Psalm 143

If we look with earnest desire toward God, we need not let our heart be troubled, no matter what troubles we are in (John 14:1).

1 Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness.

2 And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.

3 For 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.

4 Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate.

5 I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.

6 I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah.

7 Hear 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.

8 Cause 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.

9 Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me.

10 Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.

11 Quicken me, O LORD, for thy name’s sake: for thy righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble.

12 And of thy mercy cut off mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul: for I am thy servant.

Psalm 143 – The Cry of the Thirsty Soul

   This psalm falls into four stanzas of three verses each. Complaint, Psalm 143:1-3. Though the enemy has resorted to unwarrantable violence, David realized that his past had been by no means immaculate. The holiest have least confidence in themselves, Job 9:3; Philippians 3:7. Bernard of Clairvaux said: “So far from being able to answer for my sins, I cannot answer even for my righteousness.” There is no judgment or condemnation for those who are in Christ, because they were judged in Him. Now God’s justice is on our side, I John 1:9. 
   Depression, Psalm 143:4-6. Those capable of the sunny heights are capable of the lowest depths. Memory, meditation, and musing often lead to melancholy. But reach out after God. To thirst for Him is to have Him. To desire is to possess. Entreaty, Psalm 143:7-9. Hear me; cause me to hear; cause me to know; deliver meDocility, Psalm 143:10-12: We can trust ourselves absolutely to be led by God’s Spirit, because He is good and He brings the soul out of trouble into the land of uprightness, Romans 8:14. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Psalm 143:2—In Thy sight shall no man living be justified.

​   This is an admission which each must make for himself. Man by nature is very willing to justify himself. The essence of the Pharisees’ sin consisted in justifying themselves in the sight of men. But God knows our hearts, and that which is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God. We need to have a deeper sense of God’s holiness, and of his requirements as set forth in his holy law. We need more particular preaching and teaching. I was interested recently to hear of one who said she did not want to know of God because she did not want to know her own sinfulness. If men did know God, they would be compelled to admit their inability to be just with Him. It is our duty to force the knowledge of God on the unwilling conscience of men.
   But probably what we all need as preachers and teachers is to get a glimpse of God’s nature, to know what holiness is, and purity, and righteousness, as they exist in the Divine nature. We do not know the sinfulness of sin, and cannot enforce it, because we have not come in contact with the burning bliss of the Great White Throne.
   We are justified by faith. Directly we are joined to Christ, we stand before the law of God clothed in his righteousness, and accepted not only as forgiven sinners, but as righteous. We know that God will never enter into judgment with us, since we were judged in our Substitute. There will be a judgment of our works, but there can be no condemnation of our persons. It is God that justifies. Who shall condemn? The Master said that the publican who only cried with downcast eyes, “God be merciful to me a sinner… went down to his house justified” (Luke 18:13-14). —Our Daily Homily