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Sunday, October 15, 2017 pm                                Psalm Index

Answer Me Speedily
Psalm 143

 Tonight, we examine another psalm.  This one, like so many, was penned by David.  It is another psalm where we do not have the details of the time of its writing.  It is a psalm typical of David as he pleads for God to hear him, and yet concludes with genuine trust in Him.

The psalm can be divided into 2 parts: 1) David’s pleading to be heard (1-6); 2) His trust that he will be heard. (7-12)

 I.                     David’s Troubles (1-6)

a.       Hear my prayer, give ear to my supplication (1).  So typical of David as he offers prayers to God, opening before Him his troubles.

b.       In your faithfulness and righteousness answer me (1). 
As David often begins, he acknowledges the goodness of God. 
God is both faithful and righteous in his judgments and work.
David realizes that the struggles he is now facing are not God’s fault.  Even if some of what he is facing (some of David’s struggles later in his life were judgment from God) involved judgment from God, David knows that God is not at fault. 

c.        Do not enter into judgment with Your servant, For In Your sight, no one living is righteous (2)
David’s plea - Don’t give me what I deserve! 
Friends we ALL need to be praying this. See Romans 3 – we are all sinners (Romans 3:23).  Paul has established this by quoting the prophets in Romans 3:9-20 Paul quotes the psalms and prophets as he notes this. 
NONE can stand before God on his own merit.   Isaiah 64:6, But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.

We need to realize this when we approach Him in prayer, whether we are turning to Him in repentance and in need of our salvation, or simply approaching Him for help. 

d.       Pursued by his enemy (3-4) – persecuted, crushed, driven him to darkness.   He is overwhelmed and distressed.  This is a very troubling time for David.  He is worn out by the ungodliness that is around him and often waged against him.  His spirit and heart are distressed.  He is discouraged. 

                                                   i.      David’s despair was something that often prompted him to think of God.   Continually in our study of the psalms, we see David in the difficult times.  DURING these times he always seeks God. 

                                                 ii.      As Christians, be reminded that when you are facing an enemy we need to pray – James 5:13 – when suffering, pray.  Matthew 5:44 – pray for your enemies. 
1 Peter 5:7 calls for us to cast all our cares upon Him, because He does care.
Matthew 11:28-29 – Jesus said for those who labor and are heavy laden to come to Him.

                                                iii.      Instead of this, how many today when facing troubles, BLAME God rather than turn to Him in trust? 
Even when they fail to consider their own part in their troubles, it’s still God’s fault. 
Often this mentality is the product of false teachers making God into our personal wish giver.   This is the positive preaching and health & wealth gospel.
REMINDER: Let us also remember Him in the good times as well. 

                                                iv.      NOTE: Can you see how when we are frustrated, we can turn to the psalms to help us?

e.       He remembers “the days of old”, the works of God.  He muses (contemplates and considers) what God has done.  It is in this that we keep from blaming God.  We can see the good He has done in times past. 

                                                   i.      In troubling times, we need to pause and reflect.  For most of us, if we are objective, when we look back we can see the good that has been done.  We can see that God has not abandoned us.

                                                 ii.      We also look at the overall picture to gain perspective.  Knowing what God did in times past (not necessarily in our lives), we can see that He does care.

                                                iii.      NOTE: The past is good for reflection, but don’t dwell on it to the neglect of what is before you!

f.         I spread out my hands to you – I am open before You (6).  While not a specific position, it shows one who is open before Him, who surrenders to Him in trust.

g.       My soul longs for you like a thirsty land.   We also read of this in Psalm 63:1, O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water.  

                                                   i.      A thirsty land is one that is parched and in need of nourishment.  Physically, we think of a drought and the disasters it can cause – famine, fires, pestilence, etc. 
NOTE: Drought is one of those things that reminds us of our need for God.  Only He can provide sustained relief.

                                                 ii.      Spiritually, there is the moral drought. Often, what causes the godly to be grieved and discouraged is seeing the ungodliness around us and often waged against us.   O how we would love to see the world changed for the better.

                                                iii.      Do we genuinely look for “a new heavens and new earth”? (2 Peter 3:13; 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:2, etc.)

                                                iv.      Also, consider Matthew 5:6, do we “hunger and thirst after righteousness”?

 

 II.                   David’s request (7-12)

a.       NOTICE in these verses how David with every request puts his total trust in God.  In these verses we see the faith we need as we approach Him in prayer. 
Hebrews 11:6 w/o it is impossible to please Him. 
Further, we are plainly told when we pray it is to be with faith – James 1:6

b.       Answer me SPEEDILY, because my spirit fails.
 
(7) – He desires that God answer him now.  He wants relief.  BUT this doesn’t mean he is not willing to wait.  He is.  If anyone understood that God works in His time, it would be David (cf. Psalm 37:25 – he has seen the righteous taken care of).
NOTE: God answers quickly (He can, and does in comparison to others).   Consider Luke 18:7. 

c.        Do not hide your face from me, lest I be like those who go down into the pit (i.e. those who die) (7) – David does NOT want to be separated from God.  There is NOTHING that ought to bring greater fear to us than hear the words, “depart from Me…” (cf. Matthew 7:23, 25:41, etc.).
When we stand for what is right, the world IS going to turn from us and eventually against us.  Don’t live so that in those times, you don’t have God either.
 That was what kept the godly going – Jesus in the garden was comforted by Him (Hebrews 5:7); Paul, when left alone to die, was not completely alone at his defense (2 Timothy 4:17).

d.       Cause me to hear of Your lovingkindness in the morning, for in You do I trust (8) –

                                                   i.      First, a request that he be spared, but also trust in Him.

                                                 ii.      Also, we find a realization of His love for us.  Does His love move us to love Him (1 John 4:17-19, 10).  FOCUS on his love for us and let that keep bitterness away.  This is about directing the mind where it needs to be.

e.       Cause me to know the way I should walk, for I lift up my soul to you  (8)

                                                   i.      In our prayers, seek direction from Him.  Let Him direct our paths.  Proverbs 3:5-6 – in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.

                                                 ii.      Think again of James 1:6 as we pray for wisdom to make the right decisions.

f.         Deliver me from my enemies, I take shelter in you (9) – David has a need and turns to Him for help and the solution. 
ONE thought – turn to HIM for the solution, rather than men.  More than once, Israel was rebuked for trusting in others rather than Him.

g.       Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God (10) – in all his troubles, David (again) requests that God direct him to do what is right.

                                                   i.      His desire is to do what God wants – that ought to always be our desire. Colossians 1:9-10, For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Matthew 28:20, may we learn our need to “observe all things commanded.”
John 8:31, it is the one who abides in His words that is His disciple. 

                                                 ii.      This requires that he LEARN what God wants – 2 Timothy 2:15

                                                iii.      This also reminds us that we must accept His will, even when it is contrary to our own will.  This is WHEN it becomes a challenge to obey God, but oh so crucial.

h.       Your Spirit is good, Lead me in the land of uprightness (10) – uprightness (level ground – NASB). 
This is another way that David is requesting deliverance.  He wants to be able to serve God in a land that welcomes this.  Sadly, his world was usually not like that, AND NEITHER IS OURS. 
We can make it through this life, but it will be filled with troubles.  We need to remind ourselves of 2 Timothy 3:12 – all who desire to live godly, WILL suffer persecutions.  The Bible nowhere promises a SMOOTH ride, but we look to the time when there will be no more troubles.  We look for that “new heavens and new earth in which righteousness dwells.” (2 Peter 3:13)

i.         Revive me, bring me out of trouble, for Your name’s sake, for your righteousness (11) -
when we are down and turn to God, ask for that “second wind” to keep going. 

j.         Cut off my enemies, in Your mercy, Destroy those who afflict my soul I am Your servant (12) – David concludes with an imprecatory request. 
AGAIN, we are reminded. When you are struggling with ungodliness and the enemies of righteousness, go to God in prayer.  WITH a godly attitude, leave it in God’s hands and let Him deal with it.   Romans 12:14, 19-21; Proverbs 24:17-20, Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; Lest the Lord see it, and it displease Him, And He turn away His wrath from him. Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the wicked; For there will be no prospect for the evil man; The lamp of the wicked will be put out.

That is always what we find in David’s prayers. 

 

Like David in this psalm, let us learn and be reminded to pray always and not lose heart (Luke 18:1), even in our times of struggle and discouragement.  It is a foundational quality of the godly.  How is your prayer life?