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They Erred, They Cried; He Heard, He Delivered

Unconditional Love, Unfailing Mercy

Every human being needs the mercy of God; i.e., everyone of us needs to NOT receive what we deserve but rather to be rescued from the effects of whatever our deviation from God-likeness has been.  Psalm 107 offers a beautiful, all-encompassing (albeit abbreviated) collage of the domain of God’s mercy, revealing His heart of mercy and His love of mercy (Micah 7:18), regardless of the offense committed.  In reading this extraordinary psalm, we can sense the unconditional love of God waiting and looking eagerly for the opportunity to manifest His forgiveness and Mercy to those desperate to receive from Him what they need.

” … a very present, well-timed help in trouble … ” (Psalm 46:1b)

In verses  four and five of Psalm 107, we read:  “Some wandered in the wilderness in a solitary desert track;  they found no city for habitation.  Hungry and thirsty, they fainted;  their lives were near to being extinguished.”   Some Christians wander from the covering and the fullness of the Body of Christ — even at times wanting to flee His presence.  But there comes that moment where such saints sense the emptiness of being a member separated  from the whole, like a lone ember that has rolled off the pile of the others, which are glowing because of their proximity to each other.  And the cry for help comes into the ears of their understanding, long-suffering God:  “They cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distresses.” (v.6)  and He redirects them into “the straight and right way” (v. 7).  And then for the first of four times in the psalm, David challenges us all:  “Oh, that men would praise the Lord for His goodness and His wonderful works to the children of men!” (v.8)

” … though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death …”  (Psalm 23:4a)

Next, in verses 10 through 12 of  the psalm, we read  how there are those who blatantly, ardently rebel against Him and the counsel He has  given them — and suffer the consequences:  “Therefore He bowed down their hearts with hard labor;  they stumbled and fell down, and there was none to help.”  They sank and were in terrible bondage, trying to make up for the misery caused by their disobedience with their works.  Yet, there was One who was able and willing to immediately run to their cry (Hebrews 2:14), and He did.  Again, we read:  “Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses.  He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death and broke apart the bonds that held them” (v.12,13).  And yes, again, David calls out to us to praise Him “for His His goodness and loving-kindness and His wonderful works to the children of men” (v.15).

” … whatever a man sows, that … is what he will reap.” (Galatians 5:7b)

There are  people, believers and unbelievers alike, who are afflicted or sick  because although they  know what they need to do to be healthy in spirit, soul, and body, they don’t do it;  some even end up dying.  “Some are fools [made ill] because of the way of their transgressions and are afflicted because of their iniquities.  They loathe every kind of food, and they draw near to the gates death” (v.17,18).  BUT!  “Then they cry to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivers them out of their distresses. He sends forth His Word and heals them and rescues them from the pit and destruction.” (vv. 19, 20)  He deals with the results of their emotional rebellion against His Word, which they practiced in order to satisfy any of many lust patterns;  and He delivers them according to His abundant Mercy.  This is indeed EXTRAORDINARY Mercy, and David, in the third person imperative, strongly advises that  “sacrifices of thanksgiving” be made because of this immeasurable, never-ending attribute of God.

” … all their wisdom has come to nothing.” 

Finally, there are those who do business in, with, and for the world and are steeped in the world;  they operate in the wisdom of the world, which is “earthly, unspiritual, even devilish” (James 3:15).  They indeed “love the world and the things that are in the world” (1 John 2:15)  Yet even such as these, when they are in trouble and cry to the Lord, He hears and saves them (Romans 10:13).  The Lord “commands and raises up the story wind, which lifts up the waves of the sea.  [Those aboard] mount up to the heavens, they go down again to the deeps;  their courage melts away because of their plight.  They reel to and fro and stagger like a drunken man and are at their wits’ end. … Then they cry to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses.  He hushes the storm to a calm and to a gentle whisper , so that the waves of the sea are still.” (vv. 23-29)  Furthermore, He gives them what the world can never give anyone:  quiet, calm and a genuine peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7)  And they are glad, because He brings them into a place of safety, which their souls have desired deep within all along (Psalm 107:30).  Isn’t this what all people are looking for and desire without perhaps being able to define it?  Otherwise, we are relegated to the bad news of Proverbs 15:15a:  “All the days of the desponding and afflicted are made evil by anxious thought and foreboding.”  But when we cry out to Him and He brings us into our “desired haven” of His Peace and His rest, we have glad hearts;  and “he who is of a glad heart has a continual feast, regardless of the circumstances.” (v. 15b)!

” The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him and who hope in His mercy … ” 

Psalm 107 ends with a challenge to consider closely and to obey what has been read in the 42 preceding verses: “Whoso is wise … will observe and heed these things;  and they will diligently consider the mercy and loving-kindness of the Lord.”  As was mentioned earlier in this writing, the Lord loves mercy (Micah 7:18).  He even requires it of man that he love it (Micah 6:8).  Furthermore, He makes it clear that His delight is NOT in any natural strength or ability of man but rather in those  “who hope in His mercy and loving-kindness.” (Psalm 147:10,11)

Our God is the Father of mercies (2 Corinthians 1:3)

This writing gives a “nano-bit” of what our Father is like, and of how multitudinous His mercies are.  But to maybe drive home a little more clearly and firmly just how immeasurably He esteems mercy,  as well as those who love His mercy, let’s consider what He declares in Psalm 91:14: “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him;  I will set him on high, because he knows and understands My name [has a personal knowledge of My mercy, love , and kindness – trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never forsake him, no never].”  This divine mindset of our heavenly Father is unchanging, and His mercy will always rejoice over judgment (James 2:13);  It will always follow us throughout the length of each day (Psalm 23:6), no matter what we do or don’t do! He will always delight in it above any form of penance or self-atoning sacrifice or offering.  It is brand new not just every morning, but moment by moment (Lamentations 3:24; Isaiah 27:3).

God’s mercy will never end;  “It endures forever” (Psalm 136:1-26).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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