“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1
Scriptures to Read: Psalm 143
When reading this Psalm you may be thinking, “Why are they writing on this psalm? It seems pretty depressing.” Well, you aren’t wrong. It isn’t the happiest psalm there is that’s for sure, but it is not lacking in substance by any means. This is something I definitely love about the Psalms. They aren’t all sunshine and rainbows...in fact, they mirror life pretty realistically.
The Psalmists starts off the Psalms with, “Hear my prayer; O LORD; give ear to my pleas for mercy! In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness! Enter not into judgment with your servant, for no one living is righteous before you.” (Psalm 143:1-2)
This is awesome. This is exactly what biblical repentance looks like. Crying out to the Lord with a heart of remorse for the wrong we have done and begging for mercy. It reflects such God-given humility to understand that there is no one righteous apart from God and to understand what sin truly brings us to this place of heartfelt cries to the Lord.
The Psalmists continues with this in verses 5-6, “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands. I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.”
As Christians, when we look back on the past we should be brought to the same place that the Psalmists is at as he writes this. Looking back upon what the Lord has done in our lives or in the lives of others should not give us any sense of independence but should further our dependence on Him deep into the crevices of our soul. Our dependence is not like that favor you depend on every once in a while, but rather a feeling of helplessness if you do not have this thing. That is what the Lord is for us. He is the water of life for our eternally parched land.
“Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul….. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” (Psalm 143:8,10)
“In the morning”, that is a phrase that I actually really hate to hear.I’m not a morning person. I prefer waking up at my own convenience rather than setting multiple alarms that I would have to ultimately “snooze”. However, the Psalmist highlights the specific time of morning and not evening in this passage. This is to bring to attention the importance of mornings and their role in our walk with the Lord. Think of a full day as a race. Morning is the starting point. If I start a race without shoes on I will be fine for the first couple strides, but soon I will start to feel it and by the time night approaches I will have either given up or my feet will be in excruciating pain. This is exactly what I think of when I read scriptures about reminding yourself of scripture or the Lord in the morning. If I start my day out with no dependence on my one life line I will probably make it to the night time, but I will have failed and there will be pain. The Psalmists here realizes that in the morning, every morning, he must be reminded of the Lord’s character because that is the one thing that he trusts in- the one thing that he can depend on. The Lord is the only one who can change us and save us.
I am about to get married to a future Army officer. I get married and a mere 3 weeks later we will be separated for a few months. I have no idea where I will live and when we will move there. Will I even get to move with him? I don’t know. What about school will I be able to finish online? Who knows honestly. I have so many concerns about my ambiguous future; so many worries and preferences. You know what though? This Psalms was so convicting to me, and it definitely should be. How often do I wake up and remind myself of the Lord’s faithful and trustworthy character? Rarely, if I am being honest. No wonder life can suck so bad sometimes and I can be so overwhelmed, I am not placing my trust and future in the hands of the Lord. Repentance and Remembrance are two key words that stick out to me. I need to repent quickly of my distrust and then remind myself through the Lord’s word that he is faithful and worthy of all my trust.
I hope that as you read through this Psalm you won’t see it as a lonesome drag but rather a call to remember who our God is and repent in ways that you have failed to recognize it.