If you are a child of God, you have to one degree or another, and at one time or another, suffered mockery and ridicule. The gift of salvation makes a night and day difference between us and the world. Jesus once said, "By their fruits ye shall know them." This means that we ourselves will know by our works, and by our reaction to the mockery of the world, whether we in God's mercy have salvation begun in us.
Now mockery, ridicule, derision, and sneering are not pleasant. And the child of God knows that, because he has only a small beginning of that new obedience, he can easily fall into hiding his faith to have a more pleasant life, or respond to the mockery in a sinful way. Therefore the psalmist prays in Psalm 119:41,42 , ''Let Thy mercies also come unto me, O Lord, even Thy salvation, according to Thy word. So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word." And we sing:
Thy promised mercies send to me,
Thy great salvation, Lord;
So shall I answer those who scoff;
My trust is in Thy word
Now that which the psalmist prays for is not that he may be kept from that mockery and derision. Notice that he prays first for God's mercy, and calls it salvation. Plainly he wants to continue to walk publicly as a child of God before the unbelievers. And he wants to answer them, not for fleshly advantage, but in order that he may defend the truth and be a living witness of the God of his salvation.
Consider also that to watch our tongue, and to be careful that we do not sin in our reaction to this ridicule and scoffing, we need the mercy of God. In fact, we need salvation. In His mercy God must give us that part of our salvation that is called sanctification. We need the Spirit of Christ not only to encourage us, but to hold and keep us faithful no matter how fiercely we are ridiculed and mocked.
We do trust in God's word, but only because of His mercy. And we will continue to be faithful only as He in His mercy continues the work of salvation in us.
Meditations on the Heidelberg Catechism
Song for Meditation: Psalter #233
Why not sing along??
Quote for Reflection:
“All were filled! The entire gathering; the whole Church! And all were filled. For the Holy Spirit always lays hold of the entire man, filling him according to his capacity, his mind and will and his desires, dwelling in his inmost heart… What a tremendous, what a blessed change these men and women must have experienced when of a sudden they were translated from the old dispensation into the new, from the law into freedom, from servants to sons! Is it a wonder that they spoke? And shall we, then, not speak of the marvellous work of God? He is our God forever! The God of our salvation!” --Herman Hoeksema, on Acts 2:1-4
- Date: 16-June