Bible Commentaries
Psalms 86

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-17

Psalms 86:1-17 we have another psalm of David. David said,

Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy. Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that is trusting in you. Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto you daily. Rejoice the soul of your servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee ( Psalms 86:1-5 ).

This particular psalm is an interesting psalm in that practically every every verse is taken from another psalm someplace. So actually the psalmist here, number one, David shows his excellent knowledge of all of the other psalms, because he is just taking verses from so many different psalms. And you can find practically every one of these a quotation from another psalm. So David is taking from all these psalms and just sort of putting together a psalm that he draws from all of the other psalms. "For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; plenteous in mercy unto all those that call upon Thee."

Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me. Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord, [Adonai, not Jehovah here]; neither are there any works like unto thy works. All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Adonai; and shall glorify thy name. For thou art great, and you do wondrous things: thou art God alone. Teach me thy way, O Jehovah; I will walk in your truth: unite my heart to fear thy name ( Psalms 86:6-11 ).

One of the problems I think that we, all of us, experience is the divided heart. Here David is praying, "God, just unite my heart towards Thee." We have a divided heart. Part of us is towards God, and part of it is towards our flesh. And I'm divided by the desires of my flesh and my desires for God. David is saying, "Lord, I don't want a divided heart. Unite my heart towards Thee." I think that's an excellent prayer.

I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for ever. For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell. O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of the violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them. But thou, O Adonai, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, and longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, save the son of your handmaid. Show me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because you, Jehovah, have helped me, and comforted me ( Psalms 86:12-17 ).

Now in verse Psalms 86:5 , "For thou, O Lord, art good, and ready to forgive." So he's declaring here the nature of God in the psalm. And he declares that God is good and God is ready to forgive, that He is plenteous in mercy. In verse Psalms 86:10 , he declares, "For Thou art great, and You do wondrous things: You are the only God." So verse Psalms 86:15 , "But Thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, gracious, longsuffering, plenteous in mercy and truth."

So it's interesting, verses Psalms 86:5 , Psalms 86:10 , and Psalms 86:15 , he declares the character of God, aspects of God's character. And so to catch... it's woven through, but then he declares the character of God and then he responds to it with his request. "Lord, You are merciful. O God, have mercy on me, you know. And Lord, You do wonderful things. You only are God. Therefore, teach me Your ways. Lord, You're a God full of compassion. You're gracious. You're longsuffering. You have plenty in mercy and truth. O God, turn to me and have mercy upon me. And and let me experience your grace. A token for good and so forth." So the character of God and then my response to the character of God.

Now when I come to God, it is important that I understand the character of God. If I do not know that God is merciful, then it's difficult for me to ask for mercy. If I do not realize that God is gracious, then it's difficult for me to ask for grace. But knowing the character of God gives me then the confidence in coming to God. It helps me when I come to God to understand the nature of God. Now we so often have misunderstood the nature of God. Thou are the God of wrath and vengeance. Thou are the God of justice. And we look at the one aspect of God's nature, but that's to those that hate Him. That's to those that are opposed to Him. But to those that love Him, to those that call upon Him, He is merciful. He's longsuffering. He's gracious. He's tender. He's kind. He's good. And so Lord, I call upon Thee. Show me a token for good and all. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Psalms 86". "Smith's Bible Commentary". 2014.