Psalms 86:1



The Bible says in Psalms 86:1, “Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy.” In this Psalm the Psalmist makes many requests to God. These requests remind us of the things that we should be asking Jesus. Verse one tells us why we should be praying to the Lord: we are “poor and needy.” We are spiritually poor, and thus we need spiritual energy and vitality that only Jesus can give. And that is exactly what He wants to do for us. John the Baptist said, “I baptize with water, but one comes after me who shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” We need the Spirit because we need the fruits of the Spirit. We need the Spirit because we need the power of the Spirit. We will be miserable and powerless in our lives unless we have the spiritual power that only Christ can give.


The Bible says in Psalms 86:2, “Preserve my soul, for I am holy: o thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee.” The two things requested in this verse will definitely be granted to everyone who trusts in the Lord Jesus. We will be preserved and we will be saved. If your soul is saved through faith in Christ, then your life will be preserved on this earth for as long as the Lord has use for you. When He is finished with you, He will take you to heaven.


The Bible says in Psalms 86:3, “Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily.” Asking for mercy from God on a “daily” basis: doing that very thing is an important part of walking in fellowship with the Lord Jesus. There are two ways to stay in fellowship with the Lord. The first way is to always do what is right and to never fail. I have never been able to do that, and I have never known anyone else who has been able to do that either. The second way to stay in fellowship with the Lord is to daily confess our sins to Him. There are two types of forgiveness of sins. The first type takes place when you are born-again through faith in Christ. That gives you forgiveness of all your sins from a judgmental standpoint so that you will go to heaven, and God will say to you at your final judgment that because Jesus is your Savior, there is no condemnation against you. The second type of forgiveness involves confessing our sins daily so that we can stay in fellowship with Christ as we wander through this world on our way to heaven. It is a very high standard that Jesus holds us to, and so it is very easy to sin. Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to “love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, all thy soul, all thy mind, and all thy strength.” I know that I fail many times every day at this great commandment. I am clean because I have been washed by the blood of Christ, but my feet get dirty as I walk through this life. My feet get cleansed by daily confession. That is why it says in First John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness


The Bible says in Psalms 86:4, “Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.” For those of us who know Christ, we can only be joyful when we are rightly related to the Lord. No wonder that the Psalmist said, “unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.” He wanted to be happy and joyful and he knew from experience that true joy only comes from the Lord. Notice that “joy” is second in the list in the fruits listed in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,[23] Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” You cannot make joy happen in your heart, but God can make it happen by the filling of the Holy Spirit. One important requirement to being filled by the Spirit is to make sure that your sins are confessed on a daily basis.


The Bible says in Psalms 86:5, “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.” It definitely is a good thing that God is “ready to forgive” and “plenteous in mercy.” We need it because we are great sinners. If the Apostle Paul called himself the chief of sinners, then what are we? The reason that God is so forgiving and merciful is that Jesus died for us on the cross of Calvary. How do we get access to this great mercy of God and experience it to our eternal benefit? The answer to that is found in the last phrase of this verse: “unto all them that call upon thee.” It says the same thing in Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” The name of the Lord is Jesus. The Lord made it so easy for us to simply call upon His name. Of course, you have to really desire His salvation and turn from your sins when you call upon Him. There is the difficulty: in other words you must be honest about yourself and your own need to be saved.  


The Bible says in Psalms 86:6-7, “Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications.[7] In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.” In verse six the Psalmist is asking the Lord to answer His prayers, but then in verses seven the Psalmist expresses his confidence that God will answer him. The Psalmist says, “for thou wilt answer me.” Yes, God answers prayer. Yes, prayer changes things. God loves to answer our prayers. We might say that He lives to do just that. Are you concerned about politics? Are you concerned about dangers? Are you concerned about your health or your finances? Are you concerned about someone’s soul? Pray. The all-powerful God is waiting to move based upon what you ask Him to do in the name of Jesus. The whole course of the world can be changed by one prayer from you.


The Bible says in Psalms 86:8, “Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works.” There is none like unto the Lord Jesus because there are no other gods at all. Of course, there are many people in the false religions of the world who believe in false gods. Their beliefs are all in vain. One of the benefits of believing in the living God is the fact that He actually has “works.” God moves. God accomplishes. God goes forth with His Spirit touching hearts, convicting of sin, directing lives, shutting doors and opening doors, changing minds, and loving.


The Bible says in Psalms 86:9, “All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name.” There may be people involved in false religion now, but the day will come when everyone of them will stand before Jesus the Judge. If you do not believe in Jesus as your Savior, then you will come to know Jesus as your Judge. It says about Jesus in Acts 10:42, “And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.” The last judgment is described in Revelation 20:12-15, “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.[13] And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.[14] And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.[15] And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”


The Bible says in Psalms 86:10, “For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.” Of course, God is the greatest of all. Who can we compare Him to: human beings. Human beings are so limited and fail in so many ways. But God never fails. Everything that He does is the right thing. Everything that God does in your life is just what He should do. He loves when it’s time for love. He chastises when it is time for chastisement, but even the chastisement is done out of love. God is great. He created this world and the life on it. God sustains the life in this world. And God controls the life in this world. God controls the thoughts of every person, and the actions of every person, and God makes the outcomes to fit into His plan. God controls the nations because He is great. God controls the leaders because He is great. Be still and know that He is the great God of all. And He does “wondrous things.” If you are a person of faith, then whatever you see and experience, you are seeing and experiencing the hand of the mighty God. That means that the future is in His hands too. Because He controls everything, He also controls the future. God controls the final results of what anyone says or does.


The Bible says in Psalms 86:11, “Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.” The Psalmist asks God to teach him. That is an important request. Jesus is the greatest teacher. If you are going to learn what you need to learn, make sure you get the best teacher. The way to learn from God is to learn His “truth.” Jesus is the Truth, and so we must know Jesus in order to know the truth from God. The Bible is the truth, and so we must read, study, and hear sermons from the Bible in order to know the truth. Of course, the goal once we learn truth is to “walk” in His truth. We study the Bible in order to put it into practice.


It is interesting that the last phase of verse eleven says, “unite my heart to fear thy name.” The Psalmist knew that he needed singleness of purpose in order to fear God. People are easily double-minded. One moment they will say that they want to serve God, but the next moment they are off on some distraction because their mind wanders off to other things. We definitely need the Lord’s help to have a “oneness” of purpose. It says in James 1:8, “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways


The Bible says in Psalms 86:12-13, “I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.[13] For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.” The Psalmist had a great desire to praise the Lord and to glorify his name. Notice that he said that he would praise the Lord with “all” his heart. That is a high standard. It is the same standard that Jesus gave when He said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.” Why did the Psalmist want to praise God like that? Look at verse thirteen: because of God’s mercy. Mercy means that we will not receive what we deserve. What do we deserve? We deserve hell. “thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.” If you know this truth, you will not be so proud. If you know this truth, you will turn to Jesus for His salvation. And then if you truly appreciate the fact that Jesus delivered you from hell, you will want to do as the Psalmist when he said, “I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart.”


The Bible says in Psalms 86:14-15, “O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them.[15] But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.” The Psalmist had enemies. He called them “violent men.” He also said that they “sought after” his soul. In verse fourteen the Psalmist also called his enemies “the proud.” Human beings can be extremely proud and arrogant. That pride will keep some people from turning to the Lord, and thus will keep people in their sins, and keep them as unspiritual and not in line with God’s way. In other words, their pride makes them evil. That is why it says in Proverbs 6:16-18, “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:[17] A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,[18] An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,[19] A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”


Verse fourteen is a description of many people on the earth, but verse fifteen is a description of God. What a difference! Notice the words used to describe the Lord: “full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.” God is love. God is very gracious, meaning that He is a giver of good things, and He gives freely even when we do not deserve it. God endures us and our failures because he is either trying to save us or to make something out of us if we are already saved. He does not judge us right away. He gives us a long time to repent and turn to Him. He gives us a long time to learn the lessons of faith so that can eventually bear fruit for Christ. It is a good thing that God is “plenteous in mercy” because we are great sinners. We need a lot of mercy. God always has more mercy than we have sin. Mercy is when God does not give us what we deserve. God is also plenteous in “truth.” There are many lies that have been told to many people. Spiritual darkness is all about the lies have been told to people. It is wonderful to know truth when all the world has been deceived. Jesus is the Truth. The Word of God is true. Walk with Jesus and you will be walking in truth. Stay in the Word of God through Bible reading and hearing good sermons, and you will increase in truth. There is an unlimited supply of truth. There is always more to know and experience with the great God and our Savior.


The Bible says in Psalm 86:16, “O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid.” Once again the Psalmist asks for mercy. Every Christian should also seek the mercy of God every day because of our daily sins and failures. We find mercy in regards to our eternal destiny the moment that we accept Christ as our Savior, That is why we have eternal security. Because of this mercy that we have already received, the die that we die we will go to heaven. But we still need mercy daily because we sin daily. God is so holy, and pure and good, that even though we are saved, we need Him to be merciful towards us so that His chastising hand does not come against us. That is why it says in First Corinthians 11:30-32, “For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.[31] For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.[32] But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.”


In Psalm 86:16 the Psalmist asked for “strength.” The spiritual battles can be so great that it is impossible for a mere human being to face them. But one thing about these battles is that they sure do teach us to trust in the Lord. You will either learn to trust in the Lord Jesus for your strength, or you will fail. If you do trust in Him, then you will be saved from whatever calamity comes upon you. If you endure through faith, the calamity will eventually end. That is what Jesus was talking about when He said, “Whosoever endures to the end shall be saved.” He was not talking about the salvation of the soul, but the salvation of your life from a difficult trial or circumstance.


The Bible says in Psalm 86:17, “Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me.” Only God is good. We are not. We are evil. Jesus said in Matthew 19:17, “There is none good, but one, that is, God.” Unless God does good, we will see no good. Unless God does good through us, we will do no good. Thankfully, God is good, and He does many good things for us. But the Psalmist did not only want to experience good things from God, but the Psalmist also wanted the Lord to receive honor and glory for what He had done. If you are a believer, then you understand what is important: to bring glory to the name of the Savior. Hopefully, other will see what the Lord is doing for us, and they will be “ashamed” of themselves for their lack of faith. If the Lord helps me and comforts me, others will see and it will have an effect on them. That is called having a testimony for Christ. Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven     






Copyright; 2019 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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