Psalm 86:15
But you, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.
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86:8-17 Our God alone possesses almighty power and infinite love. Christ is the way and the truth. And the believing soul will be more desirous to be taught the way and the truth. And the believing soul will be more desirous to be taught the way and the truth of God, in order to walk therein, than to be delivered out of earthly distress. Those who set not the Lord before them, seek after believers' souls; but the compassion, mercy, and truth of God, will be their refuge and consolation. And those whose parents were the servants of the Lord, may urge this as a plea why he should hear and help them. In considering David's experience, and that of the believer, we must not lose sight of Him, who though he was rich, for our sakes became poor, that we through his poverty might be rich.But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion ... - See the notes at Psalm 86:5. The words rendered "long-suffering" mean that there was and would be delay in his anger; that it was not soon excited; that he did not act from passion or sudden resentment; that he endured the conduct of sinners long without rising up to punish them; that he was not quick to take vengeance, but bore with them patiently. On this account the psalmist, though conscious that he was a sinner, hoped and pleaded that God would save him.

Plenteous in ... truth - That is, in faithfulness. When thou hast made a promise, thou wilt faithfully keep it.

15. Contrasts God with his enemies (compare Ps 86:5). To wit, to thy people, and to me in particular; and therefore thou wilt forget and forgive my manifold sins, for which thou mightest justly reject me, and make me to know thy breach of promise; and therefore thou wilt save me from my cruel enemies. But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion,.... Or merciful (t), in the most affectionate and tender manner, as a parent to its child, or particularly as a mother to the son of her womb; and is rich and plenteous in his mercy, and freely bestows it; and this was the support of the psalmist under his troubles from his enemies, that though they were cruel the Lord was merciful:

and gracious; so he has been in eternity, as appears by his election of grace, by the covenant of his grace, and the provisions of it in his Son; and so he is in time, as is manifest from his kindness in Christ Jesus, from his justification, pardon, adoption, effectual calling and salvation of his people, which are all of grace;

longsuffering; not only to wicked men, but to his chosen ones; which longsuffering of his is salvation to them; he bears with them, and waits to be gracious to them, to bring them to repentance, and save them, 2 Peter 3:9,

plenteous in mercy; or goodness; See Gill on Psalm 86:5, and truth: in fulfilling promises; see Exodus 34:6, to which these words refer.

(t) "misericors", Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, &c.

But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.
15. Word for word from Exodus 34:6. With his proud and merciless enemies he contrasts the revealed character of God, as the ground of the prayer which follows. Though he may have deserved punishment, God cannot surely abandon him to them.

longsuffering] Or, slow to anger (R.V.).Verse 15. - But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion. The appeal is to God's own revelation of himself. He had declared that he was "merciful and gracious, long suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin" (Exodus 34:6, 7); he could not, therefore, desert the psalmist in his need. And gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth (comp. above, ver. 5; and see also Numbers 14:18; Joel 2:13; Jonah 4:2). Here, too, almost everything is an echo of earlier language of the Psalms and of the Law; viz., Psalm 86:7 follows Psalm 17:6 and other passages; Psalm 86:8 is taken from Exodus 15:11, cf. Psalm 89:9, where, however, אלהים, gods, is avoided; Psalm 86:8 follows Deuteronomy 3:24; Psalm 86:9 follows Psalm 22:28; Psalm 86:11 is taken from Psalm 27:11; Psalm 86:11 from Psalm 26:3; Psalm 86:13, שׁאול תּחתּיּה from Deuteronomy 32:22, where instead of this it is תּחתּית, just as in Psalm 130:2 תּחנוּני (supplicatory prayer) instead of תּחנוּנותי (importunate supplications); and also Psalm 86:10 (cf. Psalm 72:18) is a doxological formula that was already in existence. The construction הקשׁיב בּ is the same as in Psalm 66:19. But although for the most part flowing on only in the language of prayer borrowed from earlier periods, this Psalm is, moreover, not without remarkable significance and beauty. With the confession of the incomparableness of the Lord is combined the prospect of the recognition of the incomparable One throughout the nations of the earth. This clear unallegorical prediction of the conversion of the heathen is the principal parallel to Revelation 15:4. "All nations, which Thou hast made" - they have their being from Thee; and although they have forgotten it (vid., Psalm 9:18), they will nevertheless at last come to recognise it. כּל־גּוים, since the article is wanting, are nations of all tribes (countries and nationalities); cf. Jeremiah 16:16 with Psalm 22:18; Tobit 13:11, ἔθνη πολλά, with ibid. Psalm 14:6, πάντα τὰ ἔθνη. And how weightily brief and charming is the petition in Psalm 86:11 : uni cor meum, ut timeat nomen tuum! Luther has rightly departed from the renderings of the lxx, Syriac, and Vulgate: laetetur (יחדּ from חדה). The meaning, however, is not so much "keep my heart near to the only thing," as "direct all its powers and concentrate them on the one thing." The following group shows us what is the meaning of the deliverance out of the hell beneath (שׁאול תּחתּיּה, like ארץ תּחתּית, the earth beneath, the inner parts of the earth, Ezekiel 31:14.), for which the poet promises beforehand to manifest his thankfulness (כּי, Psalm 86:13, as in Psalm 56:14).
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