Psalm 143 and the Gospel

One of my favorite books is God is the Gospel by John Piper. It is a wonderful exposition on why God himself is the best and final gift of the gospel. 

Here are some of my thoughts on Psalm 143 and how delighting in God as the final gift of the gospel and the events of the gospel relate. 


Psalm 143:

1 Hear my prayer, O LORD; give ear to my pleas for mercy! In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness! 

2 Enter not into judgment with your servant, for no one living is righteous before you. 

3 For the enemy has pursued my soul; he has crushed my life to the ground; he has made me sit in darkness like those long dead. 

4 Therefore my spirit faints within me; my heart within me is appalled. 

5 I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands. 

6 I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah 

7 Answer me quickly, O LORD! My spirit fails! Hide not your face from me, lest I be like those who go down to the pit. 

8 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. 

9 Deliver me from my enemies, O LORD! I have fled to you for refuge! 

10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground! 

11 For your name's sake, O LORD, preserve my life! In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble! 

12 And in your steadfast love you will cut off my enemies, and you will destroy all the adversaries of my soul, for I am your servant. 


David appeals to God's character for his deliverance, for his salvation. He does this because he knows he is not righteous before God "for no one living is righteous before you" (v. 2). So if God would act he must act out of his own free gracious character, his own faithfulness, his own righteousness. It must also be as David appeals "For your name's sake, O LORD." If God is to act on David's behalf, David knows it must be born in the character of God and not him, and ultimately for the glory of God and not him. 


David knows this because God is his greatest delight, "my soul thirsts for you like a parched land" (v. 6). But at the same time, David thirsts for God like this because he understands the depth of free grace in the character of God, and his purpose in acting- his glory. 


There I think is the key to the relationship- they both feed each other. Meditating on gospel events (the free grace of God given in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus) fuels a passion for delighting in God himself. That passion for God then fuels a desire to dwell deeply in the gospel for it is "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." (2nd Cor. 4:6). 


But this righteous and holy delight in God is only good news to an unrighteous sinner like me if it is freely given. And it is! It is only in His righteousness (Christ's) that we can come and thirst for God. So let us pray with David "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." (v.8). The steadfast covenant love of God poured out on us through Jesus on the cross frees us to delight in God and His glory.


You ou can get the book God is the Gospel by John Piper for free at Desiring God

Originally posted at theholowells.blogspot