The tenth section of Psalm 119 is full of prayers. In verse 73 the psalmist had prayed that God would give him understanding. Then follows in this section of the Psalm five petitions that God will let this and that happen. In verses 75, 76 he prays, "I know, O Lord, that Thy judgments are right, and that Thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me. Let, I pray Thee, Thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to Thy word unto thy servant."
Here he prays for comfort in the midst of his afflictions. And because God has given him understanding, he judged God's judgment to be right. He had sinned and deserved those afflictions. Now he wants the comfort of assurance that in God's merciful kindness he is forgiven.
Never can we get comfort apart from that merciful kindness. Never can we by anything we do get our guilt removed and can we be freed from the power of sin that holds us. We cannot open our hearts to let Christ come in. We cannot push aside our sinful natures by asking for it. We earn nothing by our prayers and never change God by them. If we think that we can open our hearts and can influence God by what we do, we had better pray for understanding as the psalmist did in verse 73.
No, God must remove our guilt and put spiritual life in us before we can do anything pleasing in His sight. He must do that before we can even want and then pray for salvation from sin and its punishment. His merciful kindness does this for us and in us.
God is the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last. He opens our hearts before we can even want them to be opened. Every bit of our salvation is because of His merciful kindness. For it was in that kindness that He sent His own Son into our flesh to suffer our punishment, so that He could earn for us the right to be delivered from the power of sin in which Satan holds us.
In that truth we can find comfort. God makes the first move always. A child is not born because it wanted it. And we are not born again because we wanted it. God's merciful kindness saves us.
So also we sing:
Thou, Lord, art just in all Thy ways,
And faithful Thou chastenest me;
I pray Thee, let Thy promised grace
Thy servant's help and comfort be.
Read: Revelation 22
Psalter versification: #330:2
Meditations on the Heidelberg Catechism
Song for Meditation: Psalter #270
Why not sing along??
Through the Bible in One Year
2 Chronicles 30 ; 2 Chronicles 31:1-21
Quote for Reflection:
Be not wiser than God; - train your children as He trains His. — J. C. Ryle
- Date: 1-August