Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapter 143

Psalm 143

A Psalm of David.

1Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness.
2And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.
3For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead.
4Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate.
5I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.
6I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah.
7Hear me speedily, O LORD: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit.
8Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.
9Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me.
10Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.
11Quicken me, O LORD, for thy name's sake: for thy righteousness' sake bring my soul out of trouble.

12And of thy mercy cut off mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul: for I am thy servant.

Chapter 143

For clarity, here's Henry's commentary on the first few verses: "We have no righteousness of our own to plead, therefore must plead God's righteousness, and the word of promise which he has freely given us, and caused us to hope in. David, before he prays for the removal of his trouble, prays for the pardon of his sin, and depends upon mercy alone for it." With that in mind, what I am reminded of in verses 1-2 would be the time when I felt convicted of thinking about the material things I could spend my money on once I had a job instead of thinking about giving a portion back to the Lord. I basically just prayed and God heard me (v. 1). It didn't take too long for Him to start working and changing my thoughts towards His will, which He did as a reflection of His faithfulness and His righteousness towards me. I'm not sure if I can explain the details of how He worked through His faithfulness and righteousness, but I know that He did help me out and help me to change my mind so I could align with His will. I'm not required to give to God, but I want to do it when I have a regular paycheck. I'm not sure how I'd relate to verse 2, but I will say that I depened on His righteousness to help me out when I felt convicted. If I didn't change my attitude towards what I'd do with my money despite being convicted, things would've gotten worse, which I feel would've brought about the spiritual implications in verses 3-4. If I were to give into the flesh and material possesions, I could imagine myself becoming an easy target for the enemy, which I'm glad I avoided. My spirit would've also grown weak (v. 4), which would've been bad. I'll also say that verses 3-7 relate to my darkest moment because during that time I did feel that the enemy was trying to make me fall by basically implying that I wasn't good enough for God (v. 3) when he used my trials against me. As I talked about before, my spirit did feel overwhelmed (v. 4), but what helped me pull through was meditating on His works (v. 5), which I've touched upon in regards to Psalm 77 verse 5 and verses 10-11 (here). Originally I didn't have a lot when I reflected on those verses in Psalm 77, but I must've meditated on the fact that He's my provider and two of the ways He provides for me is by helping me out when I'm in need and He delivers me when I need to be delivered -- even it's from something small such as my own selfish thoughts. By meditating on those things, I reminded myself that in biblical times He provided for delivered people, which is what I get out the "I remember the days of old" part. I probably meditated on other things, but I just figured I'd talk about two that came to mind. I remember feeling spirtually dry (v. 6) and I basically stretched forth my hands to Him when I cried out to Him in prayer. I don't have much else to say about that, but I know that the Lord worked in my heart as soon as He heard me (v. 7). I was falling -- or should I say failing? -- spiritually, which God recognized by helping me out. That's what I get out of the "my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit" part. Perhaps verse 8 is a verse that I should incorporate into prayer since I do wanna (continue to) love like Christ whenever I can and walk in His way as best I can. In the mornings, when I pray, I ask for God to help me and my fellow believers to love Him and love others and serve Him and serve others. I don't go outside much, but when I get a job, I wanna show Christ's love and humility to customers or whoever, since loving one's neighbor applies to loving whoever he or she comes into contact with. I am not dealing with any enemies at the moment, but verse 9 is a verse to keep in mind for future reference. I like Henry's insight on verse 10: "He (David) prays that he might be enlightened with the knowledge of God's will; and this is the first work of the Spirit. A good man does not ask the way in which is the most pleasant walking, but what is the right way." I don't have a lot to say about that, but perhaps knowledge of His will and the power to carry it out is something I should start asking Him for -- and not just when I'm faced with a decision. "Quicken" (v. 11) means to keep alive or continue in life. I feel that God kept me spiritually alive when He protected me from the enemy's infleunce. Had He not protected me, I would've given into the enemy and no longer lived as a spiritual being, but rather as a slave to the enemy. By portecting me, that was how God started to bring my soul out of trouble since it had no infleunce from the enemy when He protected me. He completed His bringing me out of trouble when He delivered me. I don't have a lot to say about verse 12, but here's Henry's insight on it: "But we should especially seek the destruction of our sins, our worst enemies, that we may be devotedly God's servants."
                                                   Source used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 143". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <http://www.searchgodsword.org/com/mhc-con/view.cgi?book=ps&chapter=143>. 

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