Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Dependent On God’s Mercy

Psalm 143:1-12

A Psalm of David.

“Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness.  And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.” (Psalm 143:1-2)

David was praying, asking for God’s mercy, with the full understanding that as a human, he did not deserve God’s blessings.  No human being deserves God’s mercy and grace, as 3:10-12 tells us.  “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.  They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”  He asks that God not judge him because he knows he will not measure up to his standards any better than anyone else.  As Romans 3:23 says,  “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”  He is totally dependent on the righteousness of god to understand the truth and decide what should happen. 

“For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead.  Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate.” (Psalm 143:3-4)

David was praying because he knew he had no power to escape his enemies’ attacks by himself.  The Jews had long used natural caves as burying places, and David had been driven to hiding in caves like he was already dead.   He was overwhelmed with depression and loneliness.
“I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.  I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah.” (Psalm 143:5-6)

In the midst of his depression and loneliness, he thought about the miraculous things God had done in the past and how he had delivered others.   As a result, he felt impelled to reach out to God in prayer.  He longed for a sense of God’s presence like a person longs for a drink when they have no water. 

“Hear me speedily, O LORD: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit.  Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.” (Psalm 143:7-8)

Emotionally, David recognized his weakness and asked that God respond before he sank into depression like others and turned away from God.  He prayed for an awareness of God’s love and presence, because he was putting his faith in him, focusing in what he had promised, and asking for his direction.

“Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me.  Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.  Quicken me, O LORD, for thy name's sake: for thy righteousness' sake bring my soul out of trouble.  And of thy mercy cut off mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul: for I am thy servant.” (Psalm 143:9-12)

He asks that God would enable him to escape his enemies, because he was coming to him for asking to be taught to do what pleases God because he knew God was good and would lead him to what was right.  He prayed that God would make his spirit alive to God’s presence and take away the emotional turmoil, while punishing those who hated him and sought to destroy him simply because he was giving himself to God.

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