This week’s study is Psalm 143.
In verses 1-3, we find David pleading with the Lord to hear his prayer:
Hear my prayer, O Lord;
give ear to my pleas for mercy!
In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness!
Enter not into judgment with your servant,
for no one living is righteous before you.
For the enemy has pursued my soul;
he has crushed my life to the ground;
he has made me sit in darkness like those long dead.
Can you relate to the cry of David’s heart —those situations where you feel overwhelmed, consumed and defeated?
In verses 4-6, we find David taking some important steps in the midst of his overwhelming despair?
Therefore my spirit faints within me;
my heart within me is appalled.
I remember the days of old;
I meditate on all that you have done;
I ponder the work of your hands.
I stretch out my hands to you;
my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.
Did you notice the “therefore” in verse 4? In other words, as a result of David’s overwhelming circumstances his spirit fails! He’s come to the end of himself, spent of resources and strength. BUT, notice the four things he DOES:
- Remembers God’s work in the past.
- Meditates on all that God has done.
- Ponders the works of God’s hands —interestingly, this word means to mutter or talk aloud.
- Stretches out his hand to God — the posture of his heart is one of humility and vulnerability before the Lord.
These are great examples for us to imitate when we find our spirits failing. Rehearse who God is and what He has done in your life! It will change your perspective, even if your circumstances are unchanged.
In verses 7-12, David’s great need prompts fervent prayer and he makes eleven petitions of the Lord:
Answer me quickly, O Lord!
My spirit fails!
Hide not your face from me,
lest I be like those who go down to the pit.
Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,
for in you I trust.
Make me know the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.
Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord!
I have fled to you for refuge.
Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God!
Let your good Spirit lead me
on level ground!
For your name ‘s sake, O Lord, preserve my life!
In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble!
And in your steadfast love you will cut off my enemies,
and you will destroy all the adversaries of my soul,
for I am your servant.
Did you catch all eleven?
- Answer me quickly
- Hide not your face from me
- Let me hear of your steadfast love
- Make me know (or show me) the way to go
- Deliver me from my enemies
- Teach me Your will
- Let Your Spirit lead me
- Preserve my life
- Bring my soul out of trouble
- Cut off my enemies
- Destroy the adversaries of my soul
What makes David so confident God can be trusted in the midst of his distress? We see a key repeated phrase and idea — the steadfast love and faithfulness of God! What a sweet place of refuge!
Where do you run when life leaves you feeling defeated, discouraged, overwhelmed and empty of strength?
Sweet friends, this is our place of refuge as well —the presence of Almighty God, where we find His steadfast, unfailing love and faithfulness that does not end. Rejoice in this today, run to Him for refuge and renewed in His strength!
Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually! —1 Chronicles 16:11
Next Week’s assignment is Psalm 34 & 138 (Psalm 34 will be our focus.)