Scare the Bullies: Psalms 86

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.”

ybic, Bryan

kyrie elesion. (Lord, have mercy.)


I wrote this on Feb. 21, 2012 and it was posted on my second website, “” 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.

Significant Worship

A Psalm Study, 108:1-6

A Song. A Psalm of David.

 1 My heart is confident in you, O God;
      no wonder I can sing your praises with all my heart!
 2 Wake up, lyre and harp!
      I will wake the dawn with my song.
 3 I will thank you, Lord, among all the people.
      I will sing your praises among the nations.
 4 For your unfailing love is higher than the heavens.
      Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
 5 Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens.
      May your glory shine over all the earth.

6 Now rescue your beloved people.
      Answer and save us by your power.

–Psalm 108:1-6, NLT

David has tapped into strength and significance.  The astounding part of it is–it’s a Person, not a method.  He has a relationship that alters the reality around him.  David is outrageously enthusiastic about this.  He exudes a confidence that can’t be contained.  Our strength is in a person!  (Not religion, a moral code, ethics or even discipleship.)  It’s Jesus, it is a relationship, that is personal–a intimate friendship.

David refers to a ‘harp and lyre.’  These are obsolete for the most part.  But I think any musical instrument can be used.  A piano or a guitar, (even a cherry red Stratocaster) is quite acceptable.  But there is an interesting shift.  David’s heart and soul is his musical instrument!  Worship starts right there, not in a set of drums.  His heart is the primary place of worship.  That is where worship must happen.  And we can easily confuse this.

King David understands innately the significance of worshipping God.  He visualizes going out to all the peoples of the world–not as a diplomat, but as a worshipper.  That is his central thought and theme.  No trade treaties, or ambassadors or even peace envoys.  But Jehovah God is his ingrained purpose.

And worshipping Him is a reasonable thing.  David proclaims two attributes that are ‘sparkplugs’ for his spiritual life, (v.4).

  1. Love
  2. Faithfulness

These ignite his love and worship.  When King David thinks about them, he can’t help but sing and worship.  And they are extremely significant for us as well.  When you think of God’s love and His unceasing faithfulness–and if they are properly seen, and understood, you too will worship.  As a matter of fact the existence of heart worship is evidence of a healthy spiritual heart.

David wants to God to show Himself to the whole earth–everyone!  Far jungle tribesman and Eskimos, all need to see God!  Everybody gets to see Him. That is the wonderful purpose of Christian missions.  David wants desperately to share this with all.  He has a true zeal (and sometimes that scares us).

Verse 6 hints of the existence of sin and evil.  These are things so engrained and prevalent in our society, and in our hearts–we need a deliverer and a savior.  Jesus has to step in.  We have no other options, and our creator has got to be our Savior.  When we begin to realize our desperate predicament, all the vanity (an old fashioned word) and emptiness, we are halfway there. I encourage you to worship, everyday.


ybic, Bryan


The King Concept

“Power and peace will be in his kingdom
       and will continue to grow forever.
    He will rule as king on David’s throne
       and over David’s kingdom.
    He will make it strong
       by ruling with justice and goodness
       from now on and forever.
    The Lord All-Powerful will do this
       because of his strong love for his people.”

Isaiah 9:7, NCV

Things are now finally falling into place.  Jesus brings with Him a very definite sense of the Kingdom.  Darkness has been tricked.  It has been totally overcome by His presence.  The twin attributes of power and of peace are penetrating everything they touch.  We will no longer have to put up with deception and sin.

This intervention will continue, forever.  All I can do, is witness to its power.  Nothing phases it.  It continues to advance without melodramatics or manipulation.  He fully intends to sit on the throne of David; it is His by right and by deed.  Because, after all, He is the true King.

He is not just a token king, or a king in idea or theory.  He does rule, fully and completely.  He fortifies the kingdom and brings an intentional awareness to His subjects of true love and peace.  The concepts of justice and goodness, which have never really been considered, are released into the lives of the people.

There is a pervasive sense that this will continue and endure.  The King and the kingdom has come  (and there isn’t a thing we can do about it.)  This is not a ‘flash in the pan’.  It has the idea of eternity stamped all over it.  What He is doing is eternal.  It is not temporary or fleeting.  What He is doing is nothing more than revolution in the spiritual realm.

Our verse in Isaiah 9, speaks resoundly about ‘love’.  It is His love that pushes through all this turmoil and confusion.  He loves us to the extent of dying in our place.  Love is what energizes Him, it causes Him to look for us.  Love are the ‘rails’ He moves on, to come to us.  When He finally locates us, He purchases us with His own money off of the slave block.  No questions and no demands.

Because He is all-powerful, He cannot be limited to the status of a ‘quasi-God’. His complete strength allows Him the option of doing whatever He chooses.  There are voices, scattered and strained, that have the audacity to claim that they really rule.  But if we think about, we discover that this is nothing more then a spiritual comedy being played out.

As we think about Isaiah, and his prophetic awareness, we are brought to an understanding that absolutely ‘rocks’ our world.  Jesus flips it all on its head, and the weakest become the strongest. He alone is our hope.  And He has done it all.


ybic, Bryan