

sadness and ends with joy and praising.

It is like other psalms by David, they start with

sadness annoyingness or fear. And during praying

the psalm he feels that the Lord is answering his

prayer and feels His work for him, so his request

turns to thanking or joy and praising.

Here he starts the psalm with the sentence

“How long, O Lord? Will You forget me?”

The Lord has never forgotten him, but because

of his troublesome he has that feeling! He feels the

Lord has forsaken him, because the labor duration

has gone long. And here he is being pursued by a

king and his army, until he became close to despair

and got scared of falling in Saul’s hands…

And if David goes back with his memory, he would

have known, out of his experience, that the Lord

did not forget him when he fought against a lion

and a bear as he was keeping the sheep. The Lord

was with him, thus he was able to kill both the lion

and the bear (!S 17:36). The Lord was with him

also and did not forget him when he went to fight the

champion Goliath and he prevailed him also with a

stone struck by his sling (1S 17:51). The Lord was with

him and did not forget him when Saul was after him

trying to kill him as he was in the family surrounding

and when Jonathan was always taking his side and

saving him from his father Saul and so did Michal as

well (1S 19:12).

We might be warred with the idea that God

has forgotten us, because we forgot God’s former

benefits for us. Or if we forgot His saying: “Can a

woman forget her nursing child?… Surely they

may forget, Yet I will not forget you.” (Is 49:15).

􀂙 The Holy Bible tells us stories about the Lord never

forgetting any of his flock no matter how long it

takes. And what we have to do is to never lose hope

no matter how long it gets. The sick man at

Bethesda (Jn 5) spent 38 years in his sickness, yet

he was waiting for an angel to stir up the water in

the pool so that he steps in and be healed, and the

Lord did not forget him, though 38 years have

passed, and He healed him.

􀂙 And the bent over woman whom Satan has bound

for 18 years, whom story was mentioned in the

Gospel of Luke (Lk 13:10-13). The Lord did not

forget her after all these long years, yet He laid His

hand on her and healed her and she became

straight. Her staying for 18 years in the sickness did

not ever mean that the Lord has forgotten her!.

􀂙 The same also can be realized in the creation story.

As the bible says “The earth was without form, and

void; and darkness was on the face of the deep”

(Gn 1:2). And in spite of that formlessness and

darkness, God did not abandon it but it was said

that: “the Spirit of God was hovering over the face

of the waters”. Then God said, "Let there be light";

and there was light. And God divided the light from

the darkness. And God kept taking care of that

Earth until it became that beautiful Earth that we

live on and that poets praise in their poems …

􀂙 Another example is our father Abraham, the father

of fathers, and his wife Sara, and how both of them

were patient so that God gives them a Seed, until

Abraham was a hundred years old and Sara was

ninety and she said: “After I have grown old, shall I

have pleasure, my lord being old also?" (Gn

18:12)… Even at that age, God did not forget about

them and He gave them what He has promised


􀂙 Also David was never forgotten by God. He handed

him the kingdom finally… After tribulations grew up

the personality of this Lad who was “ruddy, with

bright eyes” (1S 16:12) about whom King Saul

asked “whose son this young man is?” (1S 17:56)…


Tribulations and trials refined him as did

experience and days. He became no more a

young man when he took over the kingdom…

David asks saying: “How long, O Lord? Will

You forget me?!” No, had the Lord forgotten

you, you would have perished a long time ago…

Same would have happened if He had hidden his

face from you.

No, he had inscribed you on His palm (Is 49:16),

and His eyes are fixed on you from the morning

watch until night… A thousand may fall at your side,

And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not

come near you (Ps 91:7).

But God allowed him some tribulations from

Saul’s side so that he benefits spiritually and be

humble from inside after her killed the bear and the

lion and had triumph over Goliath. So, through pain

and tribulation, he did not get pride in his heart. And

he used to say to the Lord: “But I am poor and

needy; Make haste to me, O God!” (Ps 70:5).

He was not tempted by the women singing “Saul

has slain his thousands, And David his ten

thousands." (1S 18:6, 7).

These tribulations that labored David, were not

only beneficial in giving him humbleness, and in

giving him toughness of men after his softness as a

lad, but it also taught him prayer, and added to his

flute and harp a spiritual depth that he benefited from

and we did too. And his psalms became an example

from which generations learnt prayers in different life


These tribulations taught him also bearing,

patience and waiting on the Lord…

Although under the tribulation pressure he was

crying: How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?

The English translation of that is “forever” meaning

endlessly or all the time… Yet in another place he

says: “Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He

shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!”

(Ps 27:14). Meaning waiting on the Lord in trust and

strength and not in weakness, despair or collapse…

And he shows his experience in this saying: “My soul

waits for the Lord More than those who watch for the

morning” (Ps 130).

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

In his tribulation he says “How long shall I take

counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart

daily?!”. He tells his experiences in his tribulation

and mentions it in front of God: in all his tiring, he

had thoughts and plans in his mind about what he

should do to survive his tribulation, and they were of

no use to him at all… The pain was also laboring his

heart without changing the reasons behind his pain

and thus he was waiting on the Lord…

The Lord’s disciples were on the ship tired by the

wind and waves until they got troubled and thought

that the Lord forgot them as well… and they said to

Him, in their tribulation: “do You not care that we are

perishing?" (Mk 4:38)… It is the human weakness in

the time of labor. And no doubt the Lord cared for

them. So He arose and rebuked the wind and the sea,

and there was a great calm…

So do not say to the Lord “Why do you forget

me”!, but say: “Forgive me, O Lord, I who forget You.

I forget Your love and care for me in times when

tribulations are pressuring me.”

Therefore we should not bring tribulations

between us and God to keep His love from us. But

bring God between us and tribulations so that He

keeps their pressures from us.

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

He says “How long will my enemy be exalted

over me?”

Truly, he who keeps looking at what his enemies

do labors the most. And he better look at God who

saves him from his enemies. And that is what Prophet

David said in the Great Psalm: “Princes persecute me

without a cause… I rejoice at Your word As one who

finds great treasure” (Ps 119). Here he did not pay

attention to princes’ persecution but rather got busy

with God’s words so he rejoiced for it contains great


Yet David leaves those enemies aside and says:

Consider and hear me, O Lord my God.

Here his situation changes completely. The phrase

“Consider me” is a reply to what he said before: “How

long will You hide Your face from me”. And the phrase

“hear me” is a reply to what he said before “How

long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?”.

It seems that prayer have changed him. After his

mind was bound in his own counsels and his heart

bound in his pain, he started looking at God and

putting his worries on him so that God takes him out

of his sorrows and listens to him.

And here he uses the phrase “O Lord my God”…

This is the same phrase that Thomas the Apostle used

when the Lord rescued him from his doubt (Jn


􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

After that he says: “Enlighten my eyes, Lest

I sleep the sleep of death…”

And with the phrase “Enlighten my eyes” he

means his spiritual insight. As if he confesses that his

insight was not enlightened when he said “How long,

O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You

hide Your face from me?!”.

This supplication reminds us of the story of

Gehazi when he got afraid and troubled when he saw

the enemies surrounding the city. Prophet Elisha then

prayed for him saying: “Lord, I pray, open his eyes

that he may see that those who are with us are more

than those who are with them” (2K 6:16, 17).

It is faith that enlightens our eyes when they are

surrounded with a fog of despair and fear so that they

are unable to see God’s help that surrounds them in

times of trouble.

So, David says to the Lord enlighten my eyes…

Enlighten my eyes to see the Lord always before me;

Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved

(Ps 16:8). Enlighten my eyes to know that I have

done wrong when I said “How long, O Lord? Will You

forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face

from me”!!... Enlighten my eyes to remember how

you took me from being behind the sheep as a

shepherd to be anointed king for your people by your

prophet Samuel (1S 16). To get out of the darkness

of sadness, fear and despair that I was in…

Enlighten my eyes lest I sleep the sleep of death

Lest my enemy say, "I have prevailed against

him". He will never prevail on me as long as I am at

your sanctuary right hand. Yet I will glorify you

saying: “The right hand of the Lord does valiantly.

The right hand of the Lord is exalted; The right hand

of the Lord does valiantly. I shall not die, but live,

And declare the works of the Lord.” (Ps 118:15-17).

Then I will never say “How long will my enemy be


exalted over me?!” but rather say: “I will praise You,

For You have answered me, And have become my

salvation” (Ps 118) “They have bowed down and

fallen; But we have risen and stand upright” (Ps


􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

Enemies surround David but now he is not afraid

of them because he trusts in God who will not give

him as prey to their teeth (Ps 124:6). Therefore he


“Lest those who trouble me rejoice when I

am moved. But I have trusted in Your mercy; My

heart shall rejoice in Your salvation”… Here he

looks to his current circumstances in a practically

realistic way, seeing that: half of the truth is that

some are causing his troublesome and rejoicing for

his falling and the other half of it is that he trusted in

God’s mercy that He will save him…

He sees this salvation and rejoices …

The end of the psalm is full of joy and salvation

which is totally opposite to the way it began. The

bible was truthful when it said: “The end of a thing

is better than its beginning” (Ec 7:8).

And on the occasion of this phrase, we remember

a similar story, in its beginning and its ending, which

is the story of the righteous Joseph…

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

The story of the righteous Joseph started with

pain, for his brothers has envied him and conspired

against him, they cast him in a pit, then pulled him

out and sold him to Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of

silver, then he was sold in Egypt to Potiphar (Gn 37).

And in spite of the fact the Joseph was successful

and loved in the house of Potiphar, another

conspiracy was set against him and he was put into

prison (Gn 39).

And in prison, Joseph stayed many years. As if he

was saying the phrase prophet David said “How long,

O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You

hide Your face from me?...”.

But the Lord did not forget Joseph and He

prepared two dreams to Egypt’s Pharaoh that Joseph

interpreted. And he became: “A father to Pharaoh,

and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all

the land of Egypt.” (Gn 45:8). And he became the

second man in the kingdom “and without his consent

no man may lift his hand or foot in all the land of

Egypt.” (Gn 41:44). And his brothers came and

bowed down before him.

And the end of his story became better than its

beginning. As if he says to the Lord as David said “My

heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the

Lord, Because He has dealt bountifully with me”.

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

This psalm in also said in spiritual

tribulations; while the believer feels that the

Lord has forsaken him in his spiritual life and

the enemy had triumph over me.

When thoughts and ugly lusts have triumph over

him, and he falls and do not know how to rise and

“the evil he wills not to do, that he practices” and

“sees another law in his members, warring against

the law of his mind, and bringing him into captivity to

the law of sin which is in his members” (Ro 7:19, 23).

Then, he cries to God and says: “How long, O Lord?

Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide

Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in

my soul, Having sorrow in my heart daily? How long

will my enemy be exalted over me?...“

When he sees his adversary the devil walks about

like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (1P

5:8)… At that time he says: “Consider and hear me, O

Lord my God; Enlighten my eyes, Lest I sleep the

sleep of death; Lest my enemy say, "I have prevailed

against him".”

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

The psalm gives us joy in hoping in God no

matter how bad things get.

And no matter how weak our spiritual life starts,

and how sad and desperate, God will work for our

salvation, if we trusted in Him. And if we said to Him:

“Consider and hear me…”. At that time, grace will

work on us and we will respond to its work. And we

will sing to the name of the Lord who is our

benefactor and chant to the name of the Lord Most

High. Alleluia.

||    The Orthodox Faith (Dogma)    ||    Family and Youth    ||    Sermons    ||    Bible Study    ||    Devotional    ||    Spirituals    ||    Fasts & Feasts    ||    Coptics    ||    Religious Education    ||    Monasticism    ||    Seasons    ||    Missiology    ||    Ethics    ||    Ecumenical Relations    ||    Church Music    ||    Pentecost    ||    Miscellaneous    ||    Saints    ||    Church History    ||    Pope Shenouda    ||    Patrology    ||    Canon Law    ||    Lent    ||    Pastoral Theology    ||    Father Matta    ||    Bibles    ||    Iconography    ||    Liturgics    ||    Orthodox Biblical topics     ||    Orthodox articles    ||    St Chrysostom    ||   

||    Bible Study    ||    Biblical topics    ||    Bibles    ||    Orthodox Bible Study    ||    Coptic Bible Study    ||    King James Version    ||    New King James Version    ||    Scripture Nuggets    ||    Index of the Parables and Metaphors of Jesus    ||    Index of the Miracles of Jesus    ||    Index of Doctrines    ||    Index of Charts    ||    Index of Maps    ||    Index of Topical Essays    ||    Index of Word Studies    ||    Colored Maps    ||    Index of Biblical names Notes    ||    Old Testament activities for Sunday School kids    ||    New Testament activities for Sunday School kids    ||    Bible Illustrations    ||    Bible short notes

||    Pope Shenouda    ||    Father Matta    ||    Bishop Mattaous    ||    Fr. Tadros Malaty    ||    Bishop Moussa    ||    Bishop Alexander    ||    Habib Gerguis    ||    Bishop Angealos    ||    Metropolitan Bishoy    ||

||    Prayer of the First Hour    ||    Third Hour    ||    Sixth Hour    ||    Ninth Hour    ||    Vespers (Eleventh Hour)    ||    Compline (Twelfth Hour)    ||    The First Watch of the midnight prayers    ||    The Second Watch of the midnight prayers    ||    The Third Watch of the midnight prayers    ||    The Prayer of the Veil    ||    Various Prayers from the Agbia    ||    Synaxarium