Reading: Psalm 86: 1-10 & 16-17
Verse 16: Turn to me and have mercy on me; grant strength to your servant.
We often cry out to God. We often feel as if we are hard-pressed and God alone can intervene. Then we are grateful and offer up our praises to God. Such is the content of today’s Psalm. David is writing intimately about the experiences we can all have with God. For ages this Psalm had been read by Jews and then by Christians in times of trial and suffering because it connects us so well to the relationship we have with God.
The psalmist opens with a request to be heard by God. David reminds God of his devotion to God and seeks mercy and joy from God. From time to time it is good to remind ourselves of our devotion to God – it recalls for us our part in the relationship. David next reminds God of who He is: “forgiving and good” and “abounding in love”. We come to God for mercy and help because of God’s nature and because of God’s great love for us. It is good to remember this in times when we have allowed the cares and troubles to crowd out our connection to God.
David then turns to the omnipotent nature of God. “There is none like you” establishes God as the one true God. David envisions all nations coming to worship and bring glory to God. God is over all. The evidence of God’s power: marvelous deeds. In the works of His hands we see the greatness of God. The Psalm ends by returning to the request for help: “Turn to me and have mercy on me; grant strength to your servant”. Be with me, give me strength, grant mercy to me. These are familiar refrains. They always have been and they always will be. David closes we a great reminder for us: “for you, O Lord, have helped me and comforted me”. Our great God of love remains steadfast and true. God is our help in all ways. Thanks be to God.