Devotional Short Note on Psalm 143: David started the Psalm by asking the Lord to listen to his prayer (143:1) and not to judge (143:2). When God judges the misphat type of judgment, it is too late since that is the executive judgment. There is still chance when it is the din judgment. In this last judgment it is the socalled rib kind where He wants to talk and negotiate. If it is the mishpat type of judgment “for in Your sight shall no man living be justified”.

The reason he seeks help is because of the enemy (143:3a). This enemy crush his life (143:3b); he made him to dwell in dark places (143:3c); he causes his spirit to faint (143:4a); his heart is appalled inside of him (143:4b).

David says that he remembers the days of old (143:5a); that he praises [not meditate but praise from ḥknw in Late Egyptian] on all His doing; he recall [not muse but recall/recount/remember/commemorate from sḫ3 in Late Egyptian] on the work of His hands (143:5c).

There are some doctoral dissertations done in Adventism with this verse trying to show that we should meditate more in our prayers and even styles of meditation are suggested. Nothing can be further from the truth. The Hebrew Dictionaries available to us did not know what to do with the word and used the late Arabic to solve the problem. A millennium and a half is too far distant to rely on the semantics of a language to be the guide of an older language.

David not only remembers but spreads out his hands to the Lord personally and not in public or in a congregation (143:6a). His soul is is after the Lord (143:6b).

The Lord must answer him quickly since his spirit is failing. He wants the Lord not to hide His face from him otherwise he will go down into a pit (143:7).

When the morning comes, may the Lord let him hear the lovingkindness as reward for his trust in the Lord. God must actively teach him his way in which he should walk for he has lifted up his soul to God (143:8). “Show me the way wherein [zu] I should walk”. The Amorite form of this demonstrative pronoun was zū and in Aramaic it was z’. It is a loanword by David.

David wants deliverance from the enemies (143:9).

Again he wants the Teacher to teach him to do His will. The reason is that God is his God and His good Spirit should lead him to an even land (143:10).

For the sake of God he want Him to be kind to him, to bring him out of trouble, cutting off the enemies, destroying all that harass his soul, because he is the servant of the Lord (143:11-12).