Lead Me On Level Ground- Psalm 143:10

In this verse we find that David has turned a corner here, that he has now taken his focus off his past mistakes and failures and turns his focus toward what God desires for him in the future. As we saw in verse 9, David has thrown himself upon the mercy of God’s chesed and learned to forgive himself for his past failures and mistakes. Having done so now frees him from his enemy’s ability to control him through those past mistakes (and his inability to forgive himself for them) and focus on what God wants him to do with the rest of his life. He has now been rescued from the enemies with him inside the cave, and is now confident that God will rescue him from the enemies outside the cave as well, that God is not finished with David and has a plan for the rest of David’s life. He now asks God to reveal that plan to him. He asks God here to “teach me to do your will, for you are my God”. The Hebrew word “teach” here refers fundamentally to the ideas of training or practice, and indicates that David now understands that God teaches us to do His will through a process of training and practice. As we walk in His will, we learn more and more just how to walk in His will, and more of that will (or plan) is revealed to us. Much like Abraham in Genesis, the path for David’s life will be revealed to him day by day, one step at a time. This shows us again that God leads us into His will for our lives day by day, one step at a time. His plan for each of us unfolds before us step by step as we continue to move forward in faith, and we also find here that this journey into His will for us begins and is sustained by the acknowledgement that He is “our God”. What this essentially involves is a continued awareness of and a life ordered by the understanding that He is God, and that means that He knows what is best, that He determines what is right or wrong, true or false. It involves a heart commitment to walk in His way for us no matter what. We find this commitment expressed by David here in the request that God’s “good spirit”, would “lead him on level ground”. The Hebrew word “good” here is one which ultimately has to do with purpose, that the good in each of us is found in fulfilling our purpose, in doing what we are created to do, and David here acknowledges that the Holy Spirit will always work toward leading David to find and fulfill God’s purpose for his life, and his role is simply to follow where God’s good Spirit leads. David then concludes this request with the prayer that God’s good Spirit would lead him on “level ground”. We must avoid the danger here of taking this too literally, of reaching the understanding that following God’s will, of walking on His path for our lives, would involve walking on nothing but “level ground”, that no obstacles would be in our way and the walk would always be smooth and bump free. We must always keep in mind, as we encounter the Psalms, that they are poetry, and the use of an expression like “level ground” is as a figure of speech, that “level ground” here is used in contrast with uneven ground, ground which causes us to stumble and fall. David’s use of this figure of speech here, then, refers to his past stumbles. He has, to this point in his life, walked on “bumpy” ground, has often, through his own mistakes, stumbled and fallen. It is these past stumbles, his walking on uneven ground, which have brought him to his current situation, which have gotten him off God’s path for his life. He now asks God to lead him in the future in a way which avoids these stumbles, understanding and acknowledging that it is only as he follows the leading of God’s good Spirit that he will be able to avoid these stumbles and walk on level ground into God’s purpose and plan for his life. May we all learn from the experience of David here, and learn to forgive ourselves for any past “stumbles” and follow the leading of God’s good Spirit and walk on “level ground” into God’s plan and purpose for each of our lives.

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