THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2016
MERCY AND LIBERATION
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).
is all about liberation--from sin, from darkness, from the
enemy. God’s mercy liberates us in many ways.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- Uselessness (v.13).
- Oppression and persecution (v.14).
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).