Weds 18 November - Psalm 86
1 Hear me, Lord, and answer me,
for I am poor and needy.
2 Guard my life, for I am faithful to you;
save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God;
3 have mercy on me, Lord,
for I call to you all day long.
4 Bring joy to your servant, Lord,
for I put my trust in you.
5 You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
abounding in love to all who call to you.
6 Hear my prayer, Lord;
listen to my cry for mercy.
7 When I am in distress, I call to you,
because you answer me.
8 Among the gods there is none like you, Lord;
no deeds can compare with yours.
9 All the nations you have made
will come and worship before you, Lord;
they will bring glory to your name.
10 For you are great and do marvelous deeds;
you alone are God.
11 Teach me your way, Lord,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your love toward me;
you have delivered me from the depths,
from the realm of the dead.
14 Arrogant foes are attacking me, O God;
ruthless people are trying to kill me—
they have no regard for you.
15 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and have mercy on me;
show your strength in behalf of your servant;
save me, because I serve you
just as my mother did.
17 Give me a sign of your goodness,
that my enemies may see it and be put to shame,
for you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.
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Meditation on Psalm 86
Two things to note about this Psalm by way of introduction.
Firstly, it is headed as ‘a prayer of David’.
Books 1 and 2 of the Psalms are almost entirely ‘of David’ whereas Psalm 86 is the only Psalm that is linked to David, even though, like Psalm 74, it was probably written a long time after David’s death and contains many verses from earlier Psalms.
Secondly, notice the term ‘LORD’ only four times, whereas the term ‘Lord’ is mentioned seven times. For the Jews, the four letters YHWH describe the most holy name of God – the Hebrew language have no vowels. Jews are forbidden to say Yahweh.
Adonai (Lord) means ‘master’ or ‘Lord’, showing that He is sovereign over all He has made. Michael Wilcock says, ‘each term has its distinctive meaning but, even so, all that can be said of either is equally true of the other.’
Now to the Psalm.
It seems that David is again facing very difficult challenges, some, maybe, of his own making.
Verse 11 seems a pivotal verse in his praying. He tells of ‘arrogant foes’, ‘ruthless people’, ‘people who have no regard for God.’
1. He prays for mercy and protection as a servant of the Lord. Verses 1-7
His is not a poverty of possessions but a poverty of being able to help himself.
That’s why he calls out for mercy and help as one who is a faithful servant who trusts in God and longs for joy to be restored.
He trusts in the One who will answer him., who forgives, who is good and who loves him.
2. He prays with confidence in God, the Lord. Verses 8-13
He reminds us who God is, using many words and phrases that we see earlier in the OT, particularly in Exodus as Moses speaks about God.
• sovereign over all the nations
• active in wonderful deeds
• a deliverer
In his confidence in knowing who the Lord is he responds in prayer (verse 11) and praise (verses 12-13).
3. He prays into his present situation. Verses 14-17
He comes to the heart of the problem.
He is facing his enemies – BUT he knows that God is…
• slow to anger
• abounding in love
• abounding in faithfulness
Go back to Exodus 34:6 and see how the LORD describes Himself to Moses.
This gives him confidence as he repeats his prayer for mercy and strength.
He also longs that his enemies will see God’s goodness and it will have a transforming effect on them.
He ends on a note of confidence in YHWH – ‘you have helped me and comforted me’.
This God is our God and we can have confidence in Him.
Thursday 19 November - Psalm 87
Friday 20 November - Psalm 88
Saturday 21 November - Psalm 89
Sunday 22 November - Psalm 90
Monday 23 November - Psalm 91
Tuesday 24 November - Psalm 92