I Hide Myself in You- Psalm 143:9
As we continue in our examination of this Psalm, we recall from our previous post that David has come to the end of himself, and come to the one thing he knows and counts on above all else, the covenant love of God for him. He now asks God, according to God’s chesed for him, to “rescue me from my enemies”. The Hebrew word translated as rescue here is nasal, which essentially means to rescue someone from the power, control or domination of another”. In his journey to the end of himself, David now realizes that he has been under the control of and domination by enemies for a very long time now. These enemies have caused him to wander off the path which God had laid out for him and kept him from being the man and king which God desired him to be. We will recall that the enemies David refers to here are not “flesh and blood”, but rather the spiritual forces of evil in dark places, to the voices in his own head, which whisper in his ear, using unresolved issues from his past to control him in the present. David here asks God to do what he is not able to do for himself, to free him from the control of the enemy, who uses issues from his past to render him ineffective in the present and rob him of his future. David realizes he must deal with these unresolved issues once and for all if he is to become the king God intends him to be. He also realizes he cannot deal with them in his own strength, but must call upon God to deliver him from the domination and control of the one behind the voices. He must deal with his unresolved issues if he is ever to be free, and he asks God to show him what they are and how he can be free from them. The first thing David learns here is that he must “hide himself” in God. The Hebrew word hide here is kasah, which is derived from a root word basically having to do with guilt and shame. He realizes that it is his sense of guilt and shame over his past shortcomings which the enemy uses against him and has used against him for many years. The word kasha also contains the idea of forgiveness of and atonement for sin. David realizes here that his failure to deal with unresolved issues in the past has caused him to live with a perpetual sense of guilt and shame, coming primarily from his false belief that God would not forgive him for his past transgressions, and also from a failure to forgive himself as well. He realizes here that it is this sense of guilt and shame over past failures which the enemy has used to keep him from God’s plan and purpose for his life. He also realizes that it is his flawed understanding that God would not forgive him which prevents him from forgiving himself. What he comes to see here is that God is the God of chesed, and that God will forgive him as part of His covenant love and faithfulness. This realization that God will forgive him is what allows him to forgive himself, and no longer let the enemy use guilt and shame over his past failures to control him in the present. He now also (as we will see in verse 10) resolves to do what is needed to deal with the issues in his family which have ultimately brought him here. David here takes the first step in being freed from the control of and domination by his enemies, the first step to quieting the voices which whisper in his ear, and that step has to do primarily with forgiveness. He realizes that God will forgive him for his past failures, and it is this realization and this bringing it into reality by asking God to forgive him, which allows him to forgive himself, and it is this forgiveness which is his first step toward freedom. What we can all learn from this, then, is the importance of forgiveness, that we must all realize that God has forgiven all of our transgressions and failures in Christ, and may we learn to forgive ourselves for our past failures, so that the enemy of our souls can not be enabled to use those failures from the past to steal our future.