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This is the last of what are called the Seven Penitential Psalms. In the Hebrew it has the superscription, “A Psalm of David.” And in the Septuagint and the Vulgate there is added, “When Absalom, his son, pursued him.” Yet many expositors regard the Psalm as written in subsequent times, after the manner of David. Thus Delitzsch views it as “a later effort to copy after the Davidic Psalm-poetry.” And Moll doubts “whether such a poet as David would have so copied himself, as would be the case if the Davidic authorship were proved. One might pray in the same language, but would not repeat himself in different poems.” Perowne regards the Psalm as having been written after the exile. “The spirit and the language,” he says, “it is true, are not unworthy of David; yet the many passages borrowed from earlier Psalms make it more probable that this Psalm is the work of some later poet.” This objection loses sight of the fact that “there are many instances of repetitions in Psalms in the earlier portion of the Psalter, which are acknowledged to be those of David, and they do not occasion any difficulty.… At all events, the poem, even with the familiarity of its ideas, forms a complete whole, which is worthy of David, and which no critic need on that score hesitate to assign to him.” Alexander, Barnes, Hengstenberg, Henry, Wordsworth, and most English commentators, accept the Davidic authorship.
“The Psalm,” says Perowne, “consists of two parts, each of which is of six verses, the conclusion of the first being marked by the Selah. The first portion contains the complaint (Psalms 143:1-6); the second, the prayer founded on that complaint (Psalms 143:7-12).”
Homiletically we regard the Psalm as presenting to us The cry of a distressed servant of God (Psalms 143:1-6), and The prayer of a distressed servant of God (Psalms 143:7-12).
THE CRY OF A DISTRESSED SERVANT OF GOD
In this cry of the troubled poet to the Lord, we have—
I. A picture of great distress.
“For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life,” &c. (Psalms 143:3-4). He was distressed by—
1. Malignant outward persecution. “The enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have long been dead.” “The Psalmist,” says Moll, “evidently means to say that his enemies are intent upon his utter destruction, and that he would remain without deliverance, unless God in mercy were to take up his defence.” With what terrible malignity and untiring persistence did Saul persecute David! And how bitterly David suffered from the rebellion of his son Absalom! (2 Samuel 15:30.) And the servants of God still suffer from without,—from the persecutions of the world (2 Timothy 3:12); from the treachery of those whom they had trusted, as David did from Ahithophel; from temporal losses, &c. “In the world ye have tribulation.”
2. Insupportable inward suffering. “Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate.” Thus the poet expresses
(1.) His sore sorrow. “My spirit is overwhelmed within me.” (See a sketch on Psalms 142:3 a.)
(2.) His painful perplexity. “My heart within me is desolate,” “or rather, ‘is full of amazement,’ lit., ‘astonies itself;’ seeks to comprehend the mystery of its sufferings, and is ever beaten back upon itself in its perplexity: such is the full force of the reflexive conjugation here employed.”—Perowne.
The mystery of suffering is to many minds, and those not the least noble, its most painful element. The experience of the poet was not a solitary or exceptional one. Good men are still liable to outward persecution and inward anguish; they still suffer both in their circumstances and in their souls. “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you,” &c. “My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord,” &c. (Hebrews 12:5-11).
II. An exercise indicating great wisdom.
“I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Thy works; I muse on the work of Thy hands.”
1. The distinguished mental powers exercised.
(1.) Recollection. “I remember the days of old.” The poet recalled the past; made it live again before his “mind’s eye.”
(2.) Meditation. He reflected upon the scenes which recollection reproduced; and thus endeavoured to ascertain their significance, learn their lessons, &c.
2. The great subjects on which these mental powers were exercised.
(1.) “The days of old.” What a wondrous volume is the past! How marvellous are its revelations! how instructive its contents! how wise its lessons! To this volume the poet turned his attention.
(2.) The doings of God. “All Thy works, … the work of Thy hands.” How vast a theme for meditation is this! and how sublime? how fitted to inspire the soul with confidence and hope! (For a fuller treatment of the hints given under this head, see on Psalms 77:3-6; Psalms 77:11-12; vol. i., pp. 431–437.) Now, in all this the Psalmist seems to act with great wisdom. In turning his mind from the restless present to the calm past, and from the cruel doings of his enemies and the sore troubles of his heart to the glorious deeds of ancient date which God had done, he adopted a course calculated to calm his fears, strengthen his faith in God, arouse his courage, and inspire his hope.
III. An appeal of great power.
“Hear my prayer, O Lord; give ear to my supplications,” &c. This appeal is—
1. Directed to the best Being. “O Jehovah, hear my prayer,” &c. He never turns away His ear from the cry of the troubled heart; He is merciful and gracious; He is able to succour all suffering and needy souls; and “His love is as great as His power.”
2. For real blessings. He solicits from Jehovah—
(1.) Acceptance of his prayer. “Hear my prayer, O Jehovah; give ear to my supplications: in Thy faithfulness answer me, and in Thy righteousness.” No utterance of man escapes the Divine ear. The Psalmist prays not for a mere hearing, but for a gracious audience, and a favourable answer to his appeal.
(2.) Forgiveness of his sins. “And enter not into judgment with. Thy servant; for in Thy sight no man living is righteous.” The poet here manifests—(α) His consciousness of sin. “He traces his suffering to his sin: the malice of his enemies is the rod of God’s chastisement, calling him to repentance.” (β) His conviction of the Divine holiness. He who appears quite righteous before man, appears sinful before the infinite purity of God. “What is man, that he should be clean?” &c. (Job 15:14-16). “How can man be justified with God?” &c. (Job 25:4-6). (γ) His belief in the Divine judgment of man. “Enter not into judgment,” &c. “God shall bring every work into judgment,” &c. (δ) His earnest desire for Divine forgiveness. The petition that God would not enter into judgment with him implies his longing for mercy and pardon of his sins. Here is a need which is common to all men in this world. Our hope must ever be in the forbearing and forgiving mercy of God.
(3.) Deliverance from his enemies and distresses. This, though not directly expressed in this section of the Psalm, is the great object of the Psalmist’s appeal to God. Such were the blessings which the distressed poet sought, &c.
3. Enforced by the strongest pleas.
(1.) The sore need of the suppliant (Psalms 143:3-4).
(2.) The relation sustained by the suppliant to God. “Thy servant.” The phrase, “Thy servant,” in Psalms 143:2, “is not a mere oriental circumlocution for the person speaking, and not merely a term of polite address,” as appears from the way in which it is used in Psalms 143:12. “The expression, ‘with Thy servant,’ contains,” says Hengstenberg, “the grounding of the prayer; with His servants God cannot go into judgment; He chastens them indeed, but He does not give them over to death.”
(3.) The revealed character of God. “In Thy faithfulness answer me, and in Thy righteousness.” “The faithfulness of God,” says Moll, “is His faithfulness to His promises, or the truthfulness of His nature, in conformity with which everything that He has spoken or ordained is reliable and unchangeable. His righteousness is the corresponding course of action by which His ordinances are firmly established and fulfilled in the world, so that there is rendered to every man according to his works. God’s faithfulness and righteousness are thus assured, as in 1 John 1:9, and the repenting receive the forgiveness of their sins, but the impenitent, judgment.” This is the most powerful plea that we can use with God. He cannot be untrue to His promise or to His character. “He cannot deny Himself.”
IV. A desire of great fervour.
“I stretch forth my hands unto Thee; my soul thirsteth after Thee as a thirsty land.” Notice:—
1. The Object of his desire. “Unto Thee; … after Thee.” “Observe how he binds himself to God alone, cuts off every other hope from his soul, and, in short, makes his very need a chariot wherewith to mount up to God.” (On this and on the next point see on Psalms 42:1-2; Psalms 63:1; vol. i. pp. 206, 207, 314.)
2. The fervour of his desire. “I stretch forth my hands unto Thee,” “as the weary child stretches forth its hands to its mother, that on her bosom it may be hushed to rest.”—Perowne. “My soul thirsteth after Thee as a thirsty land.” “As a parched land,” says Hengstenberg, “stands related to the rain, so my soul to Thee, and to Thy salvation.” And Calvin: “In great heat we see the earth cracking and gaping, as though with open mouth she asked for the rain from heaven.” So fervently the soul of the poet craved the help and joy of the presence of God.
CONCLUSION.—Exhibit the Psalmist in this cry to God in his distress as an example to the servants of God in times of
(1) severe spiritual suffering, and
(2) tribulation from without.
DIVINE JUDGMENT DEPRECATED
Let us consider—
I. The truths which are here implied.
1. That the Psalmist was conscious of sin. So far as his enemies were concerned he felt that they were persecuting him without cause; he was innocent in relation to them; but in relation to God he felt that he was not innocent. The persecutions of his enemies he regarded as the chastisement of God because of his sins.
2. That the Lord is the Judge of man. The poet regards Him as having authority to enter into judgment with His creatures. This truth is frequently expressed in the Psalms. “God is Judge Himself.” “God is the Judge; He putteth down one,” &c. “Lift up Thyself, Thou Judge of the earth,” &c. “The Lord will judge His people,” &c.
3. That the Lord is a righteous Judge. He cannot pass by unrepented sin. If sin be not forgiven and forsaken, He will visit with His judgments because of it, and His judgments are true and righteous. “He shall judge the world in righteousness; He shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.” “He shall judge the people righteously.” “He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with His truth.”
II. The petition which is here offered.
“Enter not into judgment with Thy servant.” This is a petition for—
1. Forbearing mercy. It is a request that God will not call him to render a strict account for his offences against Him. “If Thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?” We need the forbearance of God, because of our imperfections, omissions, and transgressions.
2. Forgiving mercy. Though not directly expressed, this is sought by implication in this petition. Even a faithful servant of the Lord needs the forgiveness of sins arising from remaining depravity and moral weakness. And it is an encouragement to know that “there is forgiveness with Him; … with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is plenteous redemption.” “He will abundantly pardon.” Freely, graciously, and completely He forgives all those who in sincere penitence seek Him.
III. The reasons which are her urged.
“With Thy servant; for in Thy sight shall no man living be justified.” Perowne more correctly translates: “For before Thee no man living is righteous.” Here are two pleas by which the Psalmist strengthens his petition—
1. The universal sinfulness of man. “Before Thee no man living is righteous.” “No one of the race, no matter what his rank, his outward conduct, his gentleness, his amiableness, his kindness—no matter how just and upright he may be towards his fellow-men,” he is not righteous before the holy God. Before man we may appear righteous; but not before a Being of infinite holiness. Most clear is the testimony of the Bible on this point. “There is no man than sinneth not.” “There is none that doeth good, no, not one.” “Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?” “There is not a just man upon earth that doeth good and sinneth not.” “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” Hence if God were swift to judge and strict to punish, all men must perish.
2. The relation of the Psalmist to God. “Thy servant.” David was a distinguished servant of God, yet he felt that he was a sinner before Him. Even a sincere and faithful servant of God cannot stand before Him in judgment; cannot plead any merits of his own, or appeal to God on the ground of His justice. “When ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants;” &c. But when a man can sincerely speak of himself to the Lord as His servant, he has good ground upon which to base his hope of protection and salvation from Him in His mercy. “When a man resolves with heart and soul to be and remain a servant of God, God will not forsake him; but where He is, there will also His servant be.”
1. If a true servant of God cannot stand before Him in judgment, how shall the wicked appear at His bar? “The ungodly are like the chaff which the wind driveth away,” &c. (Psalms 1:4-6).
2. Let every man seek an interest in the infinite mercy of God. “Let the wicked forsake his way,” &c. (Isaiah 55:7). “Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the Lord,” &c. (Jeremiah 3:12). “God is rich in mercy.” “The Lord is merciful and gracious,” &c. (Psalms 103:8-12). “Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardoneth iniquity,” &c. (Micah 7:18-19).
THE PRAYER OF A DISTRESSED SERVANT OF GOD
I. The blessings which are here sought.
The Psalmist first solicits the Divine favour in general, and a speedy answer to his prayer: “Hear me speedily, O Lord; my spirit faileth: hide not Thy face from me,” &c. (Psalms 143:7). He then proceeds to specify certain blessings in particular, and to entreat the Lord to bestow them. He asks for—
1. The lovingkindness of God. “Cause me to hear Thy lovingkindness in the morning.” It is a petition for an early assurance of the mercy of God. Divine lovingkindness is the root of which all other blessings are branches—the fountain from which all other blessings flow. It is also the crown of all other blessings. “Thy lovingkindness is better than life.”
2. Deliverance from his distresses.
(1.) From outward enemies. “Deliver me, O Lord, from mine enemies.… And of Thy mercy cut off mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul.” Perowne translates: “And of Thy lovingkindness cut off mine enemies, and destroy all the adversaries of my soul.” On this verse Barnes says, “The destruction of the wicked is a favour to the universe; just as the arrest and punishment of a robber or a pirate is a mercy to society, to mankind; just as every prison is a display of mercy as well as of justice.—mercy to society at large; justice to the offenders.” There is truth in this; but the prayer for the destruction of our enemies is not becoming in the lips of a Christian. “I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you,” &c. (Matthew 5:44-45). “Bless them which persecute you,” &c. “If thine enemy hunger, feed him,” &c. Such is the Christian rule. But we may petition God for deliverance from our adversaries.
(2.) From inward sufferings. “For Thy righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble.” The poet was in sore distress of soul; he looks to the faithfulness and mercy of God for deliverance from the same. Let the godly in all times of spiritual trial and sorrow direct their prayer to the same gracious Being. “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee,” &c.
3. Inward and spiritual blessings. In the view of the Psalmist his salvation requires both external deliverances and internal communications of Divine grace. “The way of deliverance,” says Moll, “is to the servant of God no external one, but a way of salvation, which the commandments of God point out, in which the Spirit of God, who is good, is the Guide.” So the Psalmist petitions for—
(1.) Divine teaching;—(α.) That he might know the way which God would have him to pursue. “Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk.” Even the most experienced and holy of men need the direction of God in life. (β.) That he might do the will of God. “Teach me to do Thy will.” Correct knowledge alone cannot save man from sin or suffering; correct conduct must be added thereto. Mere theories, however true and good, never raised a life into sanctity and strength. To do this, theories must be reduced to practice—embodied in life. Most needful and important is the petition, “Teach me to do Thy will.”
(2.) Divine help. “Thy Spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.” Perowne: “ ‘Let Thy good Spirit lead me in a plain country,’ lit., ‘in a level land,’ or ‘on level ground,’ where there is no fear of stumbling and falling.” Conant translates: “Let Thy good Spirit guide me on even ground.” The poet desires to be led into a way of safety. It is a request not simply for enlightenment; but for the Holy Spirit’s help, His guiding, guarding, and strengthening influence. Hengstenberg’s note is to the point: “David’s proper regard is directed to the obtaining of deliverance, which is the object of all his prayers in the preceding and following verses. But he shows himself throughout deeply penetrated with the conviction, that the foundation of the deliverance is righteousness—that it never can come, where this foundation is wanting, but that it of necessity must come where this foundation exists. He knew, also, that nothing could be done here by one’s own power (Comp., for example, Psalms 19:0; Psalms 51:0) Hence he prays here, expanding his views farther, that the Lord would (internally) teach him to do His will, convinced that this first gift must necessarily draw the second in its train, that of salvation; so he prays that the good Spirit of God would make him good, and consequently would guide him upon the path of salvation.… The good Spirit works good in those who partake of the gift.”
(3.) Divine life. “Quicken me, O Lord, for Thy name’s sake.” Here the poet prays for an increase of spiritual life and strength. In the way of the Divine commands there is salvation; and the teaching, the guidance, the life, and the strength which are necessary to tread that way, God alone can bestow. Like the Psalmist, let us seek them from Him.
II. The grounds upon which these blessings are sought.
1. The sore need of the Psalmist. “Hear me speedily, O Lord; my spirit faileth; hide not Thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit.” “The pit” is the grave. Apart from the help of God, the Psalmist despairs even of life itself. The greatness of his misery is a touching and forcible appeal to the tender and infinite mercy of God.
2. The personal relations of the Psalmist to God.
(1.) Confidence in God. In various ways does the Psalmist give expression to this: “For in Thee do I trust.… I flee unto Thee to hide me.” Margin: “Heb.,‘Hide me with Thee.’ ” Perowne: “ ‘Unto Thee have I fled to hide me;” lit., ‘Unto Thee have I hidden (myself).’ But the phrase is very peculiar, and its meaning doubtful.” Conant: “With Thee I hide myself.” “The notions of covering and refuge,” says Moll, “are united in the intermediate one of hiding.” The expression undoubtedly indicates strong confidence. (Comp. Psalms 27:5; Psalms 31:20.) Hengstenberg says admirably, “The allusion points in this direction, that God must conceal those who conceal themselves with Him.” Could He fail to deliver one who so utterly confided in Him?
(2.) Prayer to God. “For I lift up my soul unto Thee.” This language denotes earnest desire and confident expectation. “Prayer is the ascent of the soul to God.” “Where the soul is really directed towards God, it is full of seeking for help, and longing for salvation.” “To lift up the soul to God is to begin the lifting of the entire man out of all need.” Could God disregard such a desire, or disappoint such an expectation as this?
(3.) Consecration to God. “For Thou art my God; … for I am Thy servant.” If we have sincerely taken the Lord for our God, and consecrated ourselves to Him as His servants, we may be sure that He will guide and defend us, sustain and save us. (See on Psalms 143:2.)
3. The revealed character of God. The Psalmist pleads
(1.) His righteousness. “For Thy righteousness’ sake, bring my soul out of trouble.” (See notes on Psalms 143:1.)
(2.) His grace. “And of Thy mercy cut off mine enemies.” He pleads that, in the lovingkindness which He had declared to His people, He would interpose for his deliverance.
(3.) His honour. “Quicken me, O Lord, for Thy name’s sake.” This is a bold and powerful plea. Moses used it with remarkable results (Exodus 32:11-14; Numbers 14:13-20). So also did Joshua: “What wilt Thou do unto Thy great name?” (Joshua 7:6 seq.) And frequently David urged it with God. Assuredly God will not fail to maintain the honour of His holy name. Thus cogent are the arguments with which the Psalmist entreats God for salvation.
III. The urgency with which these blessings are sought. “Hear me speedily, O Lord; my spirit faileth,” &c. Perowne translates: “Make haste to answer me, O Jehovah; my spirit faileth,” &c. “Matters had now come with the Psalmist to an extremity. Where this is the case with the servants of God, there the Divine help cannot be longer withheld.” The poet manifests similar urgency in the petition, “Cause me to hear Thy lovingkindness in the morning,” i.e., soon, speedily. “The idea is not that He would wait for another day, but that He would interpose as the very first act,—as when one enters on a day.”
A prayer like unto this, with such powerful pleas and such urgency of entreaty, is itself a sign of the nearness of the interposition and salvation of the Lord.
A GOOD MAN’S PRAYER FOR GRACE AND GUIDANCE
Value of the Book of Psalms as presenting a test of religious character and experience. Shows what religion is—what religion can do: what it once was, it always is—what it has once done, it can always do.
I. David prays for God’s distinguishing favour as a God of grace. “Cause me to hear Thy lovingkindness,” &c.
1. The blessing itself is very emphatic. “Thy lovingkindness.” Not God’s general benevolence as it shines in nature; not His general protection as it is seen in Providence; but His special manifestation of mercy as it shines in the covenant of grace. “Remember me, O Lord, with the favour of Thy people.” “Look Thou upon me, and be merciful unto me, as Thou usest to do unto those that love Thy name.”
This he desires beyond created good—beyond his crown as a monarch—beyond his eminent distinction as a man of genius—beyond his highest estimation as a gifted prophet, he values God’s favour; just as Moses did “the goodwill of Him that dwelt in the bush” beyond “the chief things of the ancient mountains and the precious things of the lasting hills.” These desires are common to all the saints. In New Testament phrase—the love of the Father, the grace of the Son, and the fellowship of the Spirit. Judge of your character by your habitual desires.
2. The period in which it is desired. “In the morning.” It is sought first in point of time—first in point of importance. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God,” &c. “In the morning” of the day, that we may begin it with God. “In the morning” of the week—the Sabbath. “In the morning” of life—youth. “In the morning” of the resurrection. “Cause me:” Divine influence needful.
II. For God’s daily guidance as a God of Providence. “Cause me to know the way,” &c.
1. Prompted by a sense of our weakness and ignorance. How much we need a guide! We have as much need of daily guidance as of daily bread. We cannot get safely through a world of sin and danger without the Presence and Grace of Christ. It is not a matter of indifference to the Christian how he passes through life. Not enough to say, “What shall I eat?” &c.; but, “Lord, lift Thou up the light of Thy countenance upon us.” The soul has wants as well as the body. The Christian has moral interests to secure; he has a race to run—a battle to fight—a prize to gain—a God to glorify—a soul to be lost or saved. He is in a world where the great destroyer has his seat. He knows that the interests of others are linked in with his own: cannot stand or fall alone. Hence he prays, “Cause me to know,” &c.
2. Prompted by knowledge of the character of Christ as a Guide. Wise, powerful, gracious. “The Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.” Having had large experience of the conduct of sinners.
III. For the constant acceptance of his devotions as a prayer-hearing God.
“In Thee do I trust; … I lift up my soul unto Thee.” This is partly a profession of his daily faith and experience, and partly a plea for the exercise of God’s mercy. “In Thee do I trust:” Thou wilt not disappoint.
God is a perfect circle of wonders and miracles; a good perfectly adapted to our moral nature. They who know anything of Him are anxious to know more.—Samuel Thodey.
“Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto Thee.”
Life is like a heath with paths stretching in various directions. Many appear pleasant and safe that lead astray. Man is often bewildered. He often chooses wrongly. How important this prayer.
I. This was the prayer of one who felt his need of Divine guidance.
Many will be their own guides. They are self-reliant; like wayward children, or foolish Alpine travellers, forgetting their own ignorance and liability to error. Some are wise; they will not take a step without God. They feel their need of His guiding hand. This sense of need may arise—
1. From seeing the errors of others. Men, however, are seldom wise enough to learn from the sorrows that attend the wanderings of others. Second-hand experiences do not teach much.
2. From bitter experiences gained in self-chosen paths. God does not always save us from erroneous ways, but often through them. Our freedom is part of our discipline.
3. From Divine enlightenment. Seldom will a man be humble enough to seek God until he sees what he is by the light of God’s Spirit. Bitter experiences fail to teach us without grace.
II. This was the prayer of one who believed that God had a way marked out for him.
Life is not a pathless wilderness. God has a way laid down for every man. He regards the individual life. Laws are general, but the progress of each life is a speciality. There is a way in which every man should walk.
1. This it true morally. Right is straight, wrong is zigzag. Right is distinct from wrong,—a Divine way, clear to those who will see it.
2. This is true intellectually. Truth is the Divine path for the intellect. Truth, as a narrow way, lies often in the midst of the devious windings of error; but they who are guided by God shall not fail to discover it.
3. This is true circumstantially. From the cradle to the grave God has a way for every man. The prayerless miss it; the prayerful find it.
III. This was the prayer of one who believed that God could reveal His way to him.
The days of Divine revelations are not over. “There is a spirit in man; and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth him understanding.” He causes us to know His way—
1. By His Holy Spirit. God is nigh to every man. He can act directly upon each man’s spirit. He often leads men when they know it not. His saints are often conspicuously guided.
2. By His Word. Its instruct, its revelations enlighten, us examples encourage and warn us.
3. By the incarnate life of His Son. He is the way. Those who follow Him do not walk in darkness.
4. By the force of events. Way after way is hedged up, and only God’s way is left to us. By this God causes us to know the way wherein we should walk.
IV. This was the prayer of one who had placed himself in the right attitude to receive Divine guidance.
Attitude is important. Some are listless, others fanatical, others unbelieving. This was—
1. An attitude of expectancy. Faith was stretching out the soul-hands to receive (Psalms 143:6). Every faculty was awake and eager. God would find a receptive nature, a waiting heart.
2. The attitude of ardent desire. Desire had raised the soul out of its ordinay life. It was rising to meet God. It was lifted up to take hold of Him.
3. The attitude of importunate prayer.
He would not be denied the light he sought. He would continue before Him until the mists rolled away, and the Divine path shone out as light in the midst of obscurity. Such an attitude is sure to obtain a knowledge of God’s way.
1. To distrust self.
2. To take no step until God makes known His way.
3. For in His way there will be found safely, peace, and ultimately heaven.—W. O. LILLEY. From “The Homiletic Quarterly.”
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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Psalms 143". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30