A Bible Devotion from Psalm 143
The Good Old Days
1 Hear my prayer, O Lord;
give ear to my pleas for mercy!
In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness!
2 Enter not into judgment with your servant,
for no one living is righteous before you.
3 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.
4 Therefore my spirit faints within me;
my heart within me is appalled.
5 I remember the days of old;
I meditate on all that you have done;
I ponder the work of your hands.
6 I stretch out my hands to you;
my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah
7 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.
8 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.
9 Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord!
I have fled to you for refuge!
10 Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God!
Let your good Spirit lead me
on level ground!
11 For your name's sake, O Lord, preserve my life!
In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble!
12 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.
Psalm 143, NKJV
Psalm 143 seems to be a continuation of Psalm 142. In this Psalm David follows a pattern of wrestling with a problem and then crying out to God for help. So many times David finds himself in trouble and despair, but always finds his help in God. What an encouragement to all of us. If David, a man after God's own heart, faced such troubles, then we should not be surprised when we seem to continually face troubles as well. The real question for us is, when the trials come, what do we do?
Verses 1-6, the first section of Psalm 143, show the Psalmist remembering "the good old days." It is good for us to reflect back upon all of the things God has done for us; as God has been faithful to us in the past, so He will continue to be faithful to us in the future. I often marvel at the children of Israel wandering in the desert for 40 years due to their lack of faith. Look at all of the amazing miracles they witnessed when in Egypt, and yet they lacked the faith that God would deliver them from their enemies in the Promised Land. They did not remember to look back and see God's faithfulness in the past, and then trust God for the future as well. We are so prone to do the same thing!
Prone to wander, Lord I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love.
(from Come Thou Fount)
David does it again! Look how the Psalm ends (verse 12): 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. As servants of God, redeemed by the blood of Christ, we have the privilege of being children of God. God, our Father, Will not let your foot be moved . . . The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore. (Psalm 121: 3 and 7-8) I cannot say it any better than that!
Do not be surprised when troubles come your way, but pray that, like David in Psalm 143, you will remember God's faithfulness in the past and faithfully trust that He will keep your life from this time forth and forevermore.
More Devotions on the 143rd Psalm from my blog, Daily Bible Devotions.
In Thy Faithfulness, verses 1-2
The Enemy, verses 3-4
Stop and Think, verses 5-6
Face of God, verses 7-8
Lead Me, verses 9-10
Thy Servant, verses 11-12