UNDERSTANDING OUR SALVATION
Psalm 119:169, 170
Salvation is a very wonderful gift which we surely ought to seek. Understanding our salvation and how we are and can be saved is also of extreme importance. That is why the psalmist wrote: "Let my cry come near before Thee, O Lord: give me understanding according to Thy word. Let my supplication come before Thee: deliver me according to Thy word" Psalm 119:169-170. Our versification has it thus:
O let my supplicating cry
By Thee, my gracious Lord, be heard;
Give wisdom and deliver me
According to Thy faithful word.
In verse 166 he had written: "Lord, I have hoped for Thy salvation. And that salvation he has here in mind. When he was persecuted by men, he certainly desired deliverance from it. But his cry for understanding and deliverance in verses 169-170 means that he is praying for salvation from sin, not from sinners.
We must keep in mind that salvation is far more than deliverance from guilt and punishment. Salvation is deliverance from the love and power of sin. Salvation delivers us from the act of sin and from a sinful nature. And if we do not want that, our cry for salvation only adds to our sin and increases the reason for its punishment.
We must, therefore, cry to God for the work of the Spirit of Christ that will make us hate sin and enable us to flee from it. Such deliverance that destroys the power of sin over us we must seek.
Further, we must understand how this salvation is wrought and how it is possible. The psalmist prays for understanding and deliverance according to God's word. We must understand that we are saved by grace and because God's Son, the Word become flesh, suffered our punishment and made us not guilty before God.
Then too, "according to God's word" means "according to His word of promise." He promised it to those whom He eternally chose in Christ. That, we must constantly keep in mind. Never may we cry to God as though salvation is coming to us because of what we did, or because of what we are in ourselves.
Psalter versification: 342:1
(Words and Music of the Psalter)
on the Heidelberg Catechism
for Meditation: Psalter number 229
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Through the Bible in One
Daniel 2:24-49 ; Daniel 3:1-30
1 Peter 4:7-19 ; 1 Peter 5:1-14
"Death is not now the death of me, but death will be the death of my misery, the death of my sins; it will be the death of my corruptions. But death wil be my birthday in regard of happiness." R.Sibbes