Nobody *Cares About Me

Psalm 142

An EasyEnglish Translation with Notes (about 1200 word vocabulary) on Psalm 142

Gordon Churchyard

Words in boxes are from the Bible. Words in brackets, ( ), are not in the *Hebrew Bible.

The notes explain some of the words with a *star by them. A word list at the end explains the other words that have a *star by them.

The translated Bible text has yet to go through Advanced Checking.


Jesus said, "Your Father in *heaven feeds the birds (that fly) in the air. You are much better than they are!" (Matthew 6:26) (*Heaven is the home of God the Father.)

Psalm 142

 (This is) a *maskil of David.
  (He wrote it) when he was in the cave (hole in the rock).
  (It is) a *prayer.

v1   I am praying aloud to the *LORD.
  I am asking aloud for help from the *LORD.

v2   I am telling him about everything that I think is wrong.
  I am telling him all my troubles.

v3   Sometimes I do not feel brave.
  Then you (*LORD) know what I should do.
  In the path where I walk (my enemies) have hidden a *trap for me.

v4   Look round me and see.
  No (friend) sees that I am here.
  There is no safe place for me to go to.
  Nobody cares about me.

v5   I am praying to you, *LORD.
  You are my safe place (where I can go).
  You are all that I need in this life.

v6   Listen to me as I cry (to you).
  I have a very great need.
  Make me safe from the people that follow me (to hurt me).
  You make me safe because they are too strong for me.

v7   Take me out of this prison
  so that I can *praise *your name.
  Then *righteous people will come to me
  because you are so kind to me.

The Story of Psalm 142

This psalm is a "maskil". There are 13 psalms called maskils. They are 32, 42, 44, 45, 52-55, 74, 78, 88, 89 and 142. Bible students think that "maskil" means:

    either a psalm with something special to teach, like 32 and 78, or

    a psalm that the *psalmist wrote in a very clever way. (The *psalmist is the person who wrote the psalms.)

David wrote this maskil in a cave. It is a *prayer to the *LORD. We say *prayers when we talk to God. David was in trouble (or "had trouble".) His enemies were trying to catch him. He does not say who these enemies were. There are two stories about David hiding in a cave. A cave is a hole in the side of a hill. One story is in 1 Samuel 22, the other is in 1 Samuel 24. David feels safe in the cave, but he does not want to stay in it. It seems as if the cave is a prison. But there are no friends to give him help. He writes "Nobody cares about me". This means "Nobody loves me enough to give me help". But the *LORD God can send him help. This psalm prays for that help.

What Psalm 142 means

Verse 1: *LORD is a special name for God. It is the *covenant name. A *covenant is when two people (or groups of people) agree. God agrees to love and send his people help. His people agree to love and obey God.

Verse 3: David wrote this psalm in Hebrew. That is because David spoke Hebrew. The words translated "when I do not feel brave" are "when my spirit feels weak" in the Hebrew Bible. Sometimes we all feel like this. There is so much trouble that we do not want to fight it. We want to run away from it! Our spirits feel weak. We do not feel brave. Our spirit is that part of us that lives after our body dies. But David knows that God will tell him what to do. His path here means what he does. David thinks that his enemies have put traps in the path for him. A *trap is what people catch animals and birds in. Davidís enemies wanted to catch him. He did not know where the *trap was. But God knew!

Verses 4 and 5: No human friend cares about David, but God does! This was true for David, and it is true for us. We only have to pray to God and ask for his help.

Verse 7: "*Praise" means "tell somebody that they are very great". Here it means "*Praise God". David says "your name" but he means God. But he means more than the name God. He also means everything that God is. This includes these facts:

    he loves us;

    he is very powerful;

    he will always be alive;

    and many other things.

But who are "the *righteous"? The word means "very, very good". Only God is really *righteous. But he says that his people are *righteous too. They are *righteous if they love him and obey him. Some Bible students think that here "the *righteous" means people who are *praising God with David in the *temple in Jerusalem. The *temple was Godís house. They made it from animal skins when David was alive. Other Bible students think "the *righteous" are people who joined Davidís friends. This was while David was running away from his enemies.

Something to do

1.  If you are in trouble, tell God. Ask for his help. Do what an old hymn (song about God) says: "Take it to the *Lord in *prayer".

2.  If you have a Bible, read the stories of David in the caves in 1 Samuel chapters 22 and 24.

3.  Study Psalm 57 in this set of psalms. It is in Book 2. David also wrote it when he was in one of these caves.

Word List

care ~ love and do kind things for someone.

covenant ~ two people have agreed what each should do (here, God and his people). Look in Psalm 120 about the covenant.

heaven ~ the home of God.

LORD ~ the *covenant name for God (in a *covenant you agree with someone).

maskil ~ a psalm that teaches you something.

praise ~ to say how great someone is; or, words that say how great someone is.

prayer ~ you say a *prayer when you speak to God.

psalmist ~ the person that wrote a psalm (or psalms).

righteous ~ very good (only God is really righteous). God says that the people who love and obey him are righteous. Sometimes we say they are "the righteous", meaning "righteous people". Look after Psalm 5 in Book 1 of the Psalms of David for more about the word "righteous".

temple ~ a place where people meet to worship God.

trap ~ thing that you catch animals or birds in.

your name ~ See What Psalm 142 means Verse 7.


© 1999-2002, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level A (1200 words).

December 2002

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