Mercy in Affliction

“Let your mercy come to me, that I may live;
for your law is my delight.” Psalm 119.77

As mentioned previously, the current stanza of psalm 119 sets up in a chiastic structure, pointing the reader’s attention to this and the previous verse. As the psalmist extolls the value of God’s word in helping him face affliction, he ultimately recognizes this as an example of God’s mercy. Apart from the mercy of God, we all perish.

In this verse, the poet demonstrates an essential and profound understanding of God’s mercy. He does not lay claim to it. He does not speak of the mercy of God as though it is owed to him. Instead, he begs for the mercy of God. He recognizes that God’s mercy sustains his life and enables him to delight in the word of God. 

Keep in mind that he’s writing this while reflecting on the experience of trials and afflictions. He cannot see the goodness of God—and the value of Scripture to guide him through trials—apart from God’s mercy. So, he prays for mercy.

How often do you seek God for mercy in the midst of trials? When you do seek mercy, are you simply looking for an exit from your affliction? Or do you delight in God, his word, and what he is teaching you through trials? Spend some time praising God for his mercy and delighting in the mercy seen in his word.

Merciful God, teach us to delight in you and in your truth. We thank you for your numerous mercies; we thank you for giving us life. Help us, O Lord, to understand more of your amazing grace. Amen.

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