Psalm 86 Commentary
It is one thing to be poor. It is another to be needy. The latter is more serious. At its peak, COVID-19 gave us new definitions. It was confounding to see very rich men gasping for air, drowning in the open air – their riches unable to insure what we all consider a free commodity. They were in great need of oxygen.
The poor can be in need. The rich can be needier. Money multiplies needs. You wonder why we clamor for it.
David is however talking about the basic need for life itself. He is in great danger and consequently in distress.
He has options but none is like the LORD God. He is in His own class. He is the Creator God. And David knows it.
He prays for mercy. It is good to ask to be forgiven. But as any adult saint would know, serving the LORD from an unchanged heart is mission impossible. He, therefore, prays for an undivided heart. Let me not split my heart between my God and the world. Take it whole. What a prayer!
Fine. The heart is now fully devoted to the LORD. But then it must learn the way of the LORD. David, therefore, prays that God teaches him how to go about his Christian walk.
David relies on the revealed nature of the God of Abraham. He is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. The saint prays based on these revealed attributes of the El-Shaddai God.
It is a small line but incredibly important. David refers to his mother’s faith. Mothers birth life. They must also birth faith. Things go terribly wrong when the mother doesn’t know the LORD right from the start of the infant’s journey; before conception. Faith is an indispensable component in the factory of life. It should never miss.
Could this be the woman behind every man’s success? Absolutely. And how in short supply!
Then David prays for a sign of the goodness of the LORD. Saints can experience the goodness of the LORD in this life. Indeed, the goodness of the LORD stands as the only reason the fragile saint can still see another day. It is a miracle that a sheep navigates the park of countless angry and hungry wolves unharmed. Amen
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