Crying Unto God: Psalm 143
I wonder sometimes, why is it that so many of the Psalms resonate so deeply within us? It’s like David, who lived thousands of years ago, is speaking to just the thing that we’re going through!
In fact, just this past week, I have felt so many things David mentions here in this chapter:
- My soul (mind, will, and emotions) persecuted by the enemy
- My spirit, overwhelmed
- My heart, desolate
- My hands, lifted toward him, begging for a refreshing
And that’s just the first six verses!
But why? Why do we find such common ground with David? Why is it that he seems to be talking directly to – or about – US?
I think the answer is so simple, it’s hard to see.
Everything Changes, But Stays the Same
If there’s one thing we can count on, and will be able to count on until Jesus calls us home, it is that the plans and schemes of the enemy of our souls never changes. The same pitiful (yet convincing) argument that he made to Eve in the Garden, is still the same pitiful (often convincing) argument that he makes to us.
And if it wasn’t the ploy he attempted with Eve, it was the one he attempted with Cain. And if it wasn’t the one he attempted with Cain, it was the one he attempted with Jezebel. And if it wasn’t the one he attempted with Jezebel, it was the one he attempted with Judas.
You get the picture?
He is ever and always trying to lead us away from God’s Word. Because if we are in God’s Word, we will see and acknowledge Him, and not the ways of the enemy.
Counterfeit is Counterfeit
I’m sure you’ve probably heard the old story about how a bank clerk, or anyone who deals daily with money really, learns to spot a fake bill. Instead of studying the fake bill, they study, with all that is within them, the real bill.
They learn what it looks like, all the intricacies. They touch and feel the piece… what it’s made of, how it feels in the hand, and how it reacts when treated different ways. They learn the color variations, the printing techniques, even the fonts used in the wording!
Needless to say, they know real money. So, when they take hold of something that’s not real, they can easily tell it.
You know, back long years ago, I was fascinated with spiritual battles. Of course, we should all know of these situations, and what we’re dealing with. But I went down that path much farther than I should have gone. I was absolutely obsessed with knowing all the dark things I could possibly know.
I thought it would help me to recognize the work of the enemy! But I wound up having horrible nightmares, “seeing things,” and all manner of bad feelings and vibes would come on me out of nowhere. I realized quickly that I was giving the enemy more ground than he deserved in my mind.
Change Your Mind
It wasn’t until I began to study what Jesus said… what his disciples and Apostles said… what they did… how they acted and reacted… that I finally found some peace. The Bible says to be cautious and vigilant… not obsessed and overwhelmed!
And David even knew this. Take a look at what he had to say in these verses:
Psalm 143:10… Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.
Trust me… the land of uprightness is so much better than the land of dark spirits with names and agendas. There is only one thing we must know: JESUS is the Name above all names.
And we are HIS!
Blessed Be the Lord, My Strength: Psalm 144
I could probably write thousands of words about my thoughts while reading Psalm 144! It means so much to me, especially in light of the preceding chapter.
In this chapter, David turns his thoughts to all that the Lord gives to man, who is, in no wise worthy. David knows that humans are nothing to rouse the acknowledgement of a just and righteous God.
BUT… God still does!
The LORD… who can touch a mountain and make it smoke. The LORD… who can cast for lightning and arrows… is the same one who can deliver.
Psalm 144:7… Send thine hand from above; rid me, and deliver me out of great waters, from the hand of strange children.
Blessing and Cursing with the Same Tongue?
If we read this chapter in light of verses in the New Testament, such as James 3:10-11… Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? we might think that David is in the wrong here.
Asking God to “rid him” of these troublesome people in his life wasn’t a curse. It was an honest to goodness plea for relief. We must remember, that in David’s day, people lived under the law, and not the Blood of resurrected Jesus.
There was no atonement, except for the yearly sacrifice (without delving into Jewish tradition, that is). There was no praying for someone that they would experience salvation and turn from their ways.
No, what David needed was honest to goodness relief. And the only way he knew how to get it was by doing what he had done every other time he had gotten it:
Praying to God for deliverance. For rescue from deep waters. For good and not evil.
Happy is THAT People
As David closes this Psalm he’s praying what we all pray, really. He prays for a good life for his children. He prays that their storehouses would be full and their animals healthy and reproductive, assuring future generations the benefit of their lives.
And he sums it up with one of the truest statements I have ever heard. One that I know to be true, still to this day!
Psalm 144:15… Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.
I don’t know about you, but I’m sure glad of that! Even in this midst of this horrible week… in the midst of tears, anger, misunderstandings, and downright atrocities, I wanted to scream at God. I wanted to ask “WHY?”
But when it came right down to it… I couldn’t do that. I could not dare to put myself in the seat of the scornful. I remembered that David spoke about that too. In fact, he started off the entire book of Psalms with it in Psalm 1:1… Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
Of all the emotions I felt just recently, not a one of them made me feel like I had the right to blame God. Instead, once I really started to think about it, all the things that were heaped on my shoulders this week only exemplified the goodness of God in my life! And I just can’t thank Him enough for reminding me!
Have you read along with these chapters today? If not, I strongly encourage you to do so! When you’re finished, be sure to come back and leave a comment to let me know what you think about the comparison and contrast between the two chapters. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Lord Jesus, I cannot thank You enough, again, for all that You are. There is nothing higher, nothing greater, nothing more worthy of all praise, glory, and honor, than YOU! In Your perfectness, you still made a way for us. In Your compassion, You lift US up from deep waters. You restore our soul. You are our everything. Lord, I ask You to remember us, and look on us with joy. May we bring glory to Your Name, and for Your Name’s sake, may we never cast a shadow on You nor Your Name! We ask it all in the mighty Name of Jesus, Amen!