A Psalm of David. Hear my prayer, O LORD, Give ear to my supplications! In Your faithfulness answer me, [And] in Your righteousness. 2 Do not enter into judgment with Your servant, For in Your sight no one living is righteous. 3 For the enemy has persecuted my soul; He has crushed my life to the ground; He has made me dwell in darkness, Like those who have long been dead. 4 Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me; My heart within me is distressed. 5 I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands. 6 I spread out my hands to You; My soul [longs] for You like a thirsty land. Selah 7 Answer me speedily, O LORD; My spirit fails! Do not hide Your face from me, Lest I be like those who go down into the pit. 8 Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, For in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You. 9 Deliver me, O LORD, from my enemies; In You I take shelter. 10 Teach me to do Your will, For You [are] my God; Your Spirit [is] good. Lead me in the land of uprightness. 11 Revive me, O LORD, for Your name’s sake! For Your righteousness‘ sake bring my soul out of trouble. 12 In Your mercy cut off my enemies, And destroy all those who afflict my soul; For I [am] Your servant.PSALM 143:1-12
NO ONE IS RIGHTEOUS
Throughout the Psalms David often calls God to examine his life compared to his enemy and professes to be, “blameless.” If we aren’t careful we will think that David really does think he is better than everyone else. At these points it is worth noting that David is usually professing to be blameless of what his enemy is saying about him or ‘righteous’ according to a human standard. Here David notes another righteousness that he (or any other fallen human being) doesn’t have. He note’s God’s righteousness.
God’s righteousness doesn’t even compare to human righteousness. David confesses that if he were to stand before God on his own merit (righteousness), he doesn’t have enough, no one does… But David pleads God’s righteousness here. He sees no problem with God covering him with God’s righteousness… indeed, it’s the only way that we will be made righteous before God!
But can God do that? Should David presume upon God for this righteousness?
I’ve heard of a judge in a courtroom assigning a fine to a couple because it was the law, they were guilty of breaking the law (regardless of the reason) , and the fine was a fitting punishment. But noting that their lack of funds had gotten them in the situation to receive the fine anyway, left the courtroom, went to his chambers, got his wallet, came back to the courtroom and paid the fine.
The judge was just. He upheld the law. He charged the fine, but then he stepped in and personally paid for the fine providing mercy for those whom he had charged the fine… but Jesus goes further with his righteousness! When we come to him by faith, not only does he pay our debt, but he also gives us His righteousness! So that when God the father sees us he welcomes us as though we were righteous as Jesus!
Paul wrote about this in Romans chapter three and took David’s Holy Spirit inspired thoughts to their natural conclusion: “to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26).
Father, Thank you for your righteousness, for without it no one would be able to see God. You made a way when there was no way. I stand clothed in your righteousness today trusting in your goodness and grace. Guide our steps! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.