Psalm 143

Psalm 143

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My Soul Thirsts for You

A Psalm of David.

143   Hear my prayer, O LORD;
    give ear to my pleas for mercy!
    In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness!
  Enter not into judgment with your servant,
    for no one living is righteous before you.
  For the enemy has pursued my soul;
    he has crushed my life to the ground;
    he has made me sit in darkness like those long dead.
  Therefore my spirit faints within me;
    my heart within me is appalled.
  I remember the days of old;
    I meditate on all that you have done;
    I ponder the work of your hands.
  I stretch out my hands to you;
    my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah
  Answer me quickly, O LORD!
    My spirit fails!
  Hide not your face from me,
    lest I be like those who go down to the pit.
  Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,
    for in you I trust.
  Make me know the way I should go,
    for to you I lift up my soul.
  Deliver me from my enemies, O LORD!
    I have fled to you for refuge.
  Teach me to do your will,
    for you are my God!
  Let your good Spirit lead me
    on level ground!
  For your name’s sake, O LORD, preserve my life!
    In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble!
  And in your steadfast love you will cut off my enemies,
    and you will destroy all the adversaries of my soul,
    for I am your servant.


Psalm 143 Commentary

by Hank Workman

David went seemingly from one crisis to another.  Crisis brings out all kinds of reactions from us.  We can knee-jerk with our words or actions.  We can retreat and lick our wounds.  We can buckle down and push forward.  Sometimes we do all of these things at the same time.

David knew however that the true answer to his crisis and survival was crying out to God.  He knew God already was aware of what was happening and completely rested in the fact He would hear him. This happened again and again in his life when yes, there was nowhere to turn, but also because he believed in his God.  If this faith of such belief did not exist he would be lost.  This wasn’t some self-improvement routine, this was real.  He knew only God could deliver.  Not David’s own wit, not his plans, not his thinking through every single scenario – it was fact that only God would come to his rescue.

How do you respond when there is crisis in your life?  How are you responding now?

Crisis brings a deeper dependence on God Himself.  It is where our faith grows feet and even if there is nothing else we can do but stand, then stand we must.  God had proven Himself (although He didn’t need to) as trustworthy again and again in David’s life.  The very character of God, the nature of who He was had shown itself countless times in his life.  Consequently, David’s prayers often were shaped by God’s attributes and knew He would act accordingly.

Continually he asked for God to search his heart.  He wanted God to convict him if he was wrong or had been in sin.  He looked back at the faithful journey he had been on and reflected of His goodness.  These were necessary for him to go forward.  He also sought God’s will in the matter as to what he should do and how he should act.

We can pray all we want for God’s will to be done, but there comes moment after moment where we must walk in it.  God can use anything, even crisis, to push us forward in depth of discovery.  He can use situations to redirect His will for our lives.  He uses hardships to draw our focus to the truth of all matters and where our hope stands.

All the planning we may make to get out of crisis is for nothing if we are not seeking God.  We are where we are because He has allowed it.  What new discovery does He long to reveal to us through this?  More importantly, where is He calling for obedience in the trial?

Psalm 143 Commentary

by Brad Boyles


An estimated 19 million American adults are living with major depression characterized as a persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life. As F.B. Meyer writes, “Those capable of the sunny heights are capable of the lowest depths. Memory, meditation, and musing often lead to melancholy.” David was no exception.

So I am ready to give up; I am in deep despair. 5 I remember the days gone by; I think about all that you have done, I bring to mind all your deeds. 6 I lift up my hands to you in prayer; like dry ground my soul is thirsty for you. 7 Answer me now, LORD! I have lost all hope. Don’t hide yourself from me, or I will be among those who go down to the world of the dead.

Psalms 143:4-7 GNB

Depression is kind of a hot topic in Christian circles. The term is fairly broad and used loosely. The fact is, depression can be both an imbalance in the body and/or a feeling dependent on adverse circumstances in one’s life. Though God can “cure” our depression instantly, He often allows us to muddle through… much like David.

Like a boy walking in dark, David bravely moves forward toward God, reaching out his hands and focusing his eyes to try and capture anything from His Father.

Remind me each morning of your constant love, for I put my trust in you. My prayers go up to you; show me the way I should go. 9 I go to you for protection, LORD; rescue me from my enemies. 10 You are my God; teach me to do your will. Be good to me, and guide me on a safe path. 11 Rescue me, LORD, as you have promised; in your goodness save me from my troubles!

Psalms 143:8-11 GNB

Jesus told us that this world will give us trouble, but He also promised to send us a supernatural peace. I love these words from regarding moving forward in our mess…

“Christians are permitted to call trouble for what it is. At the same time, we take heart in God’s care. Taking heart does not mean pasting on a smile or ignoring the feeling of emptiness that depression brings. It does not mean neglecting to treat depression through counseling or medication. It does not mean ignoring the relational hurts or the misperceptions that have led to depression (Satan’s lies, if we believe them, will lead us to despair). It does not mean denying the fact that depression could be a lifelong struggle.

What taking heart does mean is bringing all our pain to God. It does mean continuing to trust in Him. It does mean believing that what He says about Himself and about us is true, even when we don’t feel like it is. It does mean getting the help we need, battling depression rather than giving in to it. We acknowledge the depravity of the world, but we also acknowledge the sufficiency of God.”
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