Ps 143:1-12. In structure and style, like the preceding (Psalms 104-142), this Psalm is clearly evinced to be David's. It is a prayer for pardon, and for relief from enemies; afflictions, as usual, producing confession and penitence.
1. in thy faithfulness ... and ... righteousness -- or, God's regard to the claims which He has permitted His people to make in His covenant.
2. enter ... judgment -- deal not in strict justice.
shall no ... justified -- or, |is no man justified,| or |innocent| (Job 14:3; Ro 3:20).
3, 4. The exciting reason for his prayer -- his afflictions -- led to confession as just made: he now makes the complaint.
as those that have been long dead -- deprived of life's comforts (compare Ps 40:15; 88:3-6).
5, 6. The distress is aggravated by the contrast of former comfort (Ps 22:3-5), for whose return he longs.
a thirsty land -- which needs rain, as did his spirit God's gracious visits (Ps 28:1; 89:17).
7. spirit faileth -- is exhausted.
8. (Compare Ps 25:1-4; 59:16).
the way ... walk -- that is, the way of safety and righteousness (Ps 142:3-6).
9. (Compare Ps 31:15-20).
10. (Compare Ps 5:8; 27:11).
land of uprightness -- literally, |an even land| (Ps 26:12).
11. (Compare Ps 23:3; 119:156).
12. God's mercy to His people is often wrath to His and their enemies (compare Ps 31:17).
thy servant -- as chosen to be such, entitled to divine regard.