Devotional: February 12, 2021
I love God because he listened to me, listened as I begged for mercy. He listened so intently as I laid out my case before him. Death stared me in the face, hell was hard on my heels. Up against it, I didn’t know which way to turn; then I called out to God for help: “Please, God!” I cried out. “Save my life!” God is gracious—it is he who makes things right, our most compassionate God. God takes the side of the helpless; when I was at the end of my rope, he saved me.
Psalm 116: 1-6 The Message
The author of this Psalm is most likely King David. Here, he is very straightforward in his answer to this question: Why do we love God? God listened to him, and God saved him. In other words, David loves the Lord, because God loved him first.
He didn’t know which way to turn, and so he turned to the Lord. It appears that his life had been threatened, yet now he has a calm reassurance, for God is listening. Whether or not the danger had passed, David now has a renewed sense of peace. He knew that by reaching out to the Lord, he would take compassion on David, and save him.
Part of the reason David turns to God is his disgust and disillusionment with people. Later in this Psalm, he even grumbles, complaining that he is giving up on the human race, for “They’re all liars and cheats!” Have you ever felt like that about the world? Most likely all of us have had feelings like that at one point in our life. The truth is that there are good people in the world, but sometimes we are disappointed, even to the point of bitterness, over the actions of many people. Fortunately, we can always look to the Lord…
The Psalm ends with the Psalmist asking himself about what he might do for the Lord. He talks about raising a glass in honor, (lifting high the cup of salvation), and offering a toast to God! The Lord has a much clearer picture of the world than we do, and the Lord has compassion when we are at the end of our rope.
On a more serious note, David speaks of praying, worshipping, working with God’s people, serving others, and keeping his promises to the Lord. When things are not right, God alone will make things right. Yet we must be patient, and work on the things that we can. Most importantly, call out to God. He is always there, and He is a really good listener.
Do you have a list of things you want to do for the Lord, out of a spirit of thankfulness? If you don’t have one, you might begin drawing one up by asking yourself the same question David mused upon in verse 12: “What can I give back to God for the blessings he’s poured out on me?”
When we do the listening, the Lord will speak to us!
Ever present Lord, thank You. Nothing is too small or too great to bring before You. Forgive me when I try and solve things without putting You first. Help me to remember You are faithful, and help me to be faithful to you in all things. Thank You for Your compassion. May I show that same compassion towards others.
Faithfully, I pray this prayer in Jesus’ name, Amen.