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 PSALM 86:1-5


"Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy. Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee. Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily. Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee."



 A Preacher in his Study







These first verses are powerful, Psalm 86:1-5.

They introduce us to this great "Prayer of David," as the chapter is so carefully labeled.

Here is verse one, already putting a request before the Lord. "Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy." Psalm 86:1

The opening verb, "bow down," translates "natah" in Hebrew. It means "to bend, to incline, to extend, to stretch out!"

God here is pictured as a caring Father, one keenly interested in the cries of His children!

This "bowing down" implies a certain amount of effort of God's part, too.

God's "ear" emphasizes His ability to "hear" our needs!

The name of God used, "LORD," is Jehovah God! The Eternal "I AM" of the universe!

The auxiliary verb is "hear," something God does very well.

Yet "anah" means, in the King James Version anyway, "to answer!" By actual count it is rendered "to hear" 42 times and "to answer" 242 times in the Old Testament!

The Psalmist is exhorting the Lord to come down and help him!

Much like the Old Testament Prophet: "Oh that Thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence." Isaiah 64:1

God can do that!

Next, the Psalmist gives a reason, advances a holy "argument," as to why God would hear and answer such a prayer.

"For I am poor and needy," he says.

Not, "I am King!"

Not, "I am wealthy!"

Not, "I have earned it!"

But, "I am poor and needy."

The word "poor" is "aniy," meaning "afflicted, lowly, humble." It is derived from "anah," meaning "afflicted."

Lord, I must have Thy Help!

It is absolutely essential!

The corresponding word "needy" is "ebyon," that is, "to be in want."

These are the folks God helps!

"Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy."

Get ready, praying friend.

I strongly suspect the answer is on the way.

God is listening!

Yes, once again: "Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy."

A short prayer, but with possibly unending consequences, blessings!

This "model" request can be yours, too!

Pray it today.

See if the Lord does not indeed "bow down His great Ear," and then "hear and answer" you!


                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




There are five of them.

"Sentence Prayers," they might be called.

Short but wise petitions, brought to the Throne of Grace!

Yesterday in my study I saw a book named something like this: "The Ten Second Prayer Principle."

Any of David prayers here could be prayed in less than five seconds, I guess.

Today we focus on Psalm 86:2, but only the first half of the verse, the first prayer it lists.

"Preserve my soul; for I am holy." That's it! A request, buttressed by a reason for its being granted.

The verb "preserve," is "shamar" in Hebrew, used nearly 500 times in the Old Testament! It means "to guard, to protect, to keep, to observe."

David is asking the Lord to "watch over" his very soul!

Now that's security!

The verb is an imperative, as are most Old Testament prayers! It is as if God is being required to do this!  That's bold praying! Grammatically there is no "as if" to it, God is being told what to do!

But now read Isaiah 45:11, the basis for such theology. "Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me."


"Preserve my soul; for I am holy." Psalm 86:2a

The noun "soul" is nephesh," from a base verb that means "to take breath." By consensus one's soul consists of his or her "mind and will and emotions." That's a good workable definition. But by literal Hebrew syntax the soul is that part of you that "lives!" It's your very life!

David could be asking God not to let Saul kill him!

Saul, or anyone else!

For more days to live, weeks maybe, or months or years.

God can do that!

He added fifteen years to King Hezekiah's life in one afternoon!


David as a "saved" man here could be trusting the Lord for "eternal security," for his "soul."

Or he could as easily be asking God for a "hedge of safety" around his earthly existence, long life and good days.

Either way, it's a good prayer!

"Preserve my soul; for I am holy." Still, Psalm 86:2.

Now for the reason such a prayer might be granted.

"For I am holy," says the petitioner.

Now to us that sounds like "bragging."

But it is not.

In fact, was David all that holy?


Only in the sense that he was "forgiven."

He had killed people, many of them.

He had committed adultery.

He had lied and deceived time and time again. To stay alive nonetheless, but still, such things were wrong.

No, the word David uses for "holy" is different. Only found 32 times in all the Bible, "chasiyd" means "kind." Or "merciful." It is directly related to the major root word "hesed," the noun for God's "lovingkindness."

Here's a picture or two of "hesed."

One, The God Who "stooped down" to our level, sending a sinless Saviour to die on Calvary that we might be saved!

And two, the God Who entered into a "covenant" relationship with us old sinners, after we had repented and been washed in the Blood of the Lamb! "Covenant" here virtually means we became God's Bride and He became our Groom, our Husband!

David being "holy" means that the subject is becoming more like His God!

God is kind and faithful and loving and godly, so is David!

In the King James Bible this word "holy" or "chasiyd" is translated like this: "saints" 19 times, "holy" 3 times, "merciful" 3 times, "godly" 2 times, "good" 1 time, "godly man" 1 time, and "Holy One" 1 time.

Can we put it all together now?

"Preserve my soul; for I am holy." Psalm 86:2a

A short prayer, but there is nothing little about its meaning!

By the way, whom do you trust for preservation?

Life insurance?

The Law?

Seat belts?

Or Almighty God?

And for your soul in the spiritual sense, eternity in Heaven?

The Church?

I hope not!

The baptistry?

The preacher?

Your good works?

None will do.

"LORD, preserve my soul," David addresses Jehovah Himself!

And by "holy" he does not means "sinless," but the quality of becoming more and more like His Father in Heaven!

More kind.

More gentle.

More victorious over sin.

More "godly!"


Now let's blend the first verse and a half that we have studied so far. "Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy. Preserve my soul; for I am holy." Psalm 86:1-2a, with the "a" just meaning the first clause of the second verse.

Two of five requests!

Little prayers!

Come back tomorrow for more!

The Lord willing.

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




This prayer is "as good as it gets!"

I know of no other Old Testament Text that so nearly equals "the sinner's prayer!"

Or maybe even better yet, so well describes the heart-cry of an already "born-again" Christian as well!

Here it is, short but powerful! "O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee." Psalm 86:2b

When a persons asks God "to save" him, salvation issues have surfaced!

But then again, when terms like "my God" and "thy servant" are used, the Psalmist has no doubt already established a relationship with the Lord. And a good one, at that!

The name for God used here is "elohiym." The opening syllable, "el," means "power or strength or might!" This is the all-powerful God! This is the God Who can do anything!

This is God who "in the beginning created heaven and earth," as Genesis 1:1 tells us.

If this God cannot save, then all are lost!

The verb "save" is "yasha," which in addition to "save" means "deliver, help, preserve, defend and rescue!"


He "saves" a sinner from Hell!

He "helps, preserves, defends and rescues" the saint from many dangers, toils and snares!

The "prayer" nature of this request is evident in the "imperative" mood the verb carries.

The need is urgent!

The noun "servant," used either generally or personally, is spelled "ebed." David might be insinuating that all Jewish people are the "servants" of God. Or, conversely, he might just have himself in mind. Either way, "ebed" simply means a common "slave." One who is "in bonds," chained until bought by a master!

This is a term of humility.

Paul used the same thought throughout his New Testament writings, calling himself again and again a "servant" of Jesus Christ. There the word is Greek, "doulos," still meaning "bondslave."

Jesus "bought" us with His Blood!

We then "belong" to Him!

That process is called "redemption."

So, we are His servants!

To the Corinthians Paul writes: "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." 1st Corinthians 6:19-20, we are not our own!

Now David is gong to tell us something else, an additional fact. "O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee."

"Trust" in God is vital.

The participle is "batach," meaning "to have confidence" in Someone! "To feel secure" in That Person! One major lexicon defines "batach" as "one falling down upon his face!" Obviously, in the Presence of God!

"Batach" carries with it so much confidence that it also implies "no care or worry" on the part of its possessor!

Absolute assurance!

"O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee."

God, Thou are my Everything, my All, the Source of all Power!

Thou has redeemed me with the Blood of thy Son Jesus!

I am Thy loyal servant!

And I have tried to gear my life so as to "trust" in Thee completely!

And dear Lord, as far as my "trust" has matured, please "save" me from whatever threatens!

Deliver me from all evil!

Defend me from Satan's attacks!

And rescue me out of all my afflictions!

I bow before Thee today, leaning on Thee alone, confiding in Thee as my Heavenly Father.


Prayer, Old Testament or New, seldom rises any higher than this!

I think David just reached the lofty heights of  the great Apostle Paul, at least in the prayer department! And before today, to me anyway, Paul was the top prayer-warrior in all the Bible.

One more time David, pray it please. For our instruction. "O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee."

Thank you.

And thanks unto Thee, Lord, for hearing and answering such pleas!

What a God You are!

There is none like Thee!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




God's Mercy cannot be earned.

It is a gift, from Heaven above.

It's part of the Lord's very "Being."

But even with that said, David the Psalmist still asks the Lord for that very Thing, the Mercy of Almighty God!

Here's the exact prayer, one of five short requests that begin the great 86th Psalm. "Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily." Psalm 86:3

This plea is lovely. "Be merciful unto me, O Lord."

And the reason behind it is commendable too. "For I cry unto thee daily."

The words "be merciful" constitute the verb in that first clause. "Chanan" is the first word in the Hebrew sentence, as it is in English. That means it is to receive great preeminence of meaning, great emphasis.

This verse is all about MERCY!

"Chanan" means "to show someone favour, to show grace, to show pity and compassion."

It's background etymologically means "to bend down!" Or even "to decline." In the King James Bible it is translated "to encamp" 47 times! And "to pitch" as in "pitching a tent" several more times! "To abide" 3 times! "To dwell" and "to rest" 2 times each also.

Look at this!

God's "mercy" is really God "bending down" to come visit us!

Him lowering Himself, "declining," taking on the form of a man, to die on the Cross for our sins!

God coming and "encamping" in our midst! That's the verb meaning of "dwelt" in John 1:14. "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

The verb "dwelt," in Greek of course, is "skenoo," literally, "to pitch a tent!" Yes, "skenos" means "tent or tabernacle!"


David is indirectly praying for Jesus to come!

And come Jesus did!

A thousand years after David, but still, He came!

This prayer was answered in a far deeper way that David might have ever imagined!

David at least is asking something like this: "Lord, be kind unto me. Shower me with Thy blessings."

But, on a deeper level, He is pleading for God Himself, Mercy personified, to "bend over" and "to come down" and "to dwell" in our very midst!

You know what?

God is still "bending down" to help us!

Even 2,000 years after Jesus has died, been buried and risen again!

He comes to us again and again!

In fact, New Testament style, Jesus "never leaves us nor forsakes us" now. He is "with us always!"

But still, on occasion, as our needs demand, or as our prayers request ... He "comes down" in a special and personal and overwhelming way!

A visitation from the Lord, in our hearts!

Like yesterday as I was driving!

The Lord came down and spent some time with me!

I really believe that.

I was there! So was He!

David, pray it again: "Be merciful unto me, O Lord."

Listen to Habakkuk pray along the same lines. "O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD ... in wrath remember mercy." Habakkuk 3:2

We today still need His Mercy!

His Graciousness, His Favour, His Pity!

I want all of it I can get!

Now, to the last part of David's third prayer. "For I cry unto thee daily."

It's almost as if David is saying, "Lord, give me Mercy please, and if not today, I will be back tomorrow seeking it all over again!"

The verb "cry" is "qara," that is, "to call out loud!" This is not necessarily silent prayer. It can get emotional, fervent!

David, maybe outdoors among his sheep, is pacing the pastures, begging God for His Favour and Grace and Mercy!

Mercy, which was ultimately given in the first coming of the Lord Jesus Christ! But was bestowed thousands, no, millions of times in "handfuls of goodness" dropped on God's praying people through the ages!

"Mercy," O Lord, "I need Thy Mercy!"

And, immediately, "Here it comes!"

In countless different forms, God's goodness and grace and favour!

"For I cry unto thee daily."

The adverb "daily" means of course every time the sun rises. "Yom" suggests "to get hot!" And that's what happens nearly every day in the Holy Land! The Hebrews used that word picture, "getting hot," for a definition for "day." It fits.

At noon, seven times a week, David can be found, asking God for blessings!

It must be all right to pray that way!

It's in the Bible!

"Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily."

Let's add this little "arrow" to our prayer arsenal, folks!

God, Who is already better to us than we could ever deserve, just might drop on us another Bucket filled with Goodness and Blessing and Joy and Peace and no-telling what else!

After all He can certainly "open upon you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." Malachi 3:10


                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




Today we study the fifth in a series of short prayers, all found in Psalm 86:1-5. This one is my "favorite," if you can say that about a portion of Scripture.

David asks of the Lord: "Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul." Psalm 86:4

He just requested an attitude!

I did not even know you could do that!

I thought an attitude was something that developed within you as your responded to outside stimuli.

But David believes, and rightly so, that stimuli or not, God can give a man or woman a right attitude!

Or, in this case, a joyful attitude!

I say David is "right" in his prayer because God has recorded every bit of it in the Word!

"Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul." Psalm 86:4

The first thing I notice is that it's in the "lifting up of my soul," lifting it heavenward, toward the good Lord, that this "rejoicing" comes!

The verb "lift up" is "nasa," said like "naw-saw'," meaning "to carry upward, to bear upward, to rise upward, to exalt."

How does one "lift" himself or herself toward God?

I think, primarily, through God's Word!

Paul once called the Scriptures "the Mind of Christ!" See 1st Corinthians 2:16.

If I lift my "soul," my mind and will and emotions, toward the Lord, filtering them through the Bible, I am certainly following David's Psalm 86:4 example. "For unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul."

Another way to "lift up" our souls is through worship! Adoring our sweet Lord Jesus and faithful Heavenly Father! Praising Him with all our being!

Study the Word!

Worship the Saviour!

Then, pray the first half of this little prayer, "Rejoice the soul of thy servant."

Both halves of the verse refer to the "soul." And "Nephesh" means that part of me which "breathes!" That which is alive! Basically, to the Hebrew mind, one's "soul" was one's very "life!"

David is asking for joy in every part of his life, every portion of his personality, all over!

Total joy!

Complete joy!

John the Apostle, in 1st John 1:4, would later call it "full joy!"

And Peter likens it to "joy unspeakable and full of glory" in 1st Peter 1:8.

"Servant," the noun used, is just "ebed," a "slave." Everyone who is saved has been "redeemed" or "bought" by the Blood of Jesus! We are His "servants!"

Let's begin to put it all together again. "Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul." Psalm 86:4

Oh, yes. The verb itself, "rejoice!" The first word in both the English and Hebrew Texts, it is critically important to understanding this prayer.

And "samach" means "to cause to be glad!" It's verb "stem" is the most excitable one in Hebrew, the most intense way of saying a thing! This prayer, to the born-again Hebrew mind, would sound something like this: "God, really powerfully completely make me glad and happy and thrilled in Jesus!"

Synonyms and other definitions for "rejoice" include both "flourishing" and "taking pleasure in" Someone or Something. Here that Person is the dear Lord and that Thing is His Word!

Lord, make my soul "flourish" in Thee!

The more I eat Thy Food, Thy Bible, Thy Word, let me all the more "burst out" with new life and joy and power! That "budding forth" is the "flourishing" part! Growth!

Lord, let me derive more and more pleasure, sheer pleasure, 100% pleasure, from Thee and Thy Word!

Pray it!

Expect it!

Stay in God's Word!

Let it lift you higher and higher toward the Lord!

And ... wow ... there it is!

That joy!

The prayer has been answered!

"Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul." 

What a way to live!


It's nearly indescribable!

Here's how Paul prayed this prayer, in nearly the same words: "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy ...." Romans 15:13

See that?

"All joy!"

This joy is real!

This joy overflows our lives!

This joy is transformational, changing us day by day!

I must close this Lesson today. I can't be too long. Folks read these lines before they go to work. They do not have all day to study, at least right now.

But, this morning, it's hard to quit!

That joy is "all over me!"

Still, I think I will ask for some more!

"Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul."

So prayed David in Psalm 86:4.

And so can we still pray today, these very words!

Just as long as we also are "lifting up" our souls to the same Lord!

Try it!

God will be true to His Word!

And this amazing joy will be yours, a gift from Him!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




When we ask things of God, even things like safety and mercy and joy, we are depending on God's essential Goodness, His Kindness and Grace!

Therefore, in Psalm 86:5, the last verse of our Text, God is described in reference to these traits.

"For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee." Psalm 86:5

Without the Truth of verse 5, verses 1-4 would carry no power at all!

God will not "hear me," as asked in verse 1, if He is not responsive to those who "call" on Him!

God will not "preserve" me, as asked in verse 2, if He is not "good!"

God will not "save" me, still verse 2, if He is not "ready to forgive."

God will not "be merciful" to me, as asked in verse 3, if He is not "plenteous" in that very mercy!

And God certainly will not give me abundant "joy," verse 4, if He is not all of the things listed in this fifth verse, good and forgiving and merciful to "all who call upon Him!"

Verse 5, while at the end of these amazing petitions, is really the "foundation" for them!

"For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee." Psalm 86:5

Here's a "theology" lesson, a study in the "science of God!"

"Lord" here is not Jehovah, the letters are not all capitalized. The Name is spelled "Adonai" and is the predominant Name for God in this Paragraph. It occurs here three times, while Elohiym, "God," occurs only once. Jehovah or "LORD" is only used once also. In these five verses.

"Adonai" means "Master, the One in control, Owner," and even "Husband" is implied! He is our Bridegroom!

Concerning "Adonai," there is None above Him! He is completely and absolutely sovereign, no one being more powerful!

No Higher Authority exists!

He is "Lord!"

And now of "Adonai" we learn three things in today's verse.

He is "good."

He is "ready to forgive"

And He is "plenteous in mercy."

To whom?

To "all" who call upon Him!

"For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee." Psalm 86:5

"Good" is the word "tob," meaning "pleasant, agreeable, excellent, precious, beautiful, wealthy!" What a list!

And truly, God is Good!

"Ready to forgive," as Grace-packed as any Old Testament word could ever be, translates "sallach." It means "willing to pardon," or "willing to spare" from ultimate punishment!

"Plenteous in mercy" follows the Hebrew words "rab hesed." The first little word is an adjective. "Rab" means "much, great, many," or "in abundance!" And "mercy" is the beautiful noun "hesed," a God Who has "stooped down" to meet me and my needs, condescending to my human level! It "hints" at the very incarnation and Virgin Birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

And this "hesed" God also has entered into "covenant" relationship with us! Via the Blood of Jesus! He, like in a wedding ceremony, has become the Protector and Provider and Bridegroom to my once-lost soul!

And all these Blessings, great as they are, are not reserved for just a handful of select Jews somewhere. Or wealthy Gentiles!


They can be enjoyed by "all them that call upon" this great God!

"For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee." Psalm 86:5

"All" is "kol," no exceptions!

Whosoever will may come!

The verb "call" means to pray to Him. "Qara" does suggest "crying out loud" though. Vigorous praying! Begging, if necessary!

And the nature of "qara" here, a Qal participle in Hebrew, means that this "calling" can be more than just a one-time thing!

I can pray to Him day after day after day!


And He will keep on being "good!"

And "ready to forgive!"

And always "plenteous in mercy," to them who humble themselves and cry out to Him!

Thank You, Lord!

For this Lesson, Psalm 86:5, on Who You Are!

"For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee."

It's because of This great God, that we can pray!

Pray with the assurance that He will answer!


                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




We have just completed an exposition of the first five verses of Psalm 86, containing one short prayer after another.

A total of five requests, also called petitions.

1. "Bow down Thine ear, O Lord, hear me."

2. "Preserve my soul."

3. "Save Thy servant that trusteth in Thee."

4. "Be merciful unto me, O Lord."

5. "Rejoice the soul of Thy servant."

What prayers, short but powerful! They include everything from assurance to safety to joy!


Now today I want to introduce you to the rest of the Psalm.

This great chapter, in its "title" anyway, is called "A Prayer Of David." You know, those small words that appear just above verse 1, also called the "superscript."

Many of the Psalms are prayers of course. But this one, by divinely inspired name, certainly is.

It's best known verse is, no doubt, verse 7. "In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me." This is David talking to the Lord.

That noun "trouble" means such conditions of life that "squeeze and tighten" in all around you! Even putting "weight or pressure" on you from above! It is spelled "tzsrah" in Hebrew.

And "call" is that "qara" word, "to cry out loud" to God! Nothing silent about this prayer! It's urgent and almost panic laden!

Then comes the reason why David can so call on our great God!

"For" Thou wilt answer me!

The preposition "for" is basically equivalent to our word "because." The grammar book just told me that in Hebrew "kiy" is a conjunction. One meaning "because that" or "surely" or "as though as."

It's like this: "When troubles comes, I'm praying to the Lord! Because no doubt, He will answer me!"

"Answer" or "anah" is "to respond, to testify," even "to bear witness!" God is going to do or say something when we pray!

David is sure!

Then verse 12 of the Psalm contains a great commitment to the Lord our God. Here it is: "I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore." These words are nearly self-explanatory.

The verb "praise" is "yadah," picturing a man "throwing" chunks of thanks and adoration heavenward! Up to the God Who is the Giver of all blessings! Of every good and perfect gift!

To "glorify" is "to make something heavy!" To "weight it down" with honor and respect and reverence! To invest it with great significance!

What a life goal this would be!

How long does David plan to praise and glorify God?

"For evermore," in Hebrew, "olam," to the very "vanishing point!" He will worship God to the very end of the calendar! Until time can no longer be "seen!" In other words, through all eternity!

Then, lastly, that 17th verse.

Which is too big for us to discuss in detail.

Today, anyway.

But let's read it at least.

"Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me." Psalm 86:17

This is to be prayed when one is discouraged.

When he or she is in one of those "long dry spells" spiritually.

But it also can be prayed in the very midst of revival!

When things are going quite well!

Anytime is suitable.

Anytime you need a little encouraging "token" from God!

And, guaranteed, He will send one!

At least one!

Maybe we should look more closely at this verse, but tomorrow.

The Lord willing.

I've just got to know what a "token" is!

And how God can "show" me one!

Again, maybe tomorrow.

Psalm 86, a whole Psalm that is a prayer!

Just begging to be voiced before the Lord God Almighty!

Think I'll go pray.

Anybody want to join me?

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




There is a part of today's Text that I have not understood, not at all, until just a few minutes ago!

David, the writer of Psalm 86, lived a dangerous lifestyle. In this Psalm alone we learn several things about him.

He stays in "trouble" a lot of the time! "In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me." Psalm 86:7

His heart is often "divided," likely a term meaning distracted, worried, drawn in different directions! Again, due to many "dangers, toils and snares. "Lord, unite my heart to fear thy name." Psalm 86:11

David has often been near death, tragic death! And when a sinner near Hell, the lowest Hell! That is, until God rescued him! Again, see the danger. "Thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell." Psalm 86:13

He is chased by the wicked and opposed by the vain and godless! "O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them." Psalm 86:14

In fact, another Psalm that quotes David's enemies relates this: "Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God." Psalm 3:2


So many people "against" David!

Then, no wonder in this Psalm of prayer, Psalm 86, David finishes the composition by praying one more thing. And he asks this of the Lord, in his words: "That they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed." Psalm 86:17

He wants those hateful hoards to know that God is real!

That God is the great Protector!

That God can overrule trouble in His children's lives, sending great victory and awesome blessings as well!

Here's the finale of Psalm 86, and what a Verse it is! "Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me." Psalm 86:17, the whole verse this time.

"In the face of all those who hate me, Lord!"

"To prove them and their many gods wrong!"

"To Glorify Thy Name, O God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob!"

I humble ask: "Show me a token for good."

A "token" is any "sign or signal or mark," even "miracle" twice in the King James Bible. "Oth" it is spelled. It is derived from the little word "uth," meaning "consent or agreement!"

"God, would You please send me a little indicator that You 'agree' with me on these great issues of life?"

"That You have defended my cause!"

"Something I can see!"

David needed encouragement, too!

And the enemies of David would, in turn, have to shut their mouths and "be ashamed!" That verb, "bush," means "to be disappointed, to be confused, to be frustrated, to be delayed" in their wicked plans!

"God, prove Thyself alive!"

"Show Thy Mighty Hand!"

"Reveal Thy Approval of this Thy struggling servant!"

And if you are having trouble with the concept of the Lord being "on your side," read here: "If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, now may Israel say; if it had not been the LORD who was on our side, when men rose up against us: then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us." Psalm 124:1-3

Back to our prayer verse: "Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me."

The verb "shew" is "asah," meaning "to build, make or fashion," really "to manufacture" something!

God, custom make for me a "token" for good, please!

"Encourage me and frustrate the enemies who hate us so!" Thus prays David the man of God!

Not a token for evil, but for "good!" That's "tob," meaning "pleasant, agreeable, excellent, appropriate," and half a dozen other wonderful things!

"God, help me!"

"Give me some blessing that will help my downcast soul!"

"And dear Lord, I would not ask this of Thee, except Thou has done this, and even more, time and time again in the past!"

"Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me."

See the capitalized words.

In past days, God has been David's Helper and Comforter!

"Oh, God, do it again, please!"

"Do it again!"

The verb "holpen" is "azar." It means "to run to someone's side to aid them in time of danger!"

To be that person's "help meet," literally!

How many times has God helped you?

And God as "Comforter" is "nacham," the Old testament name "Nahum." Remember the Prophet?

This word means "to console, to ease, to show pity and sorrow." Jesus the Man of Sorrows knows how to comfort us in our times heartache and grief!

Lord, David needs a "token," anything You could send him that will "help" him and "comfort" him please.

And, at the same time, "confuse" his many enemies!

That will be quite a "token," won't it?

I went through the Bile, looking of the recorded uses of this word "oth," in English "token."

The "rainbow" was one in Genesis 9:12-13.

So were the "plagues" of Egypt, Exodus 4:17.

And the "blood" of the little slain lamb, Exodus 12:13.

Aaron's "rod" was, too! Numbers 17:10

As well as Rahab's "red cord," Joshua 2:12.

And Ahaz's "sign," a Virgin would "conceive" and have a baby! So promised Isaiah 7:14.

Now any "token" God might send us would be unlike these, but still just as powerful and convincing!

"God, You pick the 'token,' please."

Just send something today to uplift my heart!

Any "blessing" that can bring a breath of fresh air to my soul!


A fitting conclusion to David's beautiful prayer.

Is the devil after you, today?

Have the enemies named fear and doubt and fretfulness been chasing you for weeks?

Then you are a prime candidate to pray it!

"Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me."

Someone try it today!

Add these words to your "prayer arsenal!"

Shoot this arrow from time to time!

God will respond favorably!

I guarantee it, on the authority of His precious Word!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



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