14 O God, insolent men have risen up against me;
a band of ruthless men seeks my life,
and they do not set you before them.
15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me;
give your strength to your servant,
and save the son of your maidservant.
17 Show me a sign of your favor,
that those who hate me may see and be put to shame
because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.
Ps. 86:14-17, ESV
This the last of three parts, and we should be impressed with its diversity. There are vista points here, where we can stop and wonder. I remember lounging in the California redwoods, just meandering and soaking it in. It basically undid me. And after awhile, I found it hard to speak. (Itself a minor miracle!)
But scripture can do this as well. When we really start looking, and praying, and meditating we start to appreciate all the Father has done for us. And it’s not just “deep thinkers,” who can do this. Actually, deep thinking is a liability. It is the simple, the humble, the slow, those who have absurd patience– they are the ones who can do some serious reflecting. Children do it best I think.
V. 14, is pretty much David’s reality. He is on Satan’s “hit list.” He has a “contract’ on his life. He must deal with this as he moves through his day. I can imagine that this could be quite corrosive and detrimental to your soul; your heart and your mind. He must have thought, ‘Can I really trust this person, does he have a dagger?’ I would have been a mess, twisted up with paranoia and fear.
V. 15, each word used in this verse is quite precise, each phrase carefully used. This is not David flattering God, it is not “boot-licking” mush. Rather, this verse is an accurate portrayal of the Lord God’s character. It is David’s appraisal of how he has experienced God, the things he has found out about Him. David has a long history with the Father, and he reminds himself of how good God really was.
V. 16, in this verse we see David appealing to God on the basis of relationship. Also, David speaks of a kind of “future grace.” Yes, good things have happened in his life, God things. But that isn’t enough for the present moment, and the future. David needs freshness, a grace tailored just for today, custom built.
David’s source for his survival is in God’s cupboards. He knows this, and boldly steps up and asks for it. Interestingly David doesn’t come as an anointed king, having a majestic aura. When he refers to himself, it is as ”the son of your maidservant.”
V. 17, “The Message” Bible is interesting in how it translates this particular verse:
“Make a show of how much you love me
so the bullies who hate me will stand there slack-jawed,
As you, God, gently and powerfully
put me back on my feet.”
kyrie elesion. (Lord, have mercy.)
I wrote this on Feb. 21, 2012 and it was posted on my second website, “Psalmslife.com.” If you happen to like this kind of teaching, there is a “whole boatload” on that site, 70-80 posts just on the Psalms. I would be honored if you would check it out. –B.