July 20th – Les Kovacs Psalm 86
Observe: Psalm 86 is a prayer for help in troubled times. The Psalmist is probably King David who puts his faith in God while crying out his many needs with a series of requests.
In Verses 1-7, David calls himself a servant of God and calls for God, in His goodness and mercy, to hear his pleas and act on his behalf.
In Verses 8-10, David extols God’s praises. Because of His mighty deeds, there is none like Him, and David declares that He is the only true God—the lord of all the nations.
Then in Vs:11-12, David asks the Lord to teach him and give him an undivided heart in order to fear God so that he can glorify Him forever.
Finally in Vs:13-17, David appeals to God’s mercy and grace to deliver him from the depths of the dead, and from the arrogant and ruthless foes trying to kill him. He relies on God’s strength because he knows the Lord is compassionate and gracious, abounding in love and faithfulness and his only true hope.
Interpret: As with so many of his psalms, David once again finds himself in trouble. This time he calls them a band of arrogant, violent men who are seeking his life. David understands his own need and it drives him toward prayer. Psalm 86 can help Christians recognize our own selfishness and helps to shed light on the bigger picture of our relationships within families and the church.
Throughout the entire psalm, David gives glory to God. He praises Him throughout the prayer with the most humble and reverent adoration. Even in the midst of his anguish he doesn’t neglect to remember and honour God’s mighty deeds, unfailing love and infinite goodness. Through his own trials, David reminds us that every one of us needs the salvation of the Lord. There are so many trials and tribulations in our world that it is imperative for us to pray to God for mercy, and allow Him to help lead us away from potential sins and disaster.
Application: From time to time, our own pride can become blinding ad get in the way of the reality that God has put into play for our lives. In today’s psalm, we find a man who puts his faith in God while crying out desperately in his need. David fills the psalm with requests, some of which are repetitive, but the bigger picture we see is that our great needs should drive us to pray to our great God, who alone can deliver us. Even David, who as King of Israel had the power and authority of government entirely in his hands, knew that God is the only one who has real control over the world that we live in. No matter how much we plan or how hard we might wish for something, the Lord is the only one who can really provide us with the strength, hope and direction to get where we yearn to be. Once we learn to put God first, everything else will fall into place. Our needs might be great, but our God is greater.
Prayer: Father God, what a comfort it is to know that no matter what situation we may be in, we can trust that you are in control and always know what is best for us because “…You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth”. Amen.
Song: Great Are You Lord – Casting Crowns
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.