Today: [Psalm 85-86] Praying Through Delays. In these 2 chapters we see the importance of praying through seeming delays in deliverance. We often fall prey to the intimidation of Satan against us in a time of pressure and trial. The enemy wants us to think that he is all powerful but there are boundaries that God will never allow Satan to cross. Jesus taught ongoing, consistent and faith filled prayer as a key to deliverance. As we maintain faithfulness in the midst of a difficult situation the answer will never fail to come.
[Psa 85:1-13 KJV] 1 [[To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.]] LORD, thou hast been favourable unto thy land: thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob. 2 Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah. 3 Thou hast taken away all thy wrath: thou hast turned [thyself] from the fierceness of thine anger. 4 Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease. 5 Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations? 6 Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee? 7 Shew us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation. 8 I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly. 9 Surely his salvation [is] nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land. 10 Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed [each other]. 11 Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven. 12 Yea, the LORD shall give [that which is] good; and our land shall yield her increase. 13 Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set [us] in the way of his steps.
Psalm 85 is dated by some to the return of the Judaic exiles from captivity. There is thankfulness for returning from Babylon but also mention of harassment from neighboring nations. These conditions existed in both Ezra and Nehemiah’s time. Just because you have won a great victory does not mean that the enemy will no longer harass you. The people have exited Babylon and returned to Jerusalem but there are still nations around them seeking to intimidate and plague them with threats.
Satan is very limited in what he can accomplish against you. The one complaint Satan had when he appeared before God regarding Job – is that God had put a hedge around him. If Satan had his way unrestrained, he would snuff out all life on the planet in a moment of time and drag billions down into hell. God has placed restraining influences upon him to prevent this. In spite of this fact when we see portrayals of Satan in popular culture we see a being who suggests that he is all powerful, all knowing and completely ungoverned. This is anything but the truth. Jesus told Peter in Luke 22:21 that Satan desired to sift him as wheat. Jesus however prayed for him that his faith would fail not. This is a powerful example of divine protection. Peter had no idea he was such a target of the enemy. Jesus prays for you even regarding threats you are completely unaware of. Heb. 7:25 says that He “ever liveth” to make intercession for us. We will never know till we get to heaven how many answers to prayer Jesus has secured for us in perils we were completely unaware of at the time.
Verse 2 tells us that the heart of God is to forgive iniquity and to cover all our sin. Here is a legitimate understanding of a wholesome covering doctrine. Covering as a theological subject in the scriptures is about forgiveness, cleansing and transformation by the efficacy of the shed blood of Calvary. Verse 3 says that God takes away wrath from us. How is this accomplished? Once a year the sins of the people were pronounced on the head of the scape goat and the scape goat was led away to the wilderness. This represents Jesus taking our sins upon Himself. God doesn’t just decide to arbitrarily overlook sin. Sin must be dealt with. Therefore the wrath that God takes away from our lives because of transgression is poured out upon Jesus in our behalf.
All of the wrath of God was poured out upon Jesus. If we believe this then we must ask ourselves is there any left? Is there any part of the wrath of God on reserve by Him to punish us? Christians at times speak of the anger of God toward His people – is there any part of God’s wrath or anger that was not poured out upon Jesus? If so then He doesn’t have any left. When we suffer it isn’t because God is suspending the merits of Christ in our behalf. We suffer not because God separates Himself from us but because we separate ourselves by disobedience. Therein lies our deliverance in view of the fact that we CAN change our minds and hearts and turn TOWARD God and see a different result.
[Psa 86:1-17 KJV] 1 [[A Prayer of David.]] Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I [am] poor and needy. 2 Preserve my soul; for I [am] holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee. 3 Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily. 4 Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. 5 For thou, Lord, [art] good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. 6 Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. 7 In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me. 8 Among the gods [there is] none like unto thee, O Lord; neither [are there any works] like unto thy works. 9 All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name. 10 For thou [art] great, and doest wondrous things: thou [art] God alone. 11 Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. 12 I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. 13 For great [is] thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell. 14 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. 15 But thou, O Lord, [art] a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. 16 O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid. 17 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 is a prayer of David for preservation and mercy. In spite of being king over all Israel David declares that in truth he is poor and needy. This is a proper estimation of our position in life. No matter how secure we may think we are – human wealth and standing in life is very fleeting. Things change, situations change but God’s faithfulness remains the same.
In verse 3 David petitions for the mercy of God and makes his prayer a daily effort. Some have taught that the first time you ask is in faith but after that if you continue to ask you are in unbelief. This is incorrect. Jesus addresses this issue in John 16:24:
[Jhn 16:24 KJV] 24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
God is never offended when we ask Him for something. In natural relationships asking for something can put a strain on a friendship. If you want to terminate even a close friendship – make the mistake of loaning money or ingratiating that friend to you in some way. Almost always that will lead to estrangement. On the other hand when we ask God for something He invites us to keep on asking. Read the above verse in the Amplified bible:
John 16:24 Until now you have not asked [the Father] for anything in My name; but now ask and keep on asking and you will receive, so that your joy may be full and complete.
Verse 7 tells us that in the day that we call upon the Lord He will answer. We often question God’s timing and think He delays to answer. Daniel prayed and waited many days until the angel showed up with the information he asked for.
[Dan 10:12-13 KJV] 12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
This is why we ask and keep on asking. The enemy of your soul wants to prevent your prayer from being answered. Make no mistake however – God hears and dispatches deliverance to you the day you ask. Refuse to despair. Know that God is working in your behalf. You will not be denied or turned away when we ask in faith trusting in the hand of God to move in our behalf.
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