«Τὸ Πνεῦμά Σου τὸ ἀγαθὸν ὀδηγήσει με ἐν γῇ εὐθείᾳ»
Psalm 142 is read at the beginning of every Orthros service as the last of the ‘Six Psalms’, and at every Supplicatory Canon or Paraklesis. More specifically, this verse is chanted at the Orthros of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles. Every reference to the Spirit in the Psalms is a direct reference to the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Holy Trinity. It is the Holy Spirit Who inspired King David to write this Psalm when his son Absalom was in pursuit of his life.
This Psalm demonstrates that being guided by the Holy Spirit is not an easy thing. To David, the enemy who has persecuted his soul and caused his spirit to anguish (Ps 142:3-4) is Absalom. However for us Christians, the enemy is the spiritual enemy, that is, the Devil. King David, being a servant of God (Ps 142:12), pleads with God to send the Holy Spirit to guide and protect him.
The Holy Spirit is distinct from our human spirit which is “failing” (Ps 142:7). Indeed, the guidance of the Holy Spirit which comes through faith in God is essential to being a Christian because “as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God” (Rom 8:14). Walking in the Spirit is contrasted with walking according to the flesh in the Scriptures (Gal 5:16-25). The obvious characteristic of King David in this Psalm is that he does not hide his own weaknesses, failings and hopelessness. This is because no man can achieve righteousness through his own efforts, but rather only through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Source: June-July 2014 Lychnos Edition