Answer me speedily, O LORD;
My spirit fails!
Do not hide Your face from me,
Lest I be like those who go down into the pit.
Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning,
For in You do I trust;
Cause me to know the way in which I should walk,
For I lift up my soul to You.
Deliver me, O LORD, from my enemies;
In You I take shelter.
Teach me to do Your will,
For You are my God;
Your Spirit is good.
Lead me in the land of uprightness.
Revive me, O LORD, for Your name’s sake!
For Your righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble.
In Your mercy cut off my enemies,
And destroy all those who afflict my soul;
For I am Your servant. - Psalm 143: 7-12
The psalmist finds himself in a major crisis and calls out to God in his terror and hopelessness:
- Holy God, answer quickly! I see destruction all around me and I'm afraid I will be brought down with it.
- Lord, make your presence known to me for I am terrified by my loneliness.
- Comforter, I need to hear your loving words in the morning that I might be assured of your love for me.
- Counselor, give me direction on which path to choose, even though I cannot see a doorway at this point.
- Mighty God, deliver me from my enemies (oftentimes, physical, emotional, psychological or spiritual foes).
- Teacher, I need instruction in how to obey your will (perhaps weakness in this area was a catalyst for the present situation)
- Good Shepherd, keep my feet on the narrow path, following you and your voice (sheep tend to wander off).
- Giver of Life, restore life and health to my languishing soul, so that I may glorify you in all things. I was created to glorify God, and true fulfillment and purpose comes only as I pursue this end.
- Alpha and Omega, send your mighty angels to encamp about me and defend me from my accusers, for my soul has become weak and wounded.
We live in difficult times. We not only contend with the struggles of making a living, paying bills, keeping a job, meeting obligations, raising a family, but we have inner battles to content with. Voices that tell us we are failures. Doubts about decisions we must make or have made. Concerns about our health or someone else's health. Habits of the past that have now caught up with us and keep us from growing in our faith. In our busyness, we try to defend ourselves and keep walking. Eventually, we find ourselves exhausted and bleeding. We wonder how we got to this point.
Meanwhile, God is waiting to answer our call. He is mighty to save. He is longing to help us. Reading over the psalm again, isn't it absolutely amazing what God offers us? All the power of the Trinity and all that love available to us. But we must be in the position to receive it. It cannot be a position of pride and arrogance. God lifts up the humble in spirit.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Psalm 51:17