One Year Bible: II Kings 8:1-9:13, Acts 16:16-40; Psalm 142:1-12; Proverbs 17:26
Need A Little Help Here!
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God;
may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
David was well aware of his own inability to live a righteous life before God. That’s not to say he didn’t try, or that he simply dismissed his failures with an, “Oh well, it’s just the way I am; I just can’t help myself.”
David knew the problem was much deeper than that—and much more troubling. And it wasn’t his problem alone. He knew that mankind was fundamentally flawed because of a sinful nature (Psalm 143:2), and that no matter how much we try, we will ultimately steer right off the cliff into personal sin. And from David’s personal experience, he knew that would probably happen early and often.
So the sweet singer of Israel makes his plea for help from above. If sin were to be overcome, it would take a little help from God—actually, a lot of help. It would require God’s active mercy (Psalm 143:1), the daily renewal of his loving guidance (Psalm 143:8), and his shepherding care to keep David walking in his will and on the straight and narrow path (Psalm 143:10, cf. Psalm 23: 1-4).
Living the godly life is not the easiest road to travel. Our lives are out of alignment because of the sinful nature that got passed down to us from Adam, and by nature, we will continue to drift toward the devil’s ditch. That will require a constant effort on our part to overcorrect just to keep on the “narrow way” (Matthew 7:13-14). Most of all, it will take daily dependence on God—day-by-day, perhaps moment-by-moment, coming to him and getting a little help from above.
To live the kind of life God has called us to live, we’ll need to exercise the same kind of temerity as the kid who wrote this prayer to God: “Jesus, I feel very near to you. I feel like you are beside me all the time. Please be with me this Thursday. I am running in a 3 mile race then and I will need all the speed in the world then. If you’re re not busy, could you be with me at the starting line, the finish line, and everywhere in between?”
Yeah, that’s what we need: A little help at the start, the finish, and all the way in between!
“Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved.”