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I Lift Up My Eyes: A Study in Psalms - Book Five - A hiker on the top of a rocky mountain, with a pink and purple night sky. I Lift Up My Eyes: A Study in Psalms - Book Five - A hiker on the top of a rocky mountain, with a pink and purple night sky.

Daily Devotional | Hear My Prayer!


From the time of the early church, some psalms were set apart for use during times of repentance and confession of sin. By the 5th century, this group of psalms was known as the “Seven Penitential Psalms.” They model how sinful people should approach God. The seventh of these psalms is Psalm 143.

In this poem, David does not confess a specific sin, but he acknowledges his sinful nature. He confesses that “no one living is righteous before you” (v. 2). The apostle Paul used this verse to ground his teaching—all have sinned and fallen short of God’s standard (Rom. 3:20; Gal. 2:16).

David realizes that his suffering could be the result of God’s judgment. He prays to God to deliver him, not because of his righteousness but because of God’s faithfulness (Ps. 143:1). His trust is not in himself, but in God: “I have put my trust in you” (v. 8).

David has good reason to trust in God. He muses, “I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done” (v. 5). He knows the stories of the Exodus, of Deborah, and Gideon. Israel did not deserve to be saved, but God heard the prayers of His people. David’s difficult situation made him long for God more than ever. He says that he longs for God like parched ground longs for water (v. 6). He knows he needs God’s saving help. He asks for God not only to deliver him from his enemies but also to teach and guide him in the way he should live (v. 10).

>> David models for us how to approach God in humility and faith. Remember today that we are dependent upon God not only for our eternal salvation but also for each breath we make. Our hope in life and death is that we belong to God.

Pray with Us

Without Your love and forgiveness, where would we be? Left to the unchecked ravages of our own sin, bitter and embittering, lost and hopeless. How deeply and desperately we need You, God!

BY Ryan Cook

Dr. Ryan Cook has taught at Moody Bible Institute since 2012. He earned his bachelor of arts in Bible and Theology from Moody and his master of arts in Old Testament from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He has worked in Christian education and served as a pastor in Michigan for seven years. During his time as a professor at Moody, he earned his doctorate from Asbury Theological Seminary. He now lives with his wife, Ashley, and their three children in the Chicagoland area.

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