Psalmody Psunday: Psalm 143

Thanks be to my cousin Matt, who jumped on the bandwagon that which had ground to a halt and got the thing going again!  You can read his thoughts on Ps. 123 here...and you should.  Go ahead, I'll be here when you get back.

I looked through my past Psalmody Psunday entries to see if I'd picked a Psalm from last time to take up this time.  Nope.  Ah well, to the random number generator top hit on Google, then.  The number it randomly selected for me was 143.  Double checked to see if I'd already done that--nope.  Okay, let's pull it up on Bible Gateway...ah, here we are...

Blammo.  Right between the eyes.

I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised. Same thing happened at both the church services I attended today: 8 AM Mass at the majestic Cathedral Basilica, and then the usual Sunday service at Old Orchard Presbyterian.

Whether it was in the Scripture readings or the hymns sung or the confessions we read aloud, there was the same insistence of the Spirit.  Hey you.  Wake up.  Take notice.  You know you are beset with sin; now, are you going to stay enslaved or are you going to cry out for freedom?

David begins the Psalm by pleading with God not to exercise judgment against him, because he would be proved guilty (as would we all). He ends by saying that he is God's servant.  There's a part of me that is shocked by this seeming presumption.  "Not a very good servant," I think.  But then, I think of God's fondness for the weak things of the world and the small amounts.  Only a mustard seed sized faith is required to start amazing things set in motion.  Only two mites from a widow can please the God who owns cattle on a thousand hills.  Perhaps only a very poor and wretched servant, acknowledging this fact, is precisely where God is delighted to set up camp and start the work of renewing us once again.

It's also interesting to note that David's enemy/enemies get mentioned in each stanza.  A good reminder that there are enemies that we need to be rescued from and not merely our own inclination to stumble.


  1. Thanks for linking to my blog, and again for these reflections here; as so many psalms do, this makes for such appropriate early-morning reflection ("Tell me all about your faithful love come morning time because I trust you," v. 7, CEB), though I'm currently more struck by that plea and that of 10b ("Guide me by your good spirit into good land") than by the combination of servanthood, sin, and enemies that spoke most to you.

  2. I read it over a few times (as I generally have to if I'm to glean anything from it) and I thought it was appropriate for David to not necessarily belittle himself, but to frequently point out where he stood in relation to God. As such, his requests are framed as pleas and not personal favors from a heavenly buddy. I'm finding that my own days are changed by the same sort of acknowledgement ("God, this day is Yours as is everything included in it…")


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