Psalms 86: The One and Only God
Psalms 86 is a prayer from David, and he certainly covers a lot of ground in that. He praises God for who He is, asks God for safety and he even gets around to defending monotheism. Let’s talk about that today.
Psa 86:7 In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.
Psa 86:8 Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works.
Psa 86:9 All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name.
Psa 86:10 For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.
The first verse sets up a kind of cause and effect relationship. When I have problems, I will call upon God because He will answer me. There is a certain level of trust there that is it a result of I have to assume David’s past. The reason he called upon God is because he knew God would answer. The way to know that is to have previous experience.
Then, he goes on to say that none of the other gods are like God, and no one can do what God can do. These are actually two separate claims. First, we hear that no other god is like God. Second, we hear that no one, human or deity, can do what God can do. I believe the first part of goes back to verse seven. I choose to call on God because God will answer me. Therefore, God is unique among all of the other gods.
Beyond that, no one can do what God can do, and I think that ties back to verse seven. God will answer you in a way that no one else could. Again, this is something experiential. David knew a lot of people, and he knew God. He knew that there was something different about working with God, and the difference was that he received an answer.
Verses nine and ten are prophetic. All nations are going to come and worship God because He is great and does wonderful things. I don’t really want to get into prophecy right now, but it does imply that in the end, there will be only one left who is worth worshiping. That is the end of verse ten. In the end, God will be acknowledged as the one and only God.
So, let’s recap. I said that this passage was going to be a defense of monotheism. God will answer prayers, and He is the only one who does anything like that among all the other gods. This is what David had seen as a result of his experience on earth. Because He was the only God who was able to do these kinds of things, we get these prophetic verses where everyone ultimately has to realize that God is the only one. David is basically saying that the rest of them are simply going to pass away, and God is going to remain as the one and only God.