Psalm 86

Background

A Psalm written by David. This is the only Psalm that has the inscription attributed to David on Book III of Psalm. It is not clear when David would have written this Psalm. It is a prayer of David. David prayed because he wants God to hear (v1,6) and answer (v1) him. He desires to have joy in the Lord (v4), to know the way of God and to walk in God’s truth (v11), and to fear God. Notice how David praises God by mentioned God’s characters: forgiving (v5), good (v5), abounding in love (v5), greatness (v10), marvelous (v10), compassionate (v15), gracious (v15), slow to anger (v15), faithfulness (v15), merciful (v16). What a joy to praise God for who He is in our prayers. We need to grow up from always praying the “give me” prayers. Instead, it is pleasing to God and uplifting to our spirit when we praise God in our prayers.

Division

v1-7: hear me, answer me

v8-13: You are great

v14-17: save me from the enemies

Exposition

v1: poor and needy refers to spiritually, not financially

v2: God is our master, we are His servant. What a privilege to be a servant of the almighty God.

v3: [I call to You all day long]: Is our day fully devoted to God? Do we call on Him all day long?

v4: Joy is one of the most outward visible traits of christians. Are you joyful? If not, ask the Lord to give us the joy in Christ, just like David did here.

v5: Jesus die for everybody. However not everyone received the forgiveness of sins. Those who sincerely put their trust in Jesus will surely experience God’s love, goodness and the forgiveness of sins.

v7: David believed God will surely answer him.

v8-10: [Among the gods]: gods mentioned here does not is not the same as the one and only God mentioned in the bible. David makes it clear in verse 10, only Jehovah is the only true God. Sometimes the bible refers to kings as gods, because they suppose to represent God’s authority on judging good and evil on earth. gods also means the idols worshipped by gentiles. Let’s for a few seconds assume the gods worshipped by different all kind of people throughout the history are true. None of these gods are comparable to Jehovah described in the bible, who is all power ful, all knowing, eternally existed, Holy, righteous, and at the same time loving, caring, forgiving.

v11: The know the way of the Lord and be obedience in walking in His truth should be the prayers of all followers of Jesus Christ. We need undivided heart in order to fear God. We need to focus on the Lord in all the things we do.

v13: [You have delivered me from the depths of the grave]: Jesus has delivered us from hell.

v15: a quote from Exodus 34:6-7.

v16: David started the prayer by mentioned him as a servant of God (v2), and ended the prayer with the same reminder.

v17: When we are oppressed by our enemies, as Christians the Lord told us to pray for our enemies. But it is okay to ask God to show His goodness in us so that the enemies can be put to shame to know that the God we believe good and all powerful.

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