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  • Writer's picturePastor Mike

April 02 2024


Tuesday April 02

“My Soul Longs for You…”

 

Psalm 143:1-6

A Psalm of David.

1 Hear my prayer, O LORD, Give ear to my supplications! In Your faithfulness answer me, And in Your righteousness.

2 Do not enter into judgment with Your servant, For in Your sight no one living is righteous.

3 For the enemy has persecuted my soul; He has crushed my life to the ground; He has made me dwell in darkness, Like those who have long been dead.

4 Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me; My heart within me is distressed.

5 I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands.

6 I spread out my hands to You; My soul longs for You like a thirsty land. Selah

 

Psalm 143 has always been a special psalm to me as verses 8 and 10 have become a morning prayer to help me begin the day declaring my need for the LORD. “Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, For in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You….Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness.”  These are two verses you might want to copy on a card or type on paper that you can keep visible to start your devotional time each morning.

 

Psalm 143 is part of a selection of David’s psalms, that whoever compiled or organized the 150 psalms, put together just before the last five psalms of the book. We know that David wrote at least half of the 150 psalms. We know the names of some of the other writers by the titles but there are many psalms we don’t have a clue who wrote them. But one thing I’m sure of is that all 150 psalms were inspired by God and He is the author of them as He is of the other 65 books of the Bible. I also personally believe that the order of the psalms, like the rest of the Bible, was directed by God to be exactly where He wanted them to be in the Bible for His divine purposes and for our benefit!

 

Another interesting thing about Psalm 143 is that it is the last of the seven penitential psalms. The others being Psalms 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, and 130. Spurgeon commented that from his study of the psalms that he is not sure why the church fathers included Psalm 143 in this selection but maybe they needed one last one to make the number of them seven. Other commentators believe it was included primarily because David felt he needed to confess sins that were keeping him from enjoying God's help and blessing (vv. 1-2). He had concluded that the suffering he was experiencing from the attacks of the enemy were actually God's chastening, so he asked God for mercy. In all probability, Psalm 143 was written during the time of the Absalom rebellion.

 

It is true that the Lord can use painful circumstances and difficult people to bring us to repentance, but sometimes those very things are God's "tools" to polish and mature us, not to punish us. In this psalm, David presents many requests to the Lord, all of which may be summarized in two prayers: "Hear me" (vv. 1-6) and "Answer me" (vv. 7-12). This kind of praying is a good example for us to follow.

 

First, like David we can pray, “Hear Me”. God already knows our situation, but I believe He wants us to acknowledge it verbally to Him in our prayers. The basis for David's prayer was the character of God, “His faithfulness and righteousness”, attributes that are mentioned again in verse 11. God is righteous in all that He does because He is holy, and He is faithful to His covenant and His promises. We plead these same attributes when we confess our sins to the Lord and claim His forgiveness (1 John 1:9). By calling himself God's servant (vv. 2, 12), David affirmed that he was a son of the covenant and could plead on the basis of God's Word. He also affirmed his own sinfulness (Psalm 130:3-4).

 

David acknowledges that his life is crushed to the ground, he is in darkness like a dead man, and his spirit is overwhelmed, and his heart is distressed (vs.3-4). But then he recalls and remembers the great works of God recorded in the Scriptures. He meditates on the Creation ("the works of His hands"), and possibly the other wonderful things God did for His people like the call of Abraham, the pilgrimage of Jacob, the life of Joseph, the exodus from Egypt and the conquest of Canaan (vs. 4-5).

 

In verse 6, in his despair, David still worships and lifts up his hands and expresses his soul’s longing for the LORD, like a thirsty land longs for refreshing rain! May the LORD help us to do the same!

 

God bless!

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