Psalms 143

Prayer for Deliverance and Guidance.

1 Hear my prayer, O LORD, 1Give ear to my supplications! Answer me in Your 2faithfulness, in Your 3righteousness!
2 And 4do not enter into judgment with Your servant, For in Your sight 5no man living is righteous.
3 For the enemy has persecuted my soul; He has crushed my life 6to the ground; He 7has made me dwell in dark places, like those who have long been dead.
4 Therefore 8my spirit is overwhelmed within me; My heart is 9appalled within me.
5 I 10remember the days of old; I 11meditate on all Your doings; I 12muse on the work of Your hands.
6 I 13stretch out my hands to You; My 14soul longs for You, as a parched land. Selah.
7 15Answer me quickly, O LORD, my 16spirit fails; 17Do not hide Your face from me, Or I will become like 18those who go down to the pit.
8 Let me hear Your 19lovingkindness 20in the morning; For I trust 21in You; Teach me the 22way in which I should walk; For to You I 23lift up my soul.
9 24Deliver me, O LORD, from my enemies; I take refuge in You.
10 25Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Let 26Your good Spirit 27lead me on level ground.
11 28For the sake of Your name, O LORD, 29revive me. 30In Your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble.
12 And in Your lovingkindness, 31cut off my enemies And 32destroy all those who afflict my soul, For 33I am Your servant.

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Psalms 143 Commentary

Chapter 143

David complains of his enemies and distresses. (1-6) He prays for comfort, guidance, and deliverance. (7-12)

Verses 1-6 We have no righteousness of our own to plead, therefore must plead God's righteousness, and the word of promise which he has freely given us, and caused us to hope in. David, before he prays for the removal of his trouble, prays for the pardon of his sin, and depends upon mercy alone for it. He bemoans the weight upon his mind from outward troubles. But he looks back, and remembers God's former appearance for his afflicted people, and for him in particular. He looks round, and notices the works of God. The more we consider the power of God, the less we shall fear the face or force of man. He looks up with earnest desires towards God and his favour. This is the best course we can take, when our spirits are overwhelmed. The believer will not forget, that in his best actions he is a sinner. Meditation and prayer will recover us from distresses; and then the mourning soul strives to return to the Lord as the infant stretches out its hands to the indulgent mother, and thirsts for his consolations as the parched ground for refreshing rain.

Verses 7-12 David prays that God would be well pleased with him, and let him know that he was so. He pleads the wretchedness of his case, if God withdrew from him. But the night of distress and discouragement shall end in a morning of consolation and praise. He prays that he might be enlightened with the knowledge of God's will; and this is the first work of the Spirit. A good man does not ask the way in which is the most pleasant walking, but what is the right way. Not only show me what thy will is, but teach me how to do it. Those who have the Lord for their God, have his Spirit for their Guide; they are led by the Spirit. He prays that he might be enlivened to do God's will. But we should especially seek the destruction of our sins, our worst enemies, that we may be devotedly God's servants.

Cross References 33

  • 1. Psalms 140:6
  • 2. Psalms 89:1, 2
  • 3. Psalms 71:2
  • 4. Job 14:3; Job 22:4
  • 5. 1 Kings 8:46; Job 4:17; Job 9:2; Job 25:4; Psalms 130:3; Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:10, 20; Galatians 2:16
  • 6. Psalms 44:25
  • 7. Psalms 88:6; Lamentations 3:6
  • 8. Psalms 77:3; Psalms 142:3
  • 9. Lamentations 3:11
  • 10. Ps 77:5, 10, 11
  • 11. Psalms 77:12
  • 12. Psalms 105:2
  • 13. Job 11:13; Psalms 88:9
  • 14. Psalms 42:2; Psalms 63:1
  • 15. Psalms 69:17
  • 16. Psalms 73:26; Psalms 84:2; Jeremiah 8:18; Lamentations 1:22
  • 17. Psalms 27:9; Psalms 69:17; Psalms 102:2
  • 18. Psalms 28:1; Psalms 88:4
  • 19. Psalms 90:14
  • 20. Psalms 46:5
  • 21. Psalms 25:2
  • 22. Psalms 27:11; Psalms 32:8; Psalms 86:11
  • 23. Psalms 25:1; Psalms 86:4
  • 24. Psalms 31:15; Psalms 59:1
  • 25. Psalms 25:4, 5; Psalms 119:12
  • 26. Nehemiah 9:20
  • 27. Psalms 23:3
  • 28. Psalms 25:11
  • 29. Psalms 119:25
  • 30. Psalms 31:1; Psalms 71:2
  • 31. Psalms 54:5
  • 32. Psalms 52:5
  • 33. Psalms 116:16

Footnotes 7

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO PSALM 143

\\<>\\. This psalm was composed by David when he fled from Absalom his son, according to the title of it in Apollinarius, the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Ethiopic, and Arabic versions; so R. Obadiah Gaon: and of the same opinion is Theodoret and others. The sense he had of his sins, and his deprecating God's entering into judgment with him for them, seems to confirm it; affliction from his own family for them being threatened him, 2Sa 12:9-11; though Kimchi thinks it was written on the same account as the former, and at the same time, namely, when he was persecuted by Saul; and what is said in Ps 142:2,4, seems to agree with it. The Syriac inscription is, ``when the Edomites came against him;'' which is very foreign, since these were subdued by him.

Psalms 143 Commentaries