Creator God, illumine my life by the inviting, guiding, judging, redeeming light of Your holy Word, I pray.
Read PSALM 143:1-12
A psalm of David.
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
At some time in our lives, we all face trials or the need to discover the Lord’s will for a particular situation. In this psalm of complaint, David seeks renewal, deliverance and guidance from the Lord. This is an excellent psalm for us to use when we are in tough place.
As we gather today as God’s people, let us go with the open heart of David. In this prayer, David holds nothing back. He is in a tough place, in psychological disarray. His soul is pursued; his life is crushed; he is in darkness as if dead (3). His spirit faints and is failing. His heart is appalled (4,7). He also knows his sinfulness (2; Psa. 14:1; Rom. 3:10,23). What does David do?
He pleads with God to hear and have mercy (1). He pleads for deliverance from judgment (2). A spiritually dehydrated man, he thirsts for God’s presence and speedy deliverance (6-7). He yearns for God to act out of his glorious hesed, his steadfast love (8). He implores that God would guide him out of his fear. He prays for deliverance from his enemies and their defeat (9,12). He longs for God’s instruction (10), for life and deliverance (11). His appeal is not baseless. He knows God’s faithfulness and righteousness (1). He remembers God’s glorious salvation in “days of long ago”–the Exodus, the conquest, deliverance from Israel’s enemies and more (5). Hope and trust rise up. God acted then, he will act now. Like a chick which hides under its mother’s wings, he takes refuge in God (9; Ruth 2:12). God will hear, he will respond.
Through it all, David knows who he is–God’s servant (2,12). This anticipates the time, a millennium on, when Jesus, The Servant, David’s heir, will cry out to God from garden and cross (Mark 14:32-42; 15:34; Psa. 22:1). This song was sung as Israel gathered. The first Christians sang it. It is our song. Today as we go to church, let us go with David’s humility and cry out to God in the same way. He hears. He responds.
As you gather with God’s people, this day and every Sunday, take with you the attitude of David–humility, servanthood, open heart, vulnerability, authenticity, contrition, confidence, trust and hope.
“Abba, Father,” he said, “not what I will, but what you will” (Mark 14:36). Father, when I am in a tough place, I need boldness and trust in prayers. Boldness to ask, trust to release.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2023 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Encounter with God is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.