Send me a sign of your favor. Then those who hate me will be put to shame, for you, O Lord, help and comfort me (Psalms 86:17 NLT).
This Psalm is entitled a prayer of David. Most likely it was prayed in times of trouble. David asked for three things, mercy and grace, strength for the battle (v.16), and that God would send him a sign of his favor (v.17). Nothing silences the attack of our enemies more than a demonstration of God’s favor in our lives.
Trials should always drive us to our knees. The attacks of David's enemies taught him when and how to pray. In his prayer, David contrasts the goodness of God and the wickedness of man (v. 14-15). David had learned never to put his hope in man. Someone once said that “we can never expect too little from man, or too much from God.” David then pleads for strength. In the midst of the fiery trial, our first inclination is to avoid it. God often wants to give us the strength to tread through the trial rather than walk around it. In summing up the first two parts of his prayer, he first asked for grace and mercy to do what he could not accomplish himself. David then requested the strength to undertake things possible for him to do. God does not do things for us that we can perform ourselves, nor does he expect us to do things we cannot achieve. Spiritual maturity is discerning the difference between the two.
Finally, David asked for a sovereign sign to shame his detractors. It is an exercise in futility to convince those of darkened minds. Leave the results unto God, and he is well able to silence your foes.
Image used with permission by Microsoft.
Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” YWAM Publishing