Take a good look at my trouble, and help me— I haven’t forgotten your revelation. Take my side and get me out of this; give me back my life, just as you promised. “Salvation” is only gibberish to the wicked because they’ve never looked it up in your dictionary. Your mercies, God, run into the billions; following your guidelines, revive me. My antagonists are too many to count, but I don’t swerve from the directions you gave. I took one look at the quitters and was filled with loathing; they walked away from your promises so casually! Take note of how I love what you tell me; out of your life of love, prolong my life. Your words all add up to the sum total: Truth. Your righteous decisions are eternal. (Psalm 119:160)
I want us to focus today on those words in bold above - your mercies, God, run into the billions. I don't know about you, but I think God's mercies in my life alone are into the multi-billions! There are moments when I just know he has showered me in his mercies - like those times I avoid a severe accident on the freeway by just seconds. There are also times I look back, knowing he was steering me away from dumb mistakes I could have made if I had of acted upon the impulse of the moment. Regardless, God's mercies just keep on coming and I would have it no other way in my life! A couple of things I would like us to consider this morning as we dwell upon God's mercies in our own lives:
1. His mercies are best appreciated or 'known' when we take time to get to know how he actually moves in our lives. This might just be why our psalmist references not forgetting God's revelation - as he has made himself available to learn from God's truths in the Word, he has come to know how God moves. He knows when it is God and when the source of the present 'happenings' may just be something other than God. Salvation is only gibberish to the wicked - because they haven't explored the meaning of salvation in the ultimate dictionary - God's Word.
2. As we follow the guidelines revealed in the Word, we find ourselves right where we need to be when God's mercies are needed the most in our lives. Sure, God can show us mercy when we aren't regularly in the Word of God, but imagine the possibilities of appreciating and actually 'participating in those mercies' when we understand how he works! What is the intent of a guideline? Isn't it to give a reference for how something is to be put together or the steps we take to do a particular set of actions? The guidelines we follow in healthcare are aimed at providing care that has been 'tested' and found to be 'effective' in curing disease. Those guidelines actually place the individual in our care in a better place to be healthy again. Wouldn't it be silly to have all the guidelines and then choose our own course of action?
3. We make a choice to 'stick with the plan' when times gets tough - when antagonists exist in our lives. We can either throw in the towel, choosing our own way over God's, or we can adhere to what we know will be the most trustworthy principles by which we should live. We make the choice - to walk away or stick with it - not once in a while, but each and every moment of our days. Imagine how many times we choose unwisely and then recount the many mercies God showed in those moments, in spite of our failure to follow the guidelines!
4. Truth is eternal - it is lasting. It doesn't change. Truth is truth - it isn't 'situational' - working at one time and then not at another. On this earth there is gravity - gravity still exists when we go into one of those chambers designed to remove the gravitational pull - it is just blocked at that moment in that place. We have to guard against the antagonists that attempt to block truth in our lives - we want that gravitational 'pull' toward the goodness and righteousness of God. We don't want to go through life without that 'pull' - we need that stability! Just sayin!