There’s praise amidst the problems. Worship despite the worry. Thanksgiving even among the threat.
That’s the overall sense I get as I noodle on Psalm 86 this morning.
It’s a song of David. A “poor and needy” David as a “band of ruthless men” have risen up against him and seek his life. David’s cry, “all the day,” has been “preserve my life.” When the going get’s tough, time to cry out!
But here’s the thing, even in his desperate situation, it’s not all 9-1-1 prayers. Though David repeatedly asks God to be gracious to him, though he pleads with God for grace to find strength, though he cries out, “Show me a sign of Your favor”, still the song is also heavily waited with worship. Though “in the day of trouble” David calls on God, he also renders to God the honor and glory due His name.
There is none like You among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like Yours. All the nations You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and shall glorify Your name. For You are great and do wondrous things; You alone are God. Teach me Your way, O LORD, that I may walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name. I give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify Your name forever. For great is Your steadfast love toward me; You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.
(Psalm 86:8-13 ESV)
David’s not just lobbing some last-ditch attempt, “hail Mary” pass as he cries out for God’s intervention. Rather, he calls upon the God whom He has known. Known through the sacred record of Moses as the God who called Abraham with a promise and delivered the children of Israel from Egypt with a vengeance. Known experientially, having himself been called of God to the throne, empowered of God to slay the giant, lifted up by God to experience the mountain top, and cared for by God in valley after valley. David cries out to the God who he has known, again and again, as the One who proves Himself faithful.
And so while he knows the need for the day is great, David also knows that His God is greater. Though there is a pit in his stomach as he awakes and wonders how he will combat his enemies this day, there is also praise on His tongue as he remembers that there is none like His God–the God who has promised never to leave him nor forsake him. So while he might want to refuse the day before him, yet will He rejoice in His God who walks beside him.
Gladden the soul of your servant,
for to You, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. (Psalm 86:4 ESV)
Our God rejoices the soul lifted up to Him. He puts praise on the tongue of those who will take but a few minutes to meditate on Him. He gives a new song to the voice that will declare, despite the circumstance, “Thou art worthy!”
A gladdened soul . . . regardless of the circumstance. Because of a good, good Father . . . who never changes.
Praise Him for His abounding grace. Worship Him for His everlasting glory!