Meditations on the Psalms #167

Psalm 86 Part 2

David knew he could only walk in God’s truth with a united heart(v11). A divided heart – divided among different loyalties and different deities – could never walk in God’s truth. Our minds are apt to be divided between a variety of trickling streams which waste their force in a hundred channels; better to have all our energy poured into one channel and to have that channel directed towards the Lord alone. The new covenant promised a ‘unified heart’ as in Jer 31:31-33, Ezekiel 11:19-20 & 36:24-27.

 This is the second time (v12) in the Psalm that David calls the Lord ‘my God,’ the first time he was in an agony of prayer (v2), and now he is in an ecstasy of praise.  He is our God in times of trouble – we rely upon Him. He is our God in times of rejoicing – we praise Him. He is chesed,(v13) the mighty word for covenant love; the love of a promised relationship.

 Compare the words of this psalm with the phrasing of Exodus34:6-7, the great revelation of God to Moses: “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping lovingkindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” Twice David quoted the words and ideas from Moses’ encounter with God. We see this in v5: ‘For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in lovingkindness.’

Also, it is seen in v15: David seems to have stood in the cleft of the rock with Moses, and to have heard the name of the Lord proclaimed even as the great lawgiver did, for in two places in this Psalm he quotes almost verbatim from Exodus 34:6 Through it all, David never approached God on the basis of what he deserved. Anything he received from God; he would receive on the basis of lovingkindness.v16
‘Give Your strength to Your servant:’ The answer to this plea of David is confirmed by the later exhortation of Paul: ‘Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might’ (Eph6:10). God gives His strength to His servants – especially in the trying seasons of our life.

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