First let me apologize for not having a post yesterday. My family and I went to the State Fair and had a blast. We were busy enough that I never found time for a post. Secondly, my post today is not going to be from Mark. I will pick back up the study on Monday, since tomorrow is Sunday and I will be posting about a worship song!
Anyway, today we are going to look at Psalm 143. I will be putting up the TANAKH version. This is the Jewish scripture version, not necessarily the way it would be translated for a Bible, but it is still a great translation of the Old Testament.
“O Lord, her my prayer;
give ear to my plea, as You are faithful;
answer me, as You are beneficent.
Do not enter into judgment with Your servant,
for before You no creature is in the right.
My foe hounded me;
he crushed me to the ground;
he made me dwell in darkness
like those long dead.
My spirit failed within me;
my mind was numbed with horror.
Then I thought of the days of old;
I rehearsed all Your deeds,
recounted the work of Your hands.
I stretched out my hands to You,
longing for You like thirst earth.
Answer me quickly, O Lord;
my spirit can endure no more.
Do not hide Your face from me,
or I shall become like those who descend
into the Pit.
Let me learn of Your faithfulness by daybreak,
for in You I trust;
let me know the road I must take,
for on You I have set my hope.
Save me from my foes, O Lord;
to You I look for cover.
Teach me to do Your will,
for You are my God.
Let Your gracious spirit lead me
on level ground.
For the sake of Your name, O Lord,
as You are beneficent, free me from distress.
As You are faithful, put an end to my foes;
destroy all my mortal enemies,
for I am Your servant.”
This is one of the many psalms that were written by King David. In reading it, I could feel his distress. He clearly felt hopeless in his situation a was praying to God for help.
This psalm spoke to me today because yesterday I received some very discouraging news. It caused me to have a fit of worry, but my wife sat me down and reminded me of what Jesus says in Matthew’s gospel, “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:26-27 NASB). I was worried, and I even felt hopeless. The feeling even followed me into the morning. However, I prayed to God, and read the Scriptures and found Psalm 143.
This psalm is the perfect prayer for feeling the way I did. To quote commentary I have on it, “David was losing hope, caught in paralyzing fear and deep depression. At times we feel caught in deepening depression, and we are unable to pull ourselves out. At those times we can come to the Lord and, like David, express our true feelings. The we will find help as we remember his words (v. 5), reach out to him in prayer (v. 6), trust Him (v. 8), and seek to do his will (v. 10). David’s prayer was that he be taught to do God’s will, not his own. A prayer for guidance is self-centered if it doesn’t recognize God’s power to redirect our lives. Asking God to restructure our priorities awakens our minds and stirs our will.”
But after my time with God, I realized that my will sometimes is not the same as His. This is when we become discouraged and lose hope. It’s because our will is faulty and God’s is perfect. That’s why the way Jesus ends his prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane the night he was betrayed is so important; “Father if You are willing, remove this cup [of suffering NLT] from Me; yet not my will but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42 NASB). It isn’t about my plans, or your plans; it’s about God’s plans. His Will is perfect and He knows what is best for us.
So as I have been posting recently, be sure to trust is the Lord. “He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken” (Psalm 62:2 NIV).