Psalm 143:1 Hear my prayer, O Lord; give ear to my supplications in your faithfulness; answer me in your righteousness. 2 Do not enter into judgment with your servant, for no one living is righteous before you.3 For the enemy has pursued me, crushing my life to the ground, making me sit in darkness like those long dead.
Here is another psalm of David in which he appeals to the Lord for help against his enemies. In this sense, the psalm is like many others. However, there is an important difference in this psalm as well.
When appealing to the Lord for help, the psalmist will often site his personal righteousness. In other words, the writer will often claim to be the who observes the appropriate commands and ordinances – while his enemies do not. Therefore, on the basis of justice alone, it is only right that God come to the aid of the one who is faithful. In our passage for today, the write makes no such assertions. Quite the opposite.
2 Do not enter into judgment with your servant, for no one living is righteous before you.
David admits that he has sinned against God as well, not just his enemies. If God were to administer justice, David would be swept away just like those who oppose him. Hence, David’s appeal in this passage is not for justice, but for mercy.
Today I too ask the Lord for mercy – not justice. How about you?
Heavenly Father, we have all fallen short of your expectations time and again. We have not been faithful. We have not lived into our identity as a children of God in Christ Jesus. Have mercy on us, o God. Give us grace to repent of our sin and to be changed from the inside out. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.