Reflections on Scripture

by Wayne Bandy

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Scripture Passage

      Psalm - Chapter 143 (Contemporary English Version)
    1. (A psalm by David.) Listen, LORD, as I pray! You are faithful and honest and will answer my prayer.
    2. I am your servant. Don't try me in your court, because no one is innocent by your standards.
    3. My enemies are chasing me, crushing me in the ground. I am in total darkness, like someone long dead.
    4. I have given up all hope, and I feel numb all over.
    5. I remember to think about the many things you did in years gone by.
    6. Then I lift my hands in prayer, because my soul is a desert, thirsty for water from you.
    7. Please hurry, LORD, and answer my prayer. I feel hopeless. Don't turn away and leave me here to die.
    8. Each morning let me learn more about your love because I trust you. I come to you in prayer, asking for your guidance.
    9. Please rescue me from my enemies, LORD! I come to you for safety.
    10. You are my God. Show me what you want me to do, and let your gentle Spirit lead me in the right path.
    11. Be true to your name, LORD, and keep my life safe. Use your saving power to protect me from trouble.
    12. I am your servant. Show how much you love me by destroying my enemies.

Psalms - Chapter 143

Entered: May 05, 2009
Most seem in agreement that David wrote this psalm during the period of Absalom, his son's, rebellion against him.  On what basis does David seek God help? It is on the basis of God's mercy, not on the basis of David's worthiness. Another basis for David's plea comes toward the end of the psalm. It is good versus evil. David does not consider himself to be righteous but he is God's friend who seeks to do God's will. The wicked are God's foes who seek causes that are contrary to God's purposes and will. Thus David appeals to a sense of justice and to God's righteousness.

David seeks God's swift response to his need for his need is urgent. The enemy is "crushing me to the ground," he says. His spirit is weak and his heart is overcome. David recalls previous times when God has given deliverance and this seems to give him confidence to come to God for help. Deliverance from David's enemy and following God's will seem to be tied together in this psalm. As I reflect on it I suspect this connection is made often in scripture and I am just now recognizing it for the spiritual principle or truth that it is. We desire God's help and deliverance in a variety of life's situations, but why? Is it so we can be delivered to go about our own business or to go about God's business? Plus, God's will for us is the pathway to deliverance. David says, "Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God. May Your gracious Spirit lead me on level ground." Deliverance, that level ground, is found as we walk the path God has for us.

What do we imagine when we pray for God's help and deliverance from a difficulty? Do we imagine God simply making the difficulty go away or do we imagine Him revealing to us a solution that we can follow - must follow - to have deliverance? If it is the later, then the question becomes, "Are we willing to take the steps God reveals to us for deliverance? If we are not already committed to following God's will, such a situation will be the time to make that commitment. Commitment to God's will in our life is what is involved if we are to follow the steps God reveals to us for deliverance from our difficulties. The only instructions He will ever give us are those that fulfill His purposes and will. If we are not willing to follow them we will not be able to find the deliverance from many of life's difficulties.

Entered: July 16, 2014

David was desperate for God's help and pleaded for God to deliver him from his enemies based not on his own merit but on God's faithfulness and righteousness. He knew that if God were to deal with him justly he was doomed for "no one alive is righteous in Your sight." (143:2)

David was crushed by the enemy, his heart "overcome with dismay." He felt that if God did not rescue him quickly he would "be like those going down to the Pit." But his plea to God was not only to be resuced but to be renewed in his relationship with God. Maybe he realized his current situation was a result of having drifted away from God and His counsel. In verses 7-12 David made four specific requests of the Lord:

  • That God would lead him in the way he should go.
  • That God would rescue him from his enemies.
  • That God would teach him by His Spirit.
  • And, that God would let him live, delivered by His righteousness.

His petition to the Lord, therefore, was not only to be delivered from his enemies, but to be delivered to a life in which he was led by God and taught by His spirit. What about us. Are we as interested in being directed by God and taught by His Spirt as we are being rescued from our difficulties?