Psalms 86

A prayer of David.

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.

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.

Cross References 35

  • 1. Psalms 17:6
  • 2. Psalms 25:2; Psalms 31:14
  • 3. Psalms 4:1; S Psalms 9:13; Psalms 57:1
  • 4. Psalms 88:9
  • 5. Psalms 25:1; Psalms 46:5; Psalms 143:8
  • 6. Exodus 34:6; Nehemiah 9:17; Psalms 103:8; Psalms 145:8; Joel 2:13; John 4:2
  • 7. Psalms 5:2; Psalms 17:1
  • 8. Psalms 27:5; S Psalms 50:15; Psalms 94:13; Habakkuk 3:16
  • 9. Job 22:27; Psalms 4:3; Psalms 80:18; Psalms 91:15; Isaiah 30:19; Isaiah 58:9; Isaiah 65:24; Zechariah 13:9
  • 10. Psalms 3:4
  • 11. S Exodus 8:10; S Job 21:22
  • 12. Exodus 15:11; Deuteronomy 3:24; Psalms 89:6; S Psalms 18:31
  • 13. S Psalms 65:2
  • 14. Psalms 66:4; Isaiah 19:21; Isaiah 27:13; Isaiah 49:7; Zechariah 8:20-22; Zechariah 14:16; Revelation 15:4
  • 15. Isaiah 43:7; Isaiah 44:23
  • 16. S 2 Samuel 7:22; S Psalms 48:1
  • 17. S Exodus 3:20; S Psalms 71:17; Psalms 72:18
  • 18. S Deuteronomy 6:4; S Isaiah 43:10; Mark 12:29; 1 Corinthians 8:4
  • 19. S Exodus 33:13; S 1 Samuel 12:23; Psalms 25:5
  • 20. S Psalms 26:3
  • 21. Jeremiah 24:7; Jeremiah 32:39; Ezekiel 11:19; 1 Corinthians 7:35
  • 22. S Deuteronomy 6:24
  • 23. S Psalms 9:1
  • 24. S Psalms 34:4; Psalms 49:15; Psalms 116:8
  • 25. S Psalms 16:10; S Psalms 56:13
  • 26. Psalms 54:3
  • 27. S Psalms 51:1; Psalms 103:8; Psalms 111:4; Psalms 116:5; Psalms 145:8
  • 28. Numbers 14:18
  • 29. ver 5
  • 30. S Exodus 34:6; S Nehemiah 9:17; Joel 2:13
  • 31. S Psalms 6:4
  • 32. S Psalms 9:13
  • 33. Psalms 18:1
  • 34. Psalms 116:16
  • 35. S Exodus 3:12; Matthew 24:3; S John 2:11

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