The Incomparable God
If you need help with something, you look for one who is able to lend a hand.
Your helper of choice should be well-suited for the task, whether it’s brute strength for getting a sofa out of the basement, or expertise for doing your tax return. Not just anyone can do these things.
When David was in trouble in Psalm 86, he knew exactly where to look. That is why running throughout his prayer there is a strong current of confidence: the LORD God will certainly hear his prayer, and he will also do something about it!
Praying to God in verse 1, “Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me,” David knows that his prayer won’t bounce off the ceiling. He knows it will ascend directly to the heavenly throne room, where the LORD will hear and respond.
How can David be so sure?
Because he knows the God whom he’s talking to! He understands—even if only partially—what this great God is capable of. David has experienced it in his life previously, and he is also familiar with the LORD’s promises.
This is just a little of who God is:
“You are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (v. 15).
You can hear how, in awe of his God, David piles up the adverbs and adjectives. There is just so much to say about how capable and compassionate is the Lord.
And it makes a big difference for your prayers if you know that you’re approaching a God who is like no other. David confesses in verse 8,
There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours.
This is the LORD who never forsakes his people. He does not, because he has bound himself to us by a sacred oath, even in the blood of Christ. God is the one who has promised to help, and He is the only one who can help.
So whenever we pray, it is fitting to do as David does, to pause and glorify God for his incomparability. Not only is the Lord worthy of this praise, but it also brings us much encouragement.
It’s a powerful reminder that we’re not pleading with some run-of-the-mill God, or venting our pain into a disconnected microphone. Rather, such praise reminds us that today too, we’re in the presence of an Almighty God. He is the one who has become our Father in Christ. This incomparable God is able to help, whatever our particular need at this moment.
Because he is so compassionate, he will assist with our struggles.
Because he is so powerful, he can defend his church.
Because he is so forgiving, he will pardon all our sins.
There is none like him!