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Undivided Heart, Fearing God’s Name

February 8, 2009
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A David psalm. Bend an ear, GOD; answer me. I’m one miserable wretch! (Psalms 86:1)  Train me, GOD, to walk straight; then I’ll follow your true path. Put me together, one heart and mind; then, undivided, I’ll worship in joyful fear. To go further consider what the Barnes commentary provides about Psalm 86:11 Teach me thy way, O Lord –

I will walk in thy truth –

I will live and act in accordance with what thou dost declare to be true. Whatever that may be, I will pursue it, having no will of my own.


Unite my heart to fear thy name –

That is, to worship, obey, and honor thee.


(b) the means which he saw to be necessary for this was that his “heart” might be “united” in this one great object; that is, that his heart might be single in its views and purposes; that there might be no distracting purposes; that one great aim might be always before him.



The word rendered “unite” –

יחד yāchad – occurs as a verb only in three places. In Gen_49:6, it is rendered united: “Unto their assembly, mine honor, be not thou united.” In Isa_14:20, it is translated joined: “Thou shalt not be joined with them.” The adverb – יחד yachad, occurs often, and is rendered together, Gen_13:6; Gen_22:6, Gen_22:8,Gen_22:19; Gen_36:7

; et saepe. The idea is that of union, or conjunction; of being together; of constituting one; and this is accomplished in the heart when there is one great ruling object before the mind which nothing is allowed to interfere with. It may be added, that there is no more appropriate prayer which a man can offer than that his heart may have such a unity of purpose, and that nothing may be allowed to interfere with that one supreme purpose.


(Psalms 86:11)cross-is-the-way

David sought God’s favor in an emergency,  He was facing panic, extreme stress (running for 13 years from 3000 of King Saul’s soldiers who will kill him on sight), extreme doubt (why is God doing this to me), extreme whining (this is not fair), extreme anger (why God will you not destroy these enemies of mine)…on and on.  Somewhere in all of these,  David returned to his heart that God so valued (and what was in David’s heart was why God annointed him King of Israel),  David always returned to worshipping God, trusting God, and submitting to God’s desire for his life. 

David feared God’s name.  You can see this fear play itself out in the psalms,  David had multiple chances to kill Saul, and chose not to follow the faulty desires of his own anger and fear.  David showed grace, mercy, and submission to trust God to deliver him from  being under a death warrant and constant extreme stress.  David feared God more than any man or even his own fears.  In the end, David was able to rest in God’s hands.

David doubted, was angry, lived in anxiety, feared for his life; and in the process of this bad time of his life,  he discovered the value of choosing to fear God,  of following the path of a heart fixed on God. 

An undivided heart,  a heart that can be taught the way of God, that can walk in the truth of God, and is joined intimately with God in the here and now – fulfills the promise Jesus made in Matthew 11:28 – you, me, David will only find rest from our burdens in God, in Jesus Christ.

Why not choose to rest right now, today?

 Psalm 86:11 – A comparison of many translations of this verse:

 Psa 86:11





 Teach me Your way, O Lord, that I may walk and live in Your truth; direct and unite my heart [solely, reverently] to fear and honor Your name. [Ps. 5:11; 69:36.]   (ASV) 




Teach me thy way, O Jehovah; I will walk in thy truth: Unite my heart to fear thy name.





Make your way clear to me, O Lord; I will go on my way in your faith: let my heart be glad in the fear of your name.





Teach me to follow you, and I will obey your truth. Always keep me faithful.





Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.





Teach me Your way, LORD, and I will live by Your truth. Give me an undivided mind to fear Your name.





Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.





TeachH3384 me thy way,H1870 O LORD;H3068 I will walkH1980 in thy truth:H571 uniteH3161 my heartH3824 to fearH3372 thy name.H8034




(a) The end which he desired to secure was that he might truly fear God, or properly reverence and honor him;

That is, in the present emergency. Show me what thou wouldst have me to do that I may obtain thy favor, and thy gracious help.



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