Friday, March 30, 2007

Every morning, as I begin my prayer time with the Lord, I read through a Psalm in the Hebrew and endeavor to pray my way through it. This morning, I was on Psalm 86. I read through the Psalm, put down my text, and prayed and worshiped. I worshiped God. I was so overcome with the majesty, glory, protection, honor and loftiness of our great God that I simply worshiped Him in adoration.

Furthermore, as I read through the text a few more times, a sermon outline became clear to me:

Here it is:

Psalm 86: A God of Strength
I. The Petition of the Godly (vv.1-7)
II. The Preeminence of God (vv.8-13)
III. The Protection received (vv.14-17)

Let me just go through very quickly and give you a few tidbits that greatly encouraged my heart this morning as I experienced the glory of God.

First, the Petition of the Godly (vv.1-7).

Psalm 86:1-7 Incline Thine ear, O LORD, and answer me; For I am afflicted and needy. 2 Do preserve my soul, for I am a godly man; O Thou my God, save Thy servant who trusts in Thee. 3 Be gracious to me, O Lord, For to Thee I cry all day long. 4 Make glad the soul of Thy servant, For to Thee, O Lord, I lift up my soul. 5 For Thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon Thee. 6 Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer; And give heed to the voice of my supplications! 7 In the day of my trouble I shall call upon Thee, For Thou wilt answer me.

It is in these verses that there are six imperatives. David, as he is praying, is beseeching the Lord of Hosts and asking Him to give heed to his prayer; to listen to him. It is an inclusio - verse 1 and verse 7 say, in essence, the same thing. Thus these are "bookends" and everything is sandwiched in the middle.

Second, the Preeminence of God (vv.8-13).

Psalm 86:8-13 8 There is no one like Thee among the gods, O Lord; Nor are there any works like Thine. 9 All nations whom Thou hast made shall come and worship before Thee, O Lord; And they shall glorify Thy name. 10 For Thou art great and doest wondrous deeds; Thou alone art God. 11 Teach me Thy way, O LORD; I will walk in Thy truth; Unite my heart to fear Thy name. 12 I will give thanks to Thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And will glorify Thy name forever. 13 For Thy lovingkindness toward me is great, And Thou hast delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

Here in verse eight, David cries out boldly and says "There is NO ONE like you" (in Heb. ein kamocha baelohim adonai). What a great statement. Furthermore verse 9 says that all the nations will come and worship (Heb. vayishtachavu). This word for "worship" here has the idea of coming to a superior, falling on one's knees and then bowing prostrate on the ground in absolute worship and homage before the Superior one. Did you catch that? We must worship God like this. This is monotheism. No polytheism. No other gods. Yahweh God is the only God there is.

Third, The protection received by God (vv.14-17).

Psalm 86:14-17 14 O God, arrogant men have risen up against me, And a band of violent men have sought my life, And they have not set Thee before them. 15 But Thou, O Lord, art a God merciful and gracious, Slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth. 16 Turn to me, and be gracious to me; Oh grant Thy strength to Thy servant, And save the son of Thy handmaid. 17 Show me a sign for good, That those who hate me may see it, and be ashamed, Because Thou, O LORD, hast helped me and comforted me.

What a marvelous set of verses. Verse 15 has the familiar phrase that we find elsewhere in the NT (Exod 34; Psalm 103) that the Lord is "compassionate" (rachum) and "gracious" (chanun); slow to anger (Lit. "long of nose") and abundant with loyal love (chesed) and truth (emeth). This is the God that we serve and it is this God and Him alone that is able to protect the Godly when adversaries arise (vv.14).

Finally David concludes by saying that "you O Yahweh have strengthened me and you have comforted me." May we take comfort this day in the strength and the comfort that only the Lord Almighty can give.

Be encouraged this day. Worship God. Meditate on His Word. Be excited about him. Sing to him. Leap for joy in worship. And bow before Him in utter homage and laud.

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