All of us are poor and needy at heart, whether we realize it and admit it or not. Indeed, often a stubborn heart and rebellious spirit keeps us from enjoying full access to the depth of God’s care because we refuse to acknowledge our needs, our weaknesses, and our true situation, choosing instead to try to do everything ourselves, including much that is impossible for us to do. Is it then any wonder that anxiety holds sway when we fail to turn to the One available and able to come to our aid? David, despite fighting as a soldier and reigning as king, had a heart for God so tender that he turned regularly to Him in great humility to ask and even plead for the needs of his soul, as Psalm 86 provides more than adequate evidence.
In the first seven verses David calls on God to preserve him, to save him, to show him mercy, and to give him a reason to rejoice by answering his prayer in the affirmative. However, the basis for his request shows how his mindset differed from how we often see ourselves and therefore approach God. David came to God specifically because he saw himself as “poor and needy” (Psa. 86:1) and because God is so much more: holy, trustworthy, good, ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy. Indeed, David had confidence in coming to God because of how positively God contrasts with man—a concept quite opposite from the 21st century desire to lower God to man’s level. But the LORD’s nature especially qualifies Him to help us because His uniqueness makes Him capable of doing what no one else can do (Psa. 86:8). He alone deserves recognition as truly great and therefore worthy of worship (Psa. 86:9), and He has proven such by the power displayed in miraculous and wondrous works performed in times past. Truly, He alone is God (Psa. 86:10). For this reason, we can have complete confidence in His instruction and guidance (Psa. 86:11). Because of this, we can have confidence in His deliverance (Psa. 86:12-14). But more than that, we can have confidence in all these things because of His character. “But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, Longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth” (Psa. 86:15). Surely we have every reason to turn to our God and do His will, because His will is in our best interest, and He cares for us (1 Pet. 5:7).
Only Jehovah God can provide all that we need. And we need Him desperately. Therefore, let us humble our hearts and acknowledge our need, let us realize the great power and mercy of the one true God and reach out to Him with confidence that He will do what is best for us. As long as we live upon this earth, we will face struggles without and struggles within, but through it all, we have a God on whom we can always rely. This is why, regardless of our problems and regardless of our situation, the faithful can lift their voices to heaven and cry, “Oh, turn to me, and have mercy on me! Give Your strength to Your servant, And save the son of Your maidservant. Show me a sign for good, That those who hate me may see it and be ashamed, Because You, LORD, have helped me and comforted me” (Psa. 86:16-17).