Psalm 143: End Of The Rope

His fall ended eight hundred feet deep in one of the largest pit-caves in the world. The man was lucky to be alive. One hundred workers labored 24 hours to bring him to safety. He suffered a head injury, broken femur and lost more than half his blood. The fall occurred while maneuvering through Ellison’s cave, and the rescue involved a complex haul back to the surface using ropes and counterweights. Thank goodness for the rope!

What becomes of the one whose pit-like experience is something like an unerasable past or inescapable future or the loss of a loved one?

Psalm 143 describes life in the “pits.”

The enemy has pursued and persecuted my soul, he has crushed my life down to the ground; he has made me dwell in dark places as those who have been long dead.” (vs 3)

“Answer me speedily, O Lord, for my spirit fails; hide not Your face from me, lest I become like those who go down into the pit.” (vs 7)





David’s Lament

(A poem paraphrase of Psalm 143)


In a pit,

Without stair,

Nothing right,

Nothing fair.


Bootstraps break,

Inner stress,

Shelter shreds,

Hopeless mess.


Learn to run,

Nowhere safe,

God above,

Plead my case.


Call to Him,

“Hear my cry.”

Darkness comes.

Water dry.



Wrapped in gloom,

Rattled bones,

Sunken tomb.


There is death,

More despair,

“Lord I thirst!”

Are You there?


Then I think,

Days of old,

You were there!

Words of gold.


Answer quick!

Do not hide!

spirit fails,

numb inside.


Morning comes,

What to do?

Leaning, I

Trusting You.


Level land,

Up above,

Gripping hand,

Yours, in love.


Moral now,

In rope-less reach,

You provide,

And Lessons teach.


Your Servant, King David

Psalm 143


My Prayer, (David’s words)

Deliver me. O Lord. From my enemies; I flee to You to hide me. Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; let Your good Spirit lead me into a level country and into the land of uprightness. Save my life, O Lord, for Your name’s sake, in Your righteousness, bring my life out of trouble and free me from distress.” Psalm 143: 9-11


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