FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2016
MERCY AND LIBERATION
February 24, 2016
Today’s psalm: Psalm 31:5-16
God’s mercy is so much more than just forgiving us and withholding the just punishment due us. Mercy is an invitation to repentance, but that is just the very first step. God wants to bring us to the fullness of His will for us. His will is for us to experience the fullness of salvation. “You will redeem me, Lord, God of truth.” (v.6b).
Salvation is all about liberation–from sin, from darkness, from the enemy. God’s mercy liberates us in many ways.
- Liberation from the enemy. “Free me from the net they have set for me” (v.5a). The enemy seeks to ensnare us and hold us captive. God’s mercy shields us from the designs of the enemy.
- Liberation from idols. “You hate those who serve worthless idols” (v.7a). Many worship the idols of money, power, status, hedonism or consumerism. These bring us away from God. These compete with our allegiance that should be to God alone. Mercy shows us the way to look only to the one true God.
- Liberation from misery of spirit. “I will rejoice and be glad in your mercy, once you have seen my misery, and gotten to know the distress of my soul.” (v.8). We are weighed down by our sins and spend our days in the mire of worldly darkness. Mercy changes all that, and brings us to the joyful light of a life in Christ.
- Liberation from the allures of the enemy that enslaves. “You will not abandon me into enemy hands, but will set my feet in a free and open space.” (v.9). The enemy will assault us till the end of our days. Mercy gives us God’s protection and care.
- Liberation from worldly forces that weigh us down.
– Sorrow and sighing through years of hardship, in illness and old age (v.11).
– Rejection by friends and neighbors as well as enemies (v.12).
– Uselessness (v.13).
– Oppression and persecution (v.14).
So in our distress and affliction we look to God’s mercy. “Be gracious to me, Lord, for I am in distress; affliction is wearing down my eyes, my throat and my insides.” (v.10). We know and can be confident that God is rich in mercy. We trust in His great love for us. He will set us free. “But I trust in you, Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My destiny is in your hands” (v.15-16a).
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