Psalm 86 verses 1-7.
When you read Psalm 86, a psalm of David, you might be tempted to think that David is having something of a ‘pity party’. Yet this psalm is worthy of much study.
First of all note that David is in big trouble, he describes himself as being poor and needy. What David, the great king?
Yes, because this psalm is set in one of two possible parts of David’s life; either running away from king Saul or some years later running from his son Absalom, both of whom are determined to kill him. Either way he has little in the way of resources, money and power. That’s poor and needy in my book.
But secondly notice, how he asks of God for something tremendous. He asks that God should “Bow down His ear” or as the ESV translates it “Incline your ear.” But who is David talking too? Not some servant who has to stoop to his master, rather he addresses the mighty God. There is something both wonderful and shocking in these words. It is not that God would listen, but that God should move to help His servant David, from the throne of heaven.
A third thing is to note the reasons David gives that God should answer his prayer. We can list them.
David was poor and needy. – God cares for the poor and needy.
David is the Lord’s true servant.
David is holy [ESV – godly], which means that David knows himself to be set apart for God. Isn’t this true for all believers in Jesus.
David trusts God in all things in his life.
David prays to God.
David knows God to be the good and forgiving God.
David knows God to be a God of mercy.
And David knows that God answers prayers. Because God has answered his prayers in the past.
It is very instructive in this psalm that David’s primary petition is that God should have mercy upon him. Isn’t that the one petition that we can and should pray. Remember the Tax-collector at the Temple. “God be merciful to me a sinner.” [Luke 18:13].
A quote from Charles Spurgeon on this psalm to finish:
“Great as God is, He loves His children to be bold with Him.”