Psalm 86 has the psalmist calling on God to intervene and do a number of things:
- “Incline your ear….and answer me
- Preserve my life
- Save your servant
- Be gracious to me
- Gladden the soul of your servant
- Give ear….to my prayer
- Listen to my plea for grace
- Teach me your way….that I may walk in your truth
- Unite my heart to fear your name
- Turn to me and be gracious to me
- Give your strength to your servant
- Save the son of your maidservant
- Show me a sign of your favor”
Quite a list of requests. The writer obviously needs God’s touch in his life.
There is no question that the psalmist is overwhelmed and clinging to the fact that “you are my God”. There is relationship here. The writer used words of David from parts of Psalm 25-28 and 54-58. This is a compilation of what David had written previously, brought together into a new psalm seeking God’s help. The request is direct – the psalmist asks God to answer him. Not an order but a very intense request. God is good, and the author knows that when he writes “For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you”. History has made that clear and the writer clings to that reality.
He also knows that God will respond. “In the day of my trouble I call upon you, for you answer me”. That answer may not be exactly what we want, but God is not dead and He will hear and take action. We need to focus on the request the psalmist makes to know and learn God’s ways. “Teach me your way….that I may walk in your truth”. God has given us direction on how to live – it is written in His Holy Bible and we need to learn it and live it if we expect God to answer us.
The last part of the chapter, after the long list of requests is made, is the reality that God is worthy of our praise. He alone is God. “There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours”. God is God and He alone is in control. “For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God”. That is a powerful truth. The God of Creation is available to be in relationship with us. He loves us, and cares for us. That should bring a response from us. “I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. For great is your steadfast love toward me”. How is your walk with the Lord? Are you giving Him His due?