Psalm 86


1  A prayer of David. Hear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. 2  Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God . . .  Please refer to your own Bible for the rest of the Psalm. 


I can hardly think of a biblical character who was more devoted to God than David.  Oh, he wasn't a perfect man, but he was a man after God's own heart.  He did some things that offended God, but he admitted them, repented of them, and found forgiveness.  It seems to me that David had the characteristics that every saint of God ought to have.  I want us to look at three in particular:

·         His honest view of his own character

·         His prophetic understanding of the character of God

·         His life-directing personal integrity


David's statements about himself

In the Psalm's first verse David admits: “I am poor and needy,” an interesting admission coming from the King.  He certainly wasn't talking about worldly wealth.  When he wrote this he had to be viewing himself in relation to the God of the universe; it is a simple expression of his humility before God.  And then David proclaims: “I am devoted to you . . . You are my God.”  Even though David had respect and position and power, he remained a servant of the Most High.  I believe that servant's heart is the single element that made him great.  And David learned not to depend on his own wisdom or power but to trust fully in God.  In vs. 3 David says:  “I call to you all day long,” and in vs. 7, “In the day of my trouble I will call to you.”  David trusted the Lord to enable him to lead; he directed the nation by following God - the secret of godly leadership.  But above all David charted his own course according to God's Word.  In vs. 11 he says: “I will walk in your truth.”  David knew the devastation that pride can bring into a life, and so he made this commitment for his own life: “I will praise you . . . I will glorify your name forever.”


David's statements about the character of God

 David had a real understanding of God and His ways; he didn't just know about God, David knew God.  He writes: “You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you,” and “You are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God.”  David lived in a world that was inhabited by foolish men and false gods, but none of these diverted his attention away from the Lord.  He knew the futility of idolatry and paganism.  But he also knew the love of the true and living God.  And so he wrote: “Great is your love toward me . . . You, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”  


David’s consistent pursuit of godliness

David pursued godliness by pursuing God Himself, by devoting His life to drawing closer to God.  He prays: “Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name."  David was king.  He had the power to command and compel a nation.  He had people standing by who were ready to do whatever he asked.  Yet David says to God: “Teach me your way" and vows: "I will walk in your truth." 


Christ is calling us away from all those things that seem right in our own eyes to that which is true and right and holy.  He is saying to us, "In your times of trouble or need call to me."  He doesn't want us to be self-sufficient.  He wants us to come to Him with whole and undivided hearts, loving Him with all our heart and all our soul and all our mind and all our strength.  He wants us to walk in His way, to trust in His Word, and to live out the abundant life He gives.  He is calling us to fulfill His divine purpose and plan.  And to say with a pure heart and a sober mind: "Jesus, I am devoted to you. You are my God."


--- Pastor Keith Andrews