MEDITATIONS FROM PSALM 119
December 15, 2010
“The earth, O LORD, is full of Your mercy; teach me Your statutes” Psalm 119:64.
The definition of mercy is “not receiving that which we
deserve.” Every Believer’s escape from the judgment of God is due to His
immutable mercy. When we try to get a prospective on the meaning of the word
mercy, we must first get a grasp on the word judgment. Until we understand the
depths of what the Lord could rightly pass judgment on us, we will never
understand, to any degree, the depths of the mercy He has poured out on His
The Lord could justly have condemned us all in our sins, and condemned us to hell, and, if there, no injustice would have been done. Anything this side of hell is mercy.
Why is mercy spoken of in conjunction with judgment?
1) Because mercy is the only means by which we can escape God’s righteous judgment
2) Because, as God’s children, we must always show mercy to others, rather than judgment.
Consider for a moment Paul’s words:
“Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” Romans 2:1-5.
This reminds me of the story of the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-12). This woman had committed a capital crime, a crime punishable by stoning. This act is still considered a capital crime in some countries; one such instance in Iran is currently in the news. Jesus, knowing the hearts of all men, challenged them, and said, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first” John 8:7. Pharisees, such a Paul before his conversion, claimed to be blameless regarding the law (Phil 3:6), yet not one them threw a stone but slinked off into the crowd. They had no mercy—they refused to see the corruption in their own hearts until Jesus forced them to look closer.
When we begin to understand the corruption in our own heart, only then will we begin to understand the magnitude of God’s mercy to us.
“The earth is full of Your mercy.” Every breath we breathe, every drop of water we drink, and every minute we live, is only because of God’s mercy. This is true both for the Believer and nonbeliever. The world exists today because of God’s mercy.
“He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” Matthew 5:45.
However, the day is coming when this will no longer be true. The heavens and earth will come to an end under the judgment of God, and will be destroyed. Only God’s people will escape this judgment. They will be lifted up by the power of the Almighty out of this corruption while it is destroyed. God will create a new heaven and earth, and, along with Jesus as their Ruler and King, the redeemed will live forever on the new earth—there will be no corruption, and therefore will not require God’s judgment.
Our eternal welfare is the result of God’s mercy. Think of it—new earth, no sin, no corruption, no death, no judgment.
This does not mean God does not judge sin today. Sin has its consequences both the Believer and the nonbeliever. To the Believer, it comes as chastisement, not judgment. Jesus has already borne God’s judgment for our sin, and there is no such thing as double jeopardy with God.
Even if your neighbor commits a capital crime, if you start throwing stones in his direction, you immediately despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering (Romans 2:4).
If you know even the slightest condition of your own heart, you will know that the seeds of that same corruption are there.
“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!” Romans 11:33.
“That which a man spits against heaven, shall fall back on his own face” Thomas Adams – 1583 – 1652.