It is an amazing faith; and it ought to fill us with awe to notice what faith God wrought in His people years before His Son came in our flesh to save us. The psalmist in Psalm 98:3 writes, "He hath remembered His mercy and His truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God."
If the saints in that day could speak and sing thus, is there not a more powerful reason for us to do so today? When, on this side of the cross of Christ, we see what awful, holy wrath God poured out on His Son, and hear Him cry out because of the hellish agonies He was suffering on that cross, feeling also the thick, intense darkness that for three hours covered that place where He hung, do we not have a much clearer and more powerful manifestation of God's mercy, and an undeniable reason to sing a new song unto Him?"
Mercy is kindness, pity, compassion. And if we consider what we deserve and was poured upon Christ, what kindness it was, what mercy upon us, when God poured all that agony on His Son, so that we might escape every single bit of it!
Long before that cross, believers in the Old Testament times spoke of God's mercy, when God delivered Israel from far more limited suffering that men tried to inflict upon them. Long before the Atlantic Ocean was crossed and the Americas were discovered, the saints sang that "all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.'' And today with the Scriptures translated into so many languages, the church being found in countless nations, tongues, and tribes, that salvation has truly been universally made known.
Shall we not then in the Lenten season, but also all the year around, loudly and lustily sing our Psalter versification:
Truth and mercy toward His people
He hath ever kept in mind,
And His full and free salvation
He hath shown to all mankind.
Sing O earth, sing to Jehovah,
Praises to Jehovah sing;
With the swelling notes of music
Shout before the Lord, the King.
on the Heidelberg Catechism
Song for Meditation: Psalter #179
Why not sing along??
Quote for Reflection:
Martin Luther on love: “Mother love is stronger than the filth and scabbiness on a child, and so the love of God toward us is stronger than the dirt that clings to us. Although we are sinners, we do not lose our filial relation on account of our filthiness, nor fall from grace on account of sin…We must also have love and through love do to one another as God has done to us through faith. For without love, faith is nothing. You have a great deal to say of the doctrine of faith and love that is preached to you. Dear friends, the kingdom of God does not consist in talk or words, but in activity, in deeds, in works, and exercises. God does not want hearers and repeaters of words, but followers and doers, and this occurs in faith through love. For a faith without love is not enough…A Christian lives not in himself alone, but in Christ and in his neighbor—in Christ through faith; in his neighbor through love. Through faith he passes beyond himself into God, and out of God he passes again [into his neighbor] through love and ever abides in God and in Divine Love.”
- Date: 24-March