Thursday, April 28, 2016

Thoughts on Psalm 119:41


41 ​​Let Your mercies come also to me, O Lord —
​​Your salvation according to Your word.

What a beautiful truth. It’s like the warmth of the sun after a long, cold winter. Or a cool drink of water on hot summer day.

God is merciful.

Rest in that truth.

Let’s meditate on this a little. We’ll go right to the words of Jesus.

for [God] makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. Matt 5:45

So Jesus says that we can observe God’s mercy by looking at the sun and the rain.

It’s easy to take the sunrise for granted, because it is so reliable, but the sun gives us life. Without it, we would have no light and no heat. Not enough would kills us, and too much would kill us. We live on a razor’s edge, in the perfect balance of the sun’s life giving power.

Now science says that the sun rises because the earth is spinning. And why does it spin? Because of the law of inertia (what’s in motion stays in motion). But why does inertia work?

At this question, science can offer no further answers. Inertia just works. It’s observable, it’s repeatable, it’s predictable - so we call it a law.

But Jesus says that God makes His sun rise. In other words, God has an active part - each and every day - in causing the sun to rise. It is the direct result of God’s intentional involvement in our world.

And does He do it because of our goodness? Because we’ve earned it? We have so thoroughly pleased Him that He is compelled to reward us with sunlight? No, Jesus said, “He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good”. He’s making the point that it’s not a reward.

It’s God’s mercy. Jesus explicitly said this In Luke’s account of this same teaching:

[God] is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. Luke 6:35-36

We all need mercy at some time or other. God wants us to be confident in His mercy, and to know that He gives it, not because we deserve it, but because He is merciful - full of mercy.

In fact, the New Testament commands us:

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16

Our “time of need” is often when we feel most vulnerable. Either we’re tempted, or we feel weak, or we’ve made some huge mistake and are suffering under the consequences.

That is the moment when we are least likely to be bold about anything. It is the moment when we feel like hiding, changing the subject, or escaping.

And at that very moment, God invites us to come boldly to His throne to obtain mercy. It’s shocking. It’s hard to imagine. But it’s true.

We are not beggars, hoping for a few crumbs from God’s table. We are His children, and He’s given us full access to His fridge. He prepares a table before us in the presence of our enemies. (Psalm 23:5)

Because of His mercy, because of His cross, we have full access.

So whenever you need mercy, when you feel unworthy of God’s attention; when condemnation is beating you up, trying to convince you that God is angry with you - look at the sun, and remember that it’s there intentionally, not accidentally. He makes it rise regardless of how good you are. And then look at the Cross, and remember the price He paid because of His love for you.

God loves you.

​​Let Your mercies come also to me, O Lord —
​​Your salvation according to Your word.


Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.