Psalms Reading – 5.13.2022

Rev. Doug Heiman   -  

Psalm 143

A psalm of David.

Lord, hear my prayer,  listen to my cry for mercy;
in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief.
Do not bring your servant into judgment,  for no one living is righteous before you.
The enemy pursues me, he crushes me to the ground;
he makes me dwell in the darkness  like those long dead.
So my spirit grows faint within me,  my heart within me is dismayed.
I remember the days of long ago;  I meditate on all your works
and consider what your hands have done.
I spread out my hands to you;  I thirst for you like a parched land.

Answer me quickly, Lord; my spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. 

Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.
Rescue me from my enemies, Lord, for I hide myself in you.
10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.

11 For your name’s sake, Lord, preserve my life;
in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.
12 In your unfailing love, silence my enemies; destroy all my foes, for I am your servant.

This is a lament for God’s mercy based on God’s faithful and righteous character. David sees himself as one deserving of judgment for he knows humanity cannot be righteous before God on their own. It is a similar thought to what the Apostle Paul said that all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. 

We have seen this pattern before when David faced a pursuing enemy. David finds encouragement as he chooses to remember how God has been powerfully at work in his life. To reflect on God’s faithfulness in the past brings strength into today. Such memories give him courage to call out to God in prayer asking for his deliverance. 

David asks that God would not hide His face from him, that He would not withhold His favor and grace but reveal His unfailing love once again. He has chosen to put his full trust in God for His deliverance. He asks that he would be shown the way and taught the will of God so that His life will be pleasing to God. He makes a confession of loyalty to God as he says, “you are my God.”

I love his image of hiding himself in God as he envisions God totally surrounding him with His strength and protection. Paul wrote to the Colossians about being spiritually hidden in God, 

Colossians 3:1-4, Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

To be hidden with Christ in God reveals where we are today and how we will appear with Him in glory. Trusting in Christ’s redemption spiritually protects us both now and forevermore.   

Memory Verse: Psalm 139:5, You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.

Question(s) to Consider: How does the image of being hidden with Christ in God help you see the spiritual reality of your life?