Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, June 16th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 86

Hawker's Poor Man's CommentaryPoor Man's Commentary

Verse 1


The royal Prophet is at his devotions; and in beholding David, surely we must not overlook him, of whom David was so eminent a type. We find strong faith joined with earnest prayer in the opening of the Psalm, and loud praise at the close of it.

A Prayer of David.

Verses 1-2

I pause at the close of these verses, though thereby a chasm is made in the prayer, to call the Reader's attention to what this petitioner said in it, where the great argument made use of is, that he is holy. Can anything more pointedly prove that this is Christ? David never, in any period of his life, could make use of such language: and none but He, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens, could adopt the expression. The same word here rendered holy is used in direct application to Christ, Psalms 16:10 .

Verses 3-7

Who, that recollects what is said of Christ in the days of his flesh, that he offered up prayers and supplications, with strong crying and tears, can fail to trace Jesus in these cries of the soul? Reader, do observe what expressions these verses contain. He calls himself Jehovah's servant; and speaks of the lifting up of his soul unto the Lord. All which correspond to the office of Christ, and the dependence which, during the whole of his ministry, he placed on the Father. Isaiah 42:1 ; Psalms 89:20 . While we keep a steadfast eye to the person of Christ, as thus pleading with the Father upon the holiness of his nature, for strength and comfort in the days of his flesh; we may safely, in him , and , by virtue of our union with him, make use of similar petitions, in his name, and for the holiness of his nature, at the mercy-seat. The church is highly interested in Christ, and in all that belongs to Christ.

Verses 8-10

Here is a sweet reference to the covenant of redemption in and by Christ; and I would fain persuade myself that Christ had an eye to it in what is here said. God the Father promised to give his Son the heathen for his inheritance; Psalms 2:8 ; Isaiah 49:6 ; and may we not suppose, that as God created all things by Jesus Christ, those nations whom he hath made, whom he hath redeemed, and whom he hath new made by the regeneration of his Spirit, are here meant, who are to come and worship before him? Psalms 72:11 .

Verses 11-12

While we look to Christ as our glorious Head, let us see our personal interest in him, and, by virtue of our union with him, take up this language. John 14:26 .

Verse 13

This is evidently a direct reference to Christ. Compare Psalms 16:10 , with Acts 13:34-37; Acts 13:34-37 .

Verse 14

The apostles, in their prayer, point to these exercises of the blessed Jesus, Acts 4:27 ; and Jesus himself expresseth the same, Psalms 22:16 .

Verse 15

Though the expressions be here somewhat varied from those in the fifth verse, yet the meaning is the same. And we find the blessed portion to which they refer, Exodus 34:6 , and it is repeatedly used in the sacred word: Numbers 14:18 ; Jeremiah 32:18 ; Nehemiah 1:3 , etc. Reader, for what are these frequent repetitions of this gracious proclamation of heaven, in the person of Christ, but to prompt the church, and every individual member of it, to make use of them by faith in Jesus? When God passed by, in the holy mount, and thus proclaimed himself, was it not to make all his goodness pass before Moses? And what is God's goodness towards men, but God, in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them?

Verses 16-17

While we here behold Christ as God's servant and God's chosen, surely every believer in him may humbly adopt this prayer and ask for a token of good. And what good equal to the token of God's Spirit, the seal of the covenant, union with Christ, and fellowship with the Father, and with his blessed Son? Oh, for such blessed tokens, whereby believers are sealed unto the day of redemption! Ephesians 1:13 .

Verse 17


Pause, Reader, yet a little longer, and hear the cries which Jesus, thy Surety, used in the days of his flesh. He begs the Father to incline his ear to him, for, though holy, he is poor and needy; though harmless, the proud were risen up against him; and though undefiled and separate from sinners, yet there were those that hated him. And was it so, that he who was rich became poor for our sakes, that we, through his poverty, might be made rich? - Precious Lord! we have seen thee in thy low and debased estate, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and shall not such views of thine unequalled humiliation tend to reconcile our hearts to any, and to every situation, which thy wisdom appoints, and which thy grace will carry all thy people safely through? Oh for grace to imitate thy lovely example! Oh for a spirit of supplication to carry all trials, crosses, afflictions, to the throne; and there to remember we have an Advocate, one whom the Father heareth always; there to lodge, and there to leave all our wants; and to cast all our care upon him, who hath so cared, and still doth care, for us. And wert thou, blessed Jesus, in the days of thy flesh thus exercised? Though thou wert a Son, yet didst thou learn obedience by the things which thou didst suffer? And being made perfect, didst thou become the Author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey thee? Oh Lord! show some token for good, even the light of thy blessed countenance upon us; and let the whole world, both of friends and foes, know that He, who was once a man of Sorrows, is now our risen and exalted Saviour, and can, and will send down every token of good, as the necessities of his people shall require. Yes, Lord! we are assured that we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but thou wert, in all points, tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Help us then to come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 86". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pmc/psalms-86.html. 1828.
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