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Great Is Your Steadfast Love

A Prayer of David.

1Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me,
for I am poor and needy.
2Preserve my life, for I am godly;
save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God.
3Be gracious to me, O Lord,
for to you do I cry all the day.
4Gladden the soul of your servant,
for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
5For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.
6Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;
listen to my plea for grace.
7In the day of my trouble I call upon you,
for you answer me.

8There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,
nor are there any works like yours.
9All the nations you have made shall come
and worship before you, O Lord,
and shall glorify your name.
10For you are great and do wondrous things;
you alone are God.
11Teach me your way, O Lord,
that I may walk in your truth;
unite my heart to fear your name.
12I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
and I will glorify your name forever.
13For great is your steadfast love toward me;
you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

14O God, insolent men have risen up against me;
a band of ruthless men seeks my life,
and they do not set you before them.
15But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
16Turn to me and be gracious to me;
give your strength to your servant,
and save the son of your maidservant.
17Show me a sign of your favor,
that those who hate me may see and be put to shame
because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.


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Ps 86:1-17. This is a prayer in which the writer, with deep emotion, mingles petitions and praises, now urgent for help, and now elated with hope, in view of former mercies. The occurrence of many terms and phrases peculiar to David's Psalms clearly intimates its authorship.

1, 2. poor and needy—a suffering child of God, as in Ps 10:12, 17; 18:27.

I am holy—or, "godly," as in Ps 4:3; 85:8.

4. lift up my soul—with strong desire (Ps 25:1).

5-7. unto all … that call upon thee—or, "worship Thee" (Ps 50:15; 91:15) however undeserving (Ex 34:6; Le 11:9-13).

8. neither … works—literally, "nothing like thy works," the "gods" have none at all.

9, 10. The pious Jews believed that God's common relation to all would be ultimately acknowledged by all men (Ps 45:12-16; 47:9).

11. Teach—Show, point out.

the way—of Providence.

walk in thy truth—according to its declarations.

unite my heart—fix all my affections (Ps 12:2; Jas 4:8).

to fear thy name—(compare Ps 86:12) to honor Thy perfections.

13, 14. The reason: God had delivered him from death and the power of insolent, violent, and godless persecutors (Ps 54:3; Eze 8:12).

15. Contrasts God with his enemies (compare Ps 86:5).

16. son … handmaid—homeborn servant (compare Lu 15:17).

17. Show me—literally, "Make with me a token," by Thy providential care. Thus in and by his prosperity his enemies would be confounded.




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