Roger Plough | The Voice of Zion September 2022 --
Bow down thine ear, O Lord, hear me: for I am poor and needy. 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. Give ear, O Lord, unto my prayer: and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me. – Psalms 86:1,3–7
This psalm of King David is a prayer of living faith. David begs God to hear his prayer and acknowledges that he needs God’s care. He begs for mercy and trusts that God will hear and answer him. We join with this prayer of David, trusting in God’s good care in all phases of our lives.
We Need Care
Our text begins, “Bow down thine ear…I am poor and needy.” Jesus gave us the example of a child as the greatest in the kingdom of God. Why is a child the greatest? In a temporal sense, a child is in need of parents’ care. The child cannot care for himself or herself.
As we grow past childhood and become independent, we often find it more difficult to ask for help from others. We think we should be able to figure out life’s difficulties on our own. As children of God, however, we are in continuous need of our heavenly Father’s care. We do not want to become wise in faith and chart our own path based on knowledge and understanding.
We desire to always remain in the place of God’s good care, asking God to continue to teach us the ABCs of faith. Apostle Paul exhorts to “[Cast] all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Pet. 5:7). We can freely and without worry for future days place all our trust in God.
We Need Mercy
Our text continues, “Be merciful unto me, O Lord, for I cry unto thee daily.” Luther teaches that we sin in thought, word or deed every day. Therefore, we are in need of God’s mercy every day. God does not tire of our cries but loves us. His mercy is so abundant for His children. John writes, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). God knows our frame and prepared salvation for sin-fallen humankind through His Son, our Lord Jesus.
Further in our text, David says, “For thou, Lord, art good and ready to forgive.” How fortunate we are that God is always ready to forgive us our sins. The gospel is available whenever we are in need. How has your experience been? Is it now so that when we are able to humble ourselves unto repentance, the gospel is readily preached and we can believe all sins forgiven. Forgiven sins are drowned in the sea of grace. God no longer remembers them. Our soul rejoices that God’s mercy is so abundant and we can believe unto peace, freedom and joy.
We Can Trust
Our text concludes, “In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: For thou wilt answer me.” Here David voices his confidence in God’s care. We too can trust in God’s care. In our difficulties, when we do not know where to turn, let us remember that we are not alone. God knows our troubles and helps us. He will not give us greater burdens than we can bear.
In a time of difficulty, we may wonder whether God is yet caring for us because the matter in question is not going the way we wanted or expected. We may doubt whether God even knows what we are experiencing. Nonetheless, dear child of God, remember to trust as David did, “for thou wilt answer me.”
The writer of song of Zion 357 writes, “The will of God is always best and shall be done forever; and they who trust in Him are blest, He will forsake them never.” Let us trust in God’s good care! Jesus promises, “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matt. 28:20).