“Let Your mercies come also to me, O LORD—
Your salvation according to Your word.”
Notice that this stanza in Psalm 119 (verses 41-48) begins with a request. It begins with a cry for the mercies (or steadfast love) of Yahweh.
And the psalmist seems to know that he does not deserve such love, nor can he attain it by his own volition. “Let Your mercies come to me,” he cries. In other words, this steadfast love can only be given by the One who offers it. The psalmist cannot produce it himself; it must be received as a gift.
What about you? Do you long for such divine mercies? Do you know your need for them? Are you aware of your need for God’s steadfast love? Our greatest need in life is to be reconciled with the Creator through the steadfast love that is expressed in Jesus Christ. However, many of us live as though our greatest need is something else outside of God.
But God has created us to be dependent upon Him—His mercies and steadfast love. Sure enough, He does not have to give us anything. From the time He first spoke creation into existence and formed our first parents from the dust of the ground, He has not owed us one thing. And yet, He freely gives to all. Water, food, air, you name it—these are all gifts from a good and gracious God.
Yet, there is one gift of love that supersedes all others. It is the gift that every soul yearns for: the gift of saving love—steadfast love. This love does not produce just a fuzzy feeling but a salvific deliverance! God alone defines the terms of such love, and as the psalmist states, it is a love delivered “according to [His] promise.”
We want love and salvation from God for all sorts of things. We want Him to save us from our critics, from our financial shortages, from our conflicts with people, and from the long, hard days. But this is love according to my word, my will, my idea of what is good and right with the world.
The psalmist does not respond this way. He is different. His cry is for saving love on God’s terms, not his own.
The way we look at God and His promises toward us is confronted here in Psalm 119:41. Do I want God’s love to come to me according to my preferences or according to His?
What are the things you think about everyday? What are the dreams you are engrossed in? Do they revolve around your own desires, or do they revolve around God’s? When our desires revolve around us, then we lose perspective. We begin to think that God’s love is best expressed in relief from our circumstances. The psalmist refused to fall prey to this way of thinking. He did not elevate His own interest over God’s promise and redemptive plan. He knew that God’s ultimate goal for His people is not to give them new circumstances but to make them new creations. And God does so through the limitless power of His word.