Psalm 143 is one of my favorites. I learned it before I knew it was a psalm. I only thought it was a song that the Christian acoustic group Shane & Shane sang.
A friend had burned me a copy (I confess I did this often in college) so I never knew the album title but I knew all the lyrics and would sing along. How humerus it was when one morning, during personal devotion at Lenoir Dining Hall, I read the familiar words I often sang. Low and behold, the Shane and Shane lyrics were in the Pslams! "HA! I didn't know this was in the Bible. I do have scripture memorized!" I thought.
Turns out the name of the album was titled "Psalms" and none of the songs were original, but in fact the songs of David set to new music.
Psalm 143 is a prayer for one in trouble. As someone who often finds herself in troubling situations or troubled by injustices and hurts of God's people church and world, I have turned to find comfort in these words often.
Deeply seeded in the Old Testament is the axiom of judgement and righteousness. Here, rather than asking for justice, the psalmist asks for mercy.
I'm a big fan of mercy. I ask for God's mercy daily.
What strikes me this morning as I read, is how remembering the "works of God's hands" the psalmist is prompted to "stretch out" his own hands in petition to God. God often does work that causes us to be stretched. In my own personal life, I feel God is stretching me now. Perhaps you feel the same.
This Sunday we begin a new series: Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors. Join me praying for our church: for God's mercy as we open the door on a new season; for space to remember the faithful and redeeming works of God's hands; the fortitude to delight in stretching or being stretched for the sake of Christ and His kingdom.
Peace to you all this sunny Monday!
Psalm 143: Prayer for Deliverance from EnemiesA Psalm of David.1 Hear my prayer, O Lord;
give ear to my supplications in your faithfulness;
answer me in your righteousness.
2 Do not enter into judgment with your servant,
for no one living is righteous before you.
3 For the enemy has pursued me,
crushing my life to the ground,
making 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 think about all your deeds,
I meditate on the works 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.
Do not hide your face from me,
or I shall be like those who go down to the Pit.
8 Let me hear of your steadfast love in the morning,
for in you I put my trust.
Teach me the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.
9 Save me, O Lord, from my enemies;
I have fled to you for refuge.[a]
10 Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God.
Let your good spirit lead me
on a level path.
11 For your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life.
In your righteousness bring me out of trouble.
12 In your steadfast love cut off my enemies,
and destroy all my adversaries,
for I am your servant.