We are getting close to the end of our study on Psalms. This has been a great preparation for our upcoming study on Why in conjunction with the Why Easter drama. Hopefully, you have taken the lessons, examined your own heart, and cried out to God as David did.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting. – Psalm 139:23-24
Please share this blog with others who may benefit from Penny’s thoughts on Psalm 86. Remember that sharing this blog post may be the opportunity one of your family or friends needed to find the path to salvation. It may be your introduction to share Christ with them.
Musings on Psalms 86 By Penny Oesterling
I’ve been spending more time in the Psalms than usual since our pastor is preaching a series of sermons from the Psalms. Most of us are familiar with Psalm 86: 15 where David speaks of God’s compassion and mercy, slowness to become angry, and His unfailing love. That is our God! We know God hears, sees, and knows everything, too, but I still believe He likes us to come to Him and ask, so as we look at this psalm, let’s imitate David’s requests as a model for our own.
So often we just assume God knows and hears, and that assumption can lead us into an acceptance and even an apathy towards the fact that God DOES hear and answer! So, let’s remind ourselves of our dependence upon God by asking Him to hear and give us the needed grace (v.1).
In verses 2 and 3, David cries out to God to preserve his life, to save him because he trusts in God and to be gracious to him. David knew who his enemies were and that they were out to get him. Our enemy isn’t usually one of flesh and blood; our enemy and his minions are evil spirits (Ephesians 6:2). And 1 Peter 5:8 tells us that the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Without God’s protection (Ephesians 6:10-18), we are helpless against him and his evil spirits.
In verse 4, David asks God to give him happiness/joy because David has given himself to God. God desires for us to find our complete satisfaction, our joy, first and foremost, in Him and not just in His creation. His love for us (vv. 5, 13) and our love for Him, lived out in this life and seen by the world, bring Him glory.
David asks God to teach him His ways in verse 11 so that his life is lived according to truth. We all need guidance and godly wisdom to live this life well. If we work outside the home, we need wisdom and guidance in how we perform our duties at work. If we’re married, we need God’s guidance in how to be the best spouse possible. As parents, we need His help with stewarding the precious lives of our children. In fact, we need God’s help in all areas of our lives.
David also recognized he needed God’s mercy and strength. We, too, need God’s new morning mercies each day of our lives. We need God’s strength so we can live well each moment of our days. We weren’t created to be independent; we were created to be dependent upon God and to rest or abide in Him. But David also asks God to unite his heart to fear and honor God’s name. So often our hearts are divided! David knows, as do we, that we are prone to wander, to look to others or things or desires to complete and fulfill us, instead of looking only to God and His Word. We veer off the path and can get caught up in things that can hinder our progress toward holiness. We allow our hearts and minds to be divided, and in so doing we can also become divisive to the Body! We continually need God’s mercy and strength to stay true….true to Him and true to ourselves, the selves He created us to be.
Then, David ends his psalm in verse 17 with a request that God show him favor in such a way that his enemies will be put to shame. When we cry out for God to show us favor so that our enemy, the devil, will be shamed, we know that God will receive the glory. That should be our desire….that our lives and God’s working in them will be seen by others in such a way that our God is glorified. We want to be light and salt in this dark world so that we point others to Him.
May we pray like David, and may our God receive all the glory!
Things to Know:
- Information on our church and available studies can be found on our website: forestville.org
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- WHY Set up Construction in the Sanctuary on Tuesday February 26th from 8:30 AM until complete. You can sign up at Guest Services or through this link: https://forestville.tpsdb.com/OnlineReg/474