Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Week Eight - According


“Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work.”  Psalm 62:12

“According”.  It is word of measurement.  It comes from a word meaning foundation, based upon, and springing from.  This verse in Psalms teaches us that we will all receive something from the Lord based upon our work for him.  It is probably a wonderful thing that the phrase is preceded by the truth of God’s mercy.  For when it comes to receiving according to our works, we will all need mercy.

It reminds me of the truth of sowing and reaping.  Were it not for God’s mercy, we would all be consumed and destroyed, for none of us have done good enough works to be spared.  But God in his great mercy and love has chosen to forgive us for our failures and desires to reward us for our successes.

What though, if the reverse were true?  What if we served a God without mercy?  What if we really got what we deserved?
Not a very bright prospect, huh?

It also prompts me to think about the works I am doing for Him.  What real reward am I earning?  When it comes to judgment fire, how many of my works will be able to withstand the heat of God’s judgment?  I don’t think I will really know until the day, but until then I choose to continue to serve.  Until then, I look for the mercy of God when I fail and the smile of God when I succeed.  Until then, I will keep my eyes on Him who loves me and reaches out to me with great mercy in order to give me blessing according to my work.


“…according to thy Word….”
 Psalm 119:9, 25, 28, 41, 58, 65, 76, 107, 116, 154, 169, 170

God’s Word:
Verse 9 – brings cleansing
Verse 25 – brings life
Verse 28 – brings strength
Verse 41 – brings salvation
Verse 58 – brings mercy
Verse 65 – brings God’s good dealing
Verse 76 – brings comfort
Verse 107 – brings relief from affliction
Verse 116 – brings upholding
Verse 154 – brings quickening
Verse 169 – brings understanding
Verse 170 – brings deliverance

Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible and over and over the Psalmist praises and adores God’s Word.  God’s Word is the foundation of life.  God’s Word is the basis upon which life is created and ultimately judged.  God’s Word is the spring of life for every man who heeds it.  As the Psalmist writes he calls upon this basic truth and appeals to God for application of the Word to the needs of his life.

Those who dwell deeply in God’s Word know these truths to be real and active.  They know the surety and confidence with which they can rest and trust.  They know the heights to which the Word of God alone can take them.  And, they know that no matter how low life brings them, God’s Word is still there to lift them up and to uphold them in every trial.  Are you directing your life according to the Word?


“…according to thy tender mercies….”  Psalm 69:16

Psalm 25:7 – “Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O Lord.”

Psalm 69:16 – “Hear me, O Lord; for thy lovingkindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies.”

We cannot begin to delve into the word “according” until we know what we are measuring.  Therefore, we need the meaning of the word, “mercy”, which is, compassionate, unfailing love. 

We had a young family visiting in our home that had a son that was about four years old.  They had been trying to teach him the meaning of the word mercy.  Their definition was to not receive what you actually deserved.  This son was quite a sharp lad and had taken in their definition.  Now, each time he actually deserved to be punished for misbehaviour, he would call out to them, “Mercy, mercy, please give me mercy!”

In some sense, this is what the Psalmist is doing as well.  In the 25th Psalm we see that he knows his own guilt, but asks God to think kindly toward him and not punish him according to his youthful sins.  In the 69th Psalm he casts himself upon the love and kindness of God asking him to turn to him, or, look upon him with mercy.  This reminds me of the call of the sinner in the Gospels, “God be merciful unto me a sinner”.

We can call out to God for this compassionate unfailing love, because it is a foundation.  It is what springs from God.  God is love; therefore we can call upon him to receive love.  His love never fails.  It never ends.  It is always there.  It is a measure by which we can be assured of its supply. God will not withhold it from his children, so if you need it today -call.  Come boldly before the throne of grace!


“I will praise the Lord according to his righteousness…Psalm 7:17
“Judge me, O Lord my God, according to thy righteousness…”
 Psalm 35:24

“The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness: according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.”  Psalm 18:20

“Therefore hath the Lord recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight.”  Psalm 18:24

Wow.  The Psalmist is taking a really big step here.  Just think.  When we look at the first two verses referring to the righteousness of God, we don’t really have a problem for we know that God is always right and always just.  There is no unrighteousness in Him to any degree!  We should praise him for that, and we can know that God will judge us rightly based upon his own true righteousness.

But then, the Psalmist asks God to reward him according to his own human righteousness.  He must be very confident that he has acted rightly and that God will not find fault.  He says that his hands are clean; they are free from impurity or guilt. These verses are not a basis for salvation.  The Psalmist is not asking for God to forgive his sin, this matter is already settled.  What he is asking for and has recognized, is that God has already looked at his life and has rewarded him for living rightly.

There is blessing upon the one who lives rightly.  They can stand confidently before God for judgment.  They can also stand confidently if there is a problem, for they know that a righteous Judge will deal rightly and mercifully with them in that matter also.  I John 3:21 says, “Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.”  The Psalmist had this confidence.  Do you?


Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.”  Psalm 33:22

There are so many verses using this word that it is impossible to look them all.  Words like, power, integrity, deeds, purposed, work, etc., all of these are placed against the word “according”.  But for a final look at the measurement, let’s consider Psalm 33:22.  We are back to that word “mercy”, meaning compassionate, unfailing love.  It is being measured by the word, “hope”.  This means to wait for or to expect.  So, the question is, “How much hope do we have?”  God’s mercy will be upon us based upon the measure of our expectation.

Hope is a vital part of the Christian experience.  It is one of the three things that remain – Faith, Hope, and Charity.  The Bible says that without hope we are miserable.  It also says that we will be happy if our hope is in the Lord, and further, hope makes us not ashamed and we are saved by hope.  We are to be looking for that blessed hope and if that hope is in us it will cause us to live a pure life. Hope is vital. 

The Psalmist used hope to lift him from despair.  Several times as he asked himself why he was cast down or disquieted, he said, “…hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him…” God has no problem granting mercy to the soul whose hope and trust are based solely upon God’s sufficiency.  The soul whose hope is placed such has a solid foundation, a basis upon which to build, and will be springing forth from a depth that proceeds from a never-ending resource that is based upon the power and ability of God.

My hope is built on nothing less

Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;

I dare not trust the sweetest frame,

But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;

All other ground is sinking sand…

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