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February 19 – Samekh (1): Mercy

“You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word…Hold me up, that I may be safe and have regard for your statutes continually!” – Psalm 119:114, 117

Scripture reading: Psalm 119:113-120

From this stanza is it clear that there are two sides to God. On the one hand, He is just. “You spurn all who go astray from your statutes…All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross” (118,119). On the other hand, He is merciful, “You are my hiding place and my shield” (114). It’s also clear on which side of God the psalmist wants to be – the side of His mercy! That God shows mercy means He is our hiding place and shield. He is our strong shelter in the storms of life. He protects us from the attacks of the evil one.

In this way, the law reveals God’s mercy. By it, we are guarded from evil. By it, we may live (116). God will hold us up and make us safe (117). The picture is that of a loving Father Who holds us in His arms. It’s a picture of trusting children who turn to the Lord for comfort, encouragement and safety. This is wonderful covenantal language. God’s Word promises us life and assures us of His care. God is loving, gracious, and merciful.

God made a promise to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden when they had fallen into sin and were in a state of sin and corruption. He promised a seed, a child, one who will be born of a woman, in order to save mankind from its state of fallenness. He promised and He delivered, sending His One and Only Son to be our Saviour. Don’t we love that side of God?

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that we always know and are assured that we are children of God through Christ. Let us through faith turn to Him and find help, grace and mercy in our time of need.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. James Slaa is pastor of the Smithers Canadian Reformed Church in British Columbia, Canada.

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