Psalm 143 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
a penitential psalm
A psalm of David:
Adonai, hear my prayer;
listen to my pleas for mercy.
In your faithfulness, answer me,
and in your righteousness.
David appeals to God’s faithfulness and righteousness, to God’s very nature and character. Since God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, we can count on Him to work with us in faithfulness, righteousness, and love. God will keep His promises. God will defend His defenseless servant.
2 Don’t bring your servant to trial,
since in your sight no one alive
would be considered righteous.
3 For an enemy is pursuing me;
he has crushed my life into the ground
and left me to live in darkness,
like those who have been long dead.
4 My spirit faints within me;
my heart is appalled within me.
5 I remember the days of old,
reflecting on all your deeds,
thinking about the work of your hands.
7 Answer me quickly, Adonai,
because my spirit is fainting.
Don’t hide your face from me,
or I’ll be like those who drop down into a pit.
THE ANGUISH OF FAITH
by Os Hillman, Today God Is First
“Do not hide Your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit.” – Psalm 143:7b
Of all the biblical characters, David gives us a glimpse of a man who walked with God with great emotion in victory and in defeat. David never lost a battle throughout his many years of serving as king of Israel. In many of the Psalms, David often lamented about the difficult places where God had placed him. He talked of his enemies and the need for God to deliver him. He talked of God’s everlasting love for him. How do you suppose David came to this understanding after years of being sought after by King Saul who wanted to take his life? His years of turmoil within his family gave him many reasons to lose all hope in a loving God.
David often began his Psalms in a place of discouragement and loss of hope. But he never ended one Psalm in defeat. He always came to a place of victory in God by the end of the Psalm. David always placed his life in God’s hands, knowing He would care for him. 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 lift up my soul. Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord, for I hide myself in You. Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; may Your good Spirit lead me on level ground (Psalm 143:8-10).
It is okay to feel discouragement. It is part of the process of grieving and working through those times of pain. But God wants each of us to allow Him to walk with us in these places. If you find yourself in one of these places, do what David did. Ask God to show you the way and let Him bring the word of His unfailing love to you.
8 Make me hear of your love in the morning,
because I rely on you.
Lamentations 3:21-23 (NIV)
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Make me know the way I should walk,
because I entrust myself to you.
9 Adonai, rescue me from my enemies;
I have hidden myself with you.
11 For your name’s sake, Adonai, preserve my life;
in your righteousness, bring me out of distress.
12 In your grace, cut off my enemies;
destroy all those harassing me;
because I am your servant.
HERE is an old favorite to comfort the hurting and assure the fearful — “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” sung by Twila Paris.