The Psalmist, before he says anything else, begins by addressing God according to his covenant name, YHWH, qualifying this address by describing God as the God of his salvation. This is particularly remarkable in light of what follows. He seems to think that God is anything but the God of his salvation and is instead the God of his destruction. He intimates that he does not feel God is hearing his prayers, and that God is orchestrating the man’s disaster.
It is always important never to rely on our feelings and to instead acknowledge the potential for deceit. Many times I have known deep down that God is the God of my salvation yet been unable to bring myself up to the light of his countenance by my own strength, only to realize that I am never able to do anything like this.
The author of the Psalm knows deep down that God is the God of his salvation. God is his God and he is one of God’s people. He acknowledges God by his covenant name YHWH, as we have seen before, refers to him in the possessive as the God of “my” salvation, and in so calling him, acknowledges that, because Yahweh is his covenant God, he is also the author of the Psalmist’s salvation. He thus acknowledges from the very start of this very troubling Psalm that, whatever his troubles may be, and however forsaken, ignored and even opposed by God he feels, he knows intellectually that God is for him. He is spiritually mature enough to know that God is the author of all the trouble of which he complains as surely as God is the author of his deliverance from these troubles and even his final salvation and deliverance from sin.
The Psalmist is a man of great faith. He cries out day and night before God. Immediately after acknowledging that deep down, in spite of his negative feelings, he knows that God is the God of his salvation, he tells us that not only does his depressive state not drive him to utter despair, but only drives him harder and harder to God. It is the characteristic of true faith that it runs harder and harder after God the more it is tried, rather than despairing as Judas did. God is our loving parent and will be moved when he hears our cry. What must this say about the degree of the Psalmist’s pain? It must have been very severe. And yet his cry is as constant as his pain. Indeed, he cries to drown out his pain with is cries to God and attempts to get God to draw his attention toward him. It ought to be noted that this very cry is itself already evidence of God’s smiling upon us since it is only by God’s grace that we are able to call upon him. His answer is thus already in our plea, indeed, precedes and gives rise to the very thing.