Psalm 86, 87 and 88 … Consider Him Who Unites Our Heart in His Truth

Teach me Your way, O Lord;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name,
(86:11).

Psalm 86 and 88 both start from a very similar launching pad; that all too familiar place of affliction and need, desperate to be heard and delivered.

Incline Your ear, O Lord, and answer me;
For I am afflicted and needy.
Preserve my soul, for I am a godly man;
O You my God, save Your servant who trusts in You,
(86:1-2).

O Lord, the God of my salvation,
I have cried out by day and in the night before You.
Let my prayer come before You;
Incline Your ear to my cry!
(88:1-2).

Once again, I find myself challenged to find some link between these three psalms to consider. He is, after all, the same God in all three. However, Psalm 86 and 88 offer opposing perspectives. Psalm 86 is written within the context of faith and assured hope in the midst of the psalmist’s trials. Psalm 88 presents a mindset of despondency, fear and doubt. And it is interesting to note, sandwiched between these two urgent prayers for deliverance, is a portrait of the city of Zion; the very foundation of His Presence established by His covenant, the place He loves and the birthplace of those He loves. Zion depicts the hope for all nations who would come to know Him through faith, be born again into the family of God, and have their names recorded in His Book of Life.

His foundation is in the holy mountains.
The Lord loves the gates of Zion
More than all the other dwelling places of Jacob.
Glorious things are spoken of you,
O city of God. Selah.
“I shall mention Rahab and Babylon among those who know Me;
Behold, Philistia and Tyre with Ethiopia:
‘This one was born there.’”
But of Zion it shall be said, “This one and that one were born in her”;
And the Most High Himself will establish her.
The Lord will count when He registers the peoples,
“This one was born there.” Selah.
Then those who sing as well as those who play the flutes shall say,
“All my springs of joy are in you,”
(Psalm 87).

Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God,” (John 3:3).

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, (Hebrews 12:22-23).

When we place our faith in Jesus Christ and we are born again, our names are recorded in His Book of Life. But the truth is, the world system, under the rule of God’s enemy, does everything in its power to get us to feel as though our names are perhaps recorded in disappearing ink.

And a link in these three psalms became apparent; it is His covenant, of course! When we find ourselves living in Psalm 88, it will be as we remember the promises of His Covenant and His faithfulness to every promise, that we can move right on towards the kind of confidence David expressed throughout Psalm 86.

Psalm 88, filled with its questions and doubts that have run amok and permeated and overcome the thought-life of the writer, is a good impetus for us to make our way straight to His promises.

But I, O Lord, have cried out to You for help,
And in the morning my prayer comes before You.
14 O Lord, why do You reject my soul?
Why do You hide Your face from me?
15 I was afflicted and about to die from my youth on;
I suffer Your terrors; I am overcome,
(88:13-15).

Today, we will fix our thoughts on perhaps what we all need to consider most, especially in the current state of our world we now find ourselves. Today, we will turn our attention to that which will provide us with a Psalm 86 mentality, as we consider Him Who Unites Our Heart in His Truth.

Consider Him Who Unites Our Heart in His Truth

Psalm 86 is attributed to David, and he is definitely in the midst of more than his fair share of adversities. A brief overview paints a clear picture of a man in distress: crying all day long, in need of forgiveness and lovingkindness, in the day of trouble, facing arrogant and violent enemies, in need of strength and salvation, and in need of help and comfort.

Suffice it to say, David is in a precarious place. But in the midst of the treachery and danger, he knows his greatest need is a singularly focused heart that has learned to walk in God’s ways and not man’s; a heart of wisdom that walks in truth and not conjecture; an undivided heart that fears God and not man.

Teach me Your way, O Lord;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name,
(86:11).

But David also knew that this is not something he could do in and of himself. It is the work of God to Unite Our heart in His Truth.

“Moreover the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live,” (Deuteronomy 30:6).

And perhaps David was reminded of the story of his predecessor, Saul, and how easily a heart is divided by disobedience.

“But now your kingdom shall not endure. The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you,” (1 Samuel 13:14).

David’s prayer was not made in a self-assured, bold assertion. David did not claim that he could unite his own heart; rather he humbly asked the Lord to do what he desperately needed to be done.

…Unite my heart to fear Your name.

And perhaps David was reminded of his own story, when his devotion to the Lord was fractured and he turned from walking in God’s way to find fulfillment in the pursuit of his own personal desires. Certainly that was a time when David needed to be brought out of the psyche of Psalm 88 that could have easily driven him to the brink of despair. David needed to be brought to the place of hope for his future through a secure bond in the Lord.

David knew, and we must also know, if our Heart is to remain attached to God, it must be God Who does a new work in us to Unite Our Heart in His Truth.

 I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the Lord; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart, (Jeremiah 24:7).

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come, (2 Corinthians 5:17).

How do we respond to Him Who Unites Our Heart in His Truth?

The truth is our greatest need is a singularly focused heart that has learned to walk in God’s ways and not man’s; a heart of wisdom that walks in truth and not conjecture; an undivided heart that fears God and not man; in other words a Heart that Is United in His Truth.

But the world insists that truth is relative and there are no absolutes (although asserting that truth is relative is actually an absolute truth claim). But if there is no truth as according to the world, there is no possibility of having Our Heart United in something the world says does not exist.

But His Word tell us that absolute Truth absolutely exists. Scripture actually refers to His Truth in the form of three Holy entities.

His Truth is revealed in the Person of Jesus Christ.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me,” (John 14:6).

His Truth is affirmed in the Person of the Holy Spirit.

“that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you,” (John 14:17).

His Truth is declared in the Holy Scriptures.

 Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth, (John 17:17).

When we ask the Lord to Unite Our Hearts in His Truth, we are asking the Lord to fuse our faith completely in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and His Holy Word, trusting His supernatural work and His faithfulness to every promise to keep us from falling apart under pressure.

Today, let us pray David’s prayer. Let us pray by faith in Jesus Christ, enabled by His Holy Spirit and believing the covenant promises of His Holy Word, that He would Unite Our Heart in His Truth to live in courage and confidence in the midst of all our afflictions and adversities.

Teach me Your way, O Lord;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name,
(86:11).

  • Let us ask Him to give us a singularly focused heart that we would learn to walk in His ways and not man’s.
    • Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning;
      For I trust in You;
      Teach me the way in which I should walk;
      For to You I lift up my soul,
      (Psalm 143:8).
    • See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ, (Colossians 2:8).
  • Let us ask Him to give us a heart of wisdom that walks in truth and not conjecture.
    • Make me know Your ways, O Lord;
      Teach me Your paths.
      Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
      For You are the God of my salvation;
      For You I wait all the day,
      (Psalm 25:4-5).
    • But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind, (James 1:6).
  • Let us ask Him to give us an undivided heart that fears God and not man.
    • The fear of man brings a snare,
      But he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted,
      (Proverbs 29:25).
    •  so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid.
      What will man do to me?
      (Hebrews 13:6).

When our Heart is United in His Truth, rather than being tossed about in a sea of apprehension, we will be enabled to stand on solid ground in absolute agreement with His Truth, leaving no room for mistrust or concern that He will make good on His promises.

And because we know He is faithful to every promise, we know there is no disappearing ink in heaven; we can stand secure, with our Hearts United in His Truth, that our names are forever recorded in His Book of Life.

Today, let us choose gratitude, even while we wait for His deliverance, that we would glorify and fear His name forever as we walk in obedience and the assurance of the great lovingkindness and redemption we have in Him Who Unites Our Heart in His Truth.

I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart,
And will glorify Your name forever.
13 For Your lovingkindness toward me is great,
And You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol,
(86:12-13).

Let’s Grow Together!

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