“THE PSALMIST’S URGENT CRY FOR HELP” PSALM 143:1-12

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Rev Johnny C Smith

Rev. Johnny C. Smith,
Pastor – Mount Moriah
Missionary Baptist Church

What a mighty prayer of lament wherein the psalmist, David, is crying out earnestly for the Lord’s help. We need the Lord at all times, especially when we are going through distressful periods.  In a time of extreme trouble, we can rely on God’s inexhaustible strength and comfort for Psalm 46:1-5 states: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.   There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.  God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.”

In verses 1-4, David petitions the Lord to give him relief based on His mercy and righteousness.  He pleads with the Lord: “Hear my prayer, O Lord, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness.   And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.”

In a penitent mood, David declares that his punishment was due him; however, he declares that no man is righteous.  David was experiencing inner turmoil because his enemy was attacking him intensely.  David was spiritually weak as a result of being persecuted by the enemy.

Having expressed his spiritual weakness, David gains strength by remembering God’s awesome works in the past – “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.   I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah.” (vv. 5-6).  When we are in the midst of some tumultuous and stressful period in our lives, it is good spiritual therapy to remember God’s past actions of help in our lives.

The psalmist does so in Psalm 145:3-5 when he says: “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable.   One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.  I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.”

David has an unusual longing for the Lord, as verse 6 says: “I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah.”  Although very weak, he prays for God’s deliverance, for he desires God to do so speedily (v. 7).  Trusting in the Lord’s lovingkindness (vv. 8-12), David prays that the Lord would lead, rescue and preserve him according to God’s righteousness.  He humbly requests of the Lord to “Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness” (v. 10).

May God Bless!