Psalm 143 - Hang On To God's Unfailing Love
Updated: Aug 26, 2019
Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief.
Do not bring your servant into judgment, for no one living is righteous before you.
The enemy pursues me, he crushes me to the ground; he makes me dwell in the darkness like those long dead.
So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed.
I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.
I spread out my hands to you; I thirst for you like a parched land.
Answer me quickly, Lord; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit.
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 entrust my life.
Rescue me from my enemies, 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. For your name's sake, Lord, preserve my life; in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.
In your unfailing love, silence my enemies; destroy all my foes, for I am your servant.
David was experiencing the darkest and most difficult time of his life.
He prayed to God during this dark time, beseeching God, “listen to my cry for mercy” as "my enemy pursues me" and “crushes me to the ground”. He didn't sound like he had any realistic hope of escape or recovery. David cried to God for mercy and pleaded to God that He would listen and rescue him. David’s cry to God was not a demand because he understood that we, mere human beings, deserve nothing from God. But David also understood that as God is righteous and faithful, God will listen and rescue him. David’s faith in God never diminished even during his trials, despite how long God took to rescue him.
Have you ever felt like you “dwell in the darkness of those long dead”? That’s extreme discouragement over a prolonged period of time. I hadn’t, but David certainly had. David expressed that his “spirit grew faint”, and his heart was in dismay. It was not only for a moment, but a long time, as he was pursued relentlessly by his enemies. He begged God, “come to my relief”.
Personally, I didn’t really know how to ask God for help. Do I deserve God’s help? No, I don’t. Yet, because God is righteous and faithful, He will. And because of this, I must not give up. It is easy for us to doubt God’s love because we know we are sinners and undeserving. We may not be righteous, but He is; we may not have been faithful, but God always has been, and always will be. David kept the faith and prayed to God.
David derived strength through his memory of God’s Word and work. Like him, we should “remember the days of long ago” and “meditate on all your (God’s) good work”. When Jesus was tested by Satan in the desert, he quoted scriptures to strengthen himself as he battled Satan’s temptations. Meditation worked tremendously for David as he went through his trials. He meditated on God’s works and believed in the proof of God’s hands. How is our belief going to help us in our darkest moment?
David prayed, “Answer me quickly”; he asked for quick answers from God because he sensed that his spirit was failing. Yet he was not in total despair, he still asked God to lift him up.
Sometimes, we would rather “go down to the pit” when we go through dark patches than ask God for help. I’ve been there before, when I lost hope of coming to God. Like the prodigal son who just wanted to splurge away all his inheritance and not face his father again, we want to escape from it all. Have you felt that way before? When nothing can help you and no one understands? When you felt enslaved to sin and trapped in a life you dislike, but with no hope of a better one? Remember, God wants us to know that He is righteous and faithful, He is there for us.
There is no better way to be reminded of God’s unfailing love than reaching out to His Words everyday. I appreciate David’s attitude, “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love”; he had total trust in God. The more we understand God’s presence is here for us, the more we can put our trust in Him.
Like David, I will ask God “to show me the way I should go”, because His way will always be the best way. I will “entrust my life” to God.
Many Christians rely on knowledge of the Bible that they learned many years ago. I’ve done that before, and it doesn’t work. I’ve relied on past knowledge that was only applicable to me at that point in time. We need to be reminded of God’s love every morning. As we read our Bible, we need to ask of God the same request that David made, “Teach me to do your will”.
The Word of God is living and active. Sometimes, we live our life as though the Bible is dead and our lives don’t depend on it anymore. I trust in God more when I’m reminded of His love, faithfulness and righteousness everyday. This helps me understand better the decisions I need to make daily. Sometimes, we treat God as if He is a mere human being, someone who changes. If we understand God’s steadfastness, our faith will not fade.
God will “preserve my life” and “bring me out of trouble” for His “name’s sake”. He wants His name glorified, so that all men and women will come to Him and be reconciled in His Kingdom. Will God leave us in despair? Not a chance. We just need to trust Him and show the world that God is faithful. God will heal the broken-hearted and cure the wounded. His love is unfailing. My enemies will be silenced and my enemies will know who my God is. When the going gets tough, I will hang on to God’s unfailing love.
Andy is the head of compliance for an international bank and is happily married, with three daughters. He became a disciple of Christ three decades ago, and studies God's Word passionately. He desires to be constantly led by the Spirit.