“I cry out to the LORD with my voice; With my voice to the LORD I make my supplication. I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare before Him my trouble.” Psalm 142:1-2 (NKJV)
As with most passages of Scripture, it helps to know the historical background of this passage of Scripture. The title of this psalm says it was a prayer when he was in the cave. While we may not be certain which cave experience he is talking about, we can be certain that this experience was not a pleasant one. The Bible mentions two specific cave experiences by David. Both take place after he has had to flee Jerusalem for fear of Saul killing him. In fact, in both instances Saul was actively chasing David so that he could kill him.
It is in this setting that David writes down in this psalm that he poured out his complaints and troubles to the Lord. What were some of the complaints and troubles David may have mentioned? At this point in his life, David could have had many complaints and troubles to pour out to God. For instance, David had to flee his house and leave his wife. The King of Israel was trying to kill him and David hadn’t done anything wrong. It was basically God’s fault that Saul wanted to kill David. At this point in his life, David hadn’t done much but try to serve God and this had landed him in a cave running for his life.
David poured out his complaints and troubles to God. One of the things you should notice from this is that David was honest with God about his complaints. If we were to look at some of the other Psalms of David, we would find him asking God why this was going on, how long these things would continue and even asking God where he was when his world was falling apart. David didn’t try to spiritualize or minimize what was going on in his life. Instead, he was brutally honest about the feelings he had.
It’s important for you to know that God wants you to be honest with Him as you pour out your complaints. In fact, if you want to have a deep relationship with God you MUST be honest with Him as you pour out your complaints. Chances are there are some reading this that have complaints but have kept them hidden through the years.
There may be some area of your life where you feel that God has disappointed or cheated you. You may secretly harbor some sort of resentment toward God about your appearance, some unanswered prayers, your childhood, past hurts or any number of other things that you wonder why if God is a loving God He would allow to happen to you. Pour out your complaints to God and be honest with Him as you do. Let me give you several reasons why you need to be this honest and open with God.
Not being honest with God builds a barrier between you and God..
There is no getting around it; if you are not being honest with God as you pour out your complaints, then it is a barrier to your relationship with Him. Deep down you may be thinking something like, “Why would I want to have anything to do with God, if He allowed this to happen in my life?” You may be reading this and you have never made the decision to trust Christ as your Lord and Savior, and your reasoning for this is because you are angry with Him for something that has happened in your life. You may be reading this and you have made the decision to trust Christ as your Lord and Savior but you have never cultivated your relationship with Him because of some bitterness, resentment or grievance you have with something that has happened in your life. Until you come to the place where you start being honest with Him about this, it will remain a barrier between you and God.
God already knows how you feel.
The things you say when you are honest with God are not going to surprise Him. Your honesty will not catch Him off guard and hurt His feelings. God knows all things. He knows the motives behind our actions. He knows our words before we speak them. He knows our thoughts even if we never articulate them. You will never hide anything from God. Holding these things in doesn’t really keep God from knowing. It just keeps you from growing.
God can handle it.
God can handle your being honest with Him as you pour out your complaints. If you go to God, pour out your complaints and tell Him all your troubles, He is not going to “smite” you and condemn you to hell for daring to question Him about this. To some that may be quite shocking, but from what I can tell in Scripture, it is true.
Honesty is the path to a deep relationship with God.
This is something that we know in other relationships, but often fail to see how it works in our relationship with God. Honesty is a key to a deep relationship with anyone. Honesty is just as much of a key to a deep relationship with God. Have you ever met someone that you could just totally be open with? I mean someone whom you could just tell your innermost feelings and complaints and know they weren’t going to tell anyone else and weren’t going to make fun of you about your feelings. If you have, that is probably someone you have a great and intimate relationship with. That is the type of relationship God wants you to have with Him. This kind of relationship will never come until we are open and honest with God. We must be open and honest with God even, maybe even especially, when we are pouring out our complaints to Him.
The Bible is filled with people that didn’t hesitate to be brutally honest with God as they poured out their complaints. This list includes Job, Moses, Abraham, Asaph, Naomi and Jeremiah. These were all people who didn’t hesitate to be brutally honest with God during the hard times of life. These people are not only considered to be heroes of the faith, but they were also people who had deep relationships with God. They didn’t have deep relationships with God in spite of their honesty. They had deep relationships with God because of their honesty.
Remember that pouring out our hearts is laying it all out before the Lord. At times this will include pouring out your complaints to God.
For further study read Psalm 10 and Psalm 73.
In what ways did the Psalmists pour out their complaints to God?
What happened as they did?
Is there any indication that God considered them to be “bad” for being this honest?
What complaints do you need to pour out before the Lord today?