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Wednesday, October 4th, 2023
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 86

Smith's WritingsSmith's Writings

Verses 1-17


The appeal of a godly soul to Jehovah to listen to his cry - (v. 1): attend to his supplication (v. 6): to be taught in the Lord's way (v. 11): and to be saved from evil men (v. 16).

In this psalm the title Lord, or “Adonai,” occurs seven times. It indicates the Lordship of Christ over all, and supposes that the one speaking takes the place of a servant who looks to his Lord (vv. 2, 4, 16).

(vv. 1-5) The psalm opens with a cry to Jehovah to listen to the cry of a suppliant who is conscious of his need, and can plead that he is “pious,” or holy - that is, he fears God, and trusts in God.

The godly man feels his need of daily mercy, and forgiveness, and realizes that the Lord is plenteous in mercy to all that call upon Him.

(vv. 6-10) In the verses that follow the suppliant prays that Jehovah would do more than hear his cry. He desires that Jehovah would “attend” to his supplication, and “answer” his call. He feels that in the day of trouble God must answer His people. Here the godly man pleads the greatness and the power of the Lord, as before he had pleaded the mercy of the Lord. There is none like the Lord; there are no works like His works. He has made the nations for His own glory. He is great and doest wondrous things. He alone is God.

(vv. 11-13) Further, the psalmist not only seeks an answer to his cry in the day of trouble, but he desires to be taught the way of Jehovah, that he may walk in the truth, and glorify the One who in mercy has saved his soul from the lowest Sheol.

(vv. 14-17) Lastly the godly man cries to God concerning his enemies. He is surrounded by the proud who have risen up against him; by the violent who oppose him; and lawless men who live without fear of God.

Nevertheless, if the wicked are against the psalmist, God is for him. And the God who is for him is full of compassion, gracious, long-suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. Therefore he pleads, though men turn against him, that God would turn towards him (JND), strengthen him, and save him from his enemies. Thus the manifest favour of the Lord, would put to shame those that hate him, and all would see that he had been helped and comforted by Jehovah.

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Hamilton. "Commentary on Psalms 86". "Smith's Writings". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hsw/psalms-86.html. 1832.
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