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Psalm 86: “Give Me A Sign, I Want to Believe?” January 31, 2014

Posted by michaelnjohns in Uncategorized.

Psalm 86

Supplication for Help against Enemies

A Prayer of David.

1 Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me,

    for I am poor and needy.

2 Preserve my life, for I am devoted to you;

    save your servant who trusts in you.

You are my God; 3 be gracious to me, O Lord,

    for to you do I cry all day long.

4 Gladden the soul of your servant,

    for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

5 For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,

    abounding in steadfast love to all who call on you.

6 Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;

    listen to my cry of supplication.

7 In the day of my trouble I call on you,

    for you will answer me.


8 There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,

    nor are there any works like yours.

9 All the nations you have made shall come

    and bow down before you, O Lord,

    and shall glorify your name.

10 For you are great and do wondrous things;

    you alone are God.

11 Teach me your way, O Lord,

    that I may walk in your truth;

    give me an undivided heart to revere your name.

12 I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,

    and I will glorify your name forever.

13 For great is your steadfast love toward me;

    you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.


14 O God, the insolent rise up against me;

    a band of ruffians seeks my life,

    and they do not set you before them.

15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,

    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.

16 Turn to me and be gracious to me;

    give your strength to your servant;

    save the child of your serving girl.

17 Show me a sign of your favor,

    so that those who hate me may see it and be put to shame,

    because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.


It boils down to Matthew 6:11 for me today. 

I guess, if David’s prayers are any indication, that I can’t feel lonely.  Psalm 38:22, Psalm 70:1, Psalm 71:12 all ask God to come quick and help.  Psalm 3:7, 54, 69, 109 and 119:94 all have David begging God to save him.  In fact, Psalm 3 says God breaks the teeth of the wicked.

God has a strange way to do everything.  Sometimes I get it, it’s ok, God’s timing is on time.  Other times I really don’t like it, like Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.  Sure, he did it to prove that he could, which was the point.  But it sucked to be Mary and Martha in the 4 days they waited for Jesus to come back to Bethany.  And who knows what it meant for Lazarus, to be dropped into the afterlife like Peter sinking under the waves.  And then, what it must have been like for him to be dragged back into this present life after spending the last 4 days in paradise.

I would not like that at all.

If I’m alive, and I’m just going to be brought back, don’t let me die first.  If I’m already dead, leave me alone.

Fortunately you don’t hear about a lot of people brought back after they’re clinically dead these days.  Although medical technology has advanced, they can’t keep you alive after you’re dead except on life support, and it’s not really a quality kind of life if you’re stuck on a machine immobile and unresponsive until your organs fail and you’re really dead. 

 Random remembrance of the day- Princess Bride, Wesley was dead, but he was “only mostly dead.”

 Anyway, if David’s example is supposed to be the example, I realize that he frequently felt like God was off at a distance and not paying attention to his concerns, and he was “a man after God’s own heart.”  Also I realize that he was far from perfect, as I am far from perfect.  I wonder if his wandering heart and his shaky faith is in any way comparable to my own.  I have my seasons of doubt and worry.  But after the earthquakes, tidal waves, hurricanes and volcanic eruptions are over I calm down and on the bottom line, my heart is His.

So if God will so allow, I will still do whatever he asks, and cheerfully say yes, after this storm is over.  But during the storm, I hope he’ll forgive me for how upset I feel about being put through it.  Like Job, I’m not too happy in the season of whatever is hitting the fan at this moment.  But I realize, like Job, that things happen in cycles and for God’s reasoning.  Which again, makes no sense to me in the middle of the storm.  Don’t ask me to figure it out.  I don’t have a Gods-eye view of it.  From here it is not pretty.  But there are supposed to be eventual tradeoffs, I hear.  Like “beauty for ashes.”  I think I’m going to prefer the beauty, but right now I’m in the ashes and I don’t like it.  My inner 3 year old wants to quit everything and hide until the storm is over.

 People want to drag me out from under the covers to face the ugly monster, and I don’t want to.  It’s too big, it’s too scary, and I’m not interested in facing it in any way.  God will have to give me armor and weapons and skills and comfort and courage and confidence in Him, and right now, I’m more like Peter, eyes on the storm and sinking fast under water.  Maranatha.  And Please, “Lord, save me.”



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