Sunday, April 16, 2017

Psalm 143 - Getting what you don't deserve!

David is not asking for what he deserves in this Psalm, he is asking for mercy from God. He is reminding God of His excellent character and saying that it would be out of character for Him not to show mercy, kindness etc. David is not ignoring the fact that God is holy but he has learned that no one will ever live up to the holy standard of God (v2) and therefore everyone needs mercy.

As with many of these psalms David is coming to God as a needy soul. He is overwhelmed because of the violent opposition of his enemies (v3) and he is downhearted (v4). God alone can sort out his problems so David asks for speedy help (v7) so that he does not end up behaving like the ungodly. At the end of the day he will leave God to sort out his enemies and he prays to this end in verse 12.

It is interesting to notice that David shifts his focus from his problems in verse five and begins to meditate on the Lord and His greatness. He muses on what God has done in the past and he thinks about all the works of God. Having done this (which we could call worship) he starts to be drawn back to God. He stretches forth his hands and expresses to God his deep thirst for Him (v6). The present writer has noted that on the occasions that he has got away from the Lord that the feeling of refreshment and satisfaction when fellowship is restored is tremendous. This is what David is asking the LORD for.

David begins to grow in enthusiasm as he outlines the blessings and help that he knows he needs to experience from God. Help me start each day with you Lord, he says in verse 8. Guide me each day, he says in the same verse. He requests strength from the Lord when facing his enemies (v8). He admits that the only way that he will know how to live a life which pleases the Lord is for the Lord to teach him and to lead him ‘into the land of uprightness’.

At this stage, it seems to dawn on David that he cannot do any of this or live for God without the life giving energy that comes from God so he asks for the quickening of the Lord. This means that he is requesting divine power and energy to live for God. We also need to know the Lord’s power in our lives if we are to behave in ways that are pleasing to him. Our advantage is that we have the permanent residence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

What a victory can be ours in the power of the Spirit of God.


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