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Weds 23 June - Psalm 143

Psalm 143

Lord, hear my prayer,
    listen to my cry for mercy;
in your faithfulness and righteousness
    come to my relief.
Do not bring your servant into judgment,
    for no one living is righteous before you.
The enemy pursues me,
    he crushes me to the ground;
he makes me dwell in the darkness
    like those long dead.
So my spirit grows faint within me;
    my heart within me is dismayed.
I remember the days of long ago;
    I meditate on all your works
    and consider what your hands have done.
I spread out my hands to you;
    I thirst for you like a parched land.

Answer me quickly, Lord;
    my spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me
    or I will be like those who go down to the pit.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
    for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
    for to you I entrust my life.
Rescue me from my enemies, Lord,
    for I hide myself in you.
10 Teach me to do your will,
    for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
    lead me on level ground.

11 For your name’s sake, Lord, preserve my life;
    in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.
12 In your unfailing love, silence my enemies;
    destroy all my foes,
    for I am your servant.

- - -

Meditation on Psalm 143

This is the penultimate Psalm in this collection of ‘A Psalm of David.’

Here is David, battling with two enemies – the enemy within and the enemy on the outside. Both are real in David’s experience and, if we are honest, are very real to us. This reminds us of Charlotte Elliott’s great hymn where she writes: ‘Just as I am, though tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt, fightings within and fears without, O Lamb of God, I come!'

  • ‘many a conflict’
  • ‘many a doubt’
  • ‘fightings within’
  • ‘fears without'
  • These are the real experiences of so many people, including the children of God.

Here is David once more pouring out his heart and soul – his very being – to God.

Verses 1-2 His appeal to God

  • ‘hear my prayer’’
  • ‘listen to my cry’
  • ‘come to my relief’

His appeal is based on the character of God.

  • His mercy
  • His faithfulness
  • His righteousness

David recognises that he is not righteous when he says, ‘for no one living is righteous before you.’
This reminds us of the NT equivalent when Paul said, ‘there is no one righteous, no not even one.’ (Romans 3:10), followed by ‘all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.’ (Romans 3:23)

Verses 3-4 His sufferings

David couldn’t have been more ‘down’. See how the enemy attacks him.

  • pursued
  • crushed to the ground
  • in a dark place

How this affects him.

  • ‘my spirit grows faint within me’
  • ‘my heart within me is dismayed’
  • These are real feelings. He could have been crying out, ‘Where are you God?’

Verses 5-6 His memory is stirred

David has known the blessing of God through his life and he recalls those ‘good times’.
We, too can stir the memory banks as we look back over our lives.

  • ‘I remember’
  • ‘I meditate on all your works’
  • ‘I consider’
  • ‘I spread out my hands to you’
  • ‘I am thirsty’

David knows who to turn to. Do we?
Remember, the Lord Jesus also ‘spread out His hands’ to each one of us when He prayed for us (John 17:20), when He died on the Cross for us and when today, ‘He ever lives to intercede for us.’ (Hebrews 7:25)

Verses 7-10 His prayer

This seems to be a night prayer as he refers to the morning – ‘let the morning bring me word…’
There is an urgency in his prayer.

  • ‘answer me quickly’
  • ‘don’t hide your face…’
  • ‘show me the way to go’
  • ‘rescue me’
  • ‘teach me’

David understands that if God doesn’t hear and answer, then he is faced with a worsening situation.

  • ‘my spirit fails’
  • ‘I will be like those who go down to the pit’

But he also recognises that by coming to God and pouring himself out, he is coming to the best place to be.
He reminds us of the unfailing love of God.
His relationship with God enables him to have confidence.

  • ‘I have put my trust in you’
  • ‘I entrust to you my life’
  • ‘I hide myself in you’
  • ‘you are my God’

But he also recognises that he needs the continuing presence of God in his life – ‘may your good Spirit lead me on level ground’. i.e. where there are no bumps and pitfalls.

Verses 11-12 His final prayer

He reminds us of the righteousness and unfailing love of the LORD.
He expects the LORD to answer his prayer ‘for your name’s sake.’
He longs for victory over his enemies.
He knows who he belongs to – ‘I am your servant.’

‘God is good all the time and All the time God is good.’

(Roger Purdom)


Daily Readings

Thursday 24 June - Psalm 144

Friday 25 June - Psalm 145

Saturday 26 June - Psalm 146

Sunday 27 June - Psalm 147

Monday 28 June - Psalm 148

Tuesday 29 June - Psalm 149


New International Version - UK (NIVUK)
Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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