Psalms 86

Lament and Petition

1

A Davidic prayer.

1 Listen, Lord, and answer me,[a] for I am poor and needy.
2 Protect my life, for I am faithful.[b] You are my God; save Your servant who trusts in You.
3 Be gracious to me, Lord, for I call to You all day long.[c]
4 Bring joy to Your servant's life,[d] since I set my hope on You, Lord.[e]
5 For You, Lord, are kind and ready to forgive, abundant in faithful love[f] to all who call on You.
6 Lord, hear my prayer; listen to my plea for mercy.
7 I call on You in the day of my distress, for You will answer me.[g]
8 Lord, there is no one like You among the gods, and there are no works like Yours.[h]
9 All the nations You have made will come and bow down before You, Lord, and will honor Your name.[i]
10 For You are great and perform wonders; You alone are God.[j]
11 Teach me Your way, Lord, and I will live by Your truth.[k] Give me an undivided mind to fear Your name.[l]
12 I will praise You with all my heart, Lord my God, and will honor Your name forever.
13 For Your faithful love for me is great,[m] and You deliver my life from the depths of Sheol.[n]
14 God, arrogant people have attacked me; a gang of ruthless men seeks my life.[o] They have no regard for You.
15 But You, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abundant in faithful love and truth.[p]
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me. Give Your strength to Your servant; save the son of Your female servant.
17 Show me a sign of Your goodness; my enemies will see and be put to shame because You, Lord, have helped and comforted me.

Psalms 86 Commentary

Chapter 86

The psalmist pleads his earnestness, and the mercy of God, as reasons why his prayer should be heard. (1-7) He renews his requests for help and comfort. (8-17)

Verses 1-7 Our poverty and wretchedness, when felt, powerfully plead in our behalf at the throne of grace. The best self-preservation is to commit ourselves to God's keeping. I am one whom thou favourest, hast set apart for thyself, and made partaker of sanctifying grace. It is a great encouragement to prayer, to feel that we have received the converting grace of God, have learned to trust in him, and to be his servants. We may expect comfort from God, when we keep up our communion with God. God's goodness appears in two things, in giving and forgiving. Whatever others do, let us call upon God, and commit our case to him; we shall not seek in vain.

Verses 8-17 Our God alone possesses almighty power and infinite love. Christ is the way and the truth. And the believing soul will be more desirous to be taught the way and the truth. And the believing soul will be more desirous to be taught the way and the truth of God, in order to walk therein, than to be delivered out of earthly distress. Those who set not the Lord before them, seek after believers' souls; but the compassion, mercy, and truth of God, will be their refuge and consolation. And those whose parents were the servants of the Lord, may urge this as a plea why he should hear and help them. In considering David's experience, and that of the believer, we must not lose sight of Him, who though he was rich, for our sakes became poor, that we through his poverty might be rich.

Footnotes 16

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO PSALM 86

\\<>\\. The title is the same with the Seventeenth Psalm, and the subject of it is much alike: it was written by David, when in distress, and his life was sought after; very likely when he was persecuted by Saul, and fled from him; so Aben Ezra, Jarchi, and Kimchi: and as he was a type of Christ in his afflictions, as well as in his exalted state, it may not be unfitly applied to him, as it is by some interpreters. The Syriac inscription of it is, ``for David, when he built an house for the Lord; and a prophecy of the calling of the Gentiles; and moreover, a prayer of a peculiar righteous man.'' Theodoret thinks it predicts the siege of Jerusalem by the Assyrians, and Hezekiah's hope in God.

Psalms 86 Commentaries