Finding Joy by Submitting to the Master

Psalm 86 is a remarkable song of praise and faith. The lyricist, David, shares his intimate knowledge of great and powerful God in this hymn. It encourages, uplifts and leads us into communion with our Master, Creator, the One True God who exists.

I have examined the particular names of God that David chose to use in this Psalm. They help us to understand David’s intent and give a deeper meaning to the reading of this work. I will continue to discuss the particular names of God as I look at the rest of the Psalm.

In verses 3 trough 5, David addresses God as the Lord, or Adonai, Master. So David acknowledges God’s authority and power over his life. He asks God to bring joy to his soul. He knows that for God to do this, he must submit and bow to God’s control. So he says “to you master, I bring my soul”.

Like David, we often long for joy. We desire a deep comfort and contentment deep within our souls that expresses itself as gladness, satisfaction, happiness, and joy. But we often seek it in things that will not fill the soul. They may bring pleasure to the body. They may feed the mind. They may soothe our emotions. But there is nothing that brings joy and delight to the soul, but God.

I wonder if David was thinking of history of his people and God’s faithfulness to them as he wrote these words. The children of Israel were slaves in Egypt. They cried out to God daily. He heard their cries and He became their new Master.

He brought them from slavery into a land flowing with milk and honey. A place where their joy could be complete.
The children of Israel started to choose things that filled the body, fed the mind and soothed emotions, instead of lifting their souls to God. Then they found themselves once again enslaved by the world. In their sin, they rebelled against the sovereignty of Adonai and they suffered. They lost their joy.

In desperation the Israelites would cry again to God and lift their souls to Him, and again He would bring joy to them. It is because He is a good God and ready to forgive. His love is steadfast. His love never fails.

David knew God’s character. He believed that God would be faithful. He was confident that Adonai was a good Ruler. He knew this because of God’s fatithfulness throughtout the history of the world. As David reflected on the character of God, he trusted Him to bring joy, forgive sins, and show love.

In my desire to find joy, I must also submit to the authority of Adonai. I must lift up my soul to him. He is ready to forgive and loving forever. There I will find joy.

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