Study

a Bible passage

Click a verse to see commentary
Select a resource above

143. Psalm 143

Hear 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.

12. And in thy mercy, etc. In this verse he repeats for the fifth or sixth time that he looked for life only of God’s free mercy. Whatever severity may appear on the part of God when he destroys the wicked, David affirms that the vengeance taken upon them would be a proof of fatherly mercy to him. Indeed these two things often meet together — the severity and the goodness of God; for in stretching out his hand to deliver his own people, he directs the thunder of his indignation against their enemies. In short, he comes forth armed for the deliverance of his people, as he says in Isaiah,

“The day of vengeance is in mine heart,
and this is the year of my redemption.” (Isaiah 63:4.)

In calling himself The servant of God, he by no means boasts of his services, but rather commends the grace of God, to whom he owed this privilege. This is not an honor to be got by our own struggles or exertions — to be reckoned among God’s servants; it depends upon his free choice, by which he condescends before we are born to take us into the number and rank of his followers, as David elsewhere declares still more explicitly —

“I am thy servant, truly I am thy servant,
and the son of thine handmaid.” (Psalm 116:16.)

This is equivalent to making himself God’s client, and committing his life to his protection.


VIEWNAME is study