Mercy is Always Better

**Unto thee will I cry, O LORD my rock: be not silent to me: lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that do down into the pit. Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle. ** Psalm 28:1,2

Psalm 28 continues after these two introductory verses with David’s requests to God that He would not allow him to end up like those who do not have faith and reject his God, dying hopeless and condemned for all eternity. He goes so far as asking God to go against his nature and be merciless with the wicked. David is quite direct and a bit ruthless in his desire to see unbelievers pay for their ways. He continues throughout this Psalm detailing the end of those who turn their back on what the Lord has to offer. He portrays them as liars and deceivers. David asks God to give them exactly what they deserve.

By the end of the Psalm, David returns to praising the Lord, proclaiming that God hears his prayers, and that God keeps his promises to keep David safe and bless him and also cares for all those that put their trust and faith in the Lord.

I just really find this psalm a bit disturbing. If we read about David’s life in 1 Samuel, we see him running from his personal enemies, like King Saul. Not from fear of not being able to win against him. He did after all already defeat a bear and a lion and Goliath the giant of the Philistine army! But it seems to me that David went into a dark place in his heart and allowed himself to wish the worse on his enemies.

Most of the time, David extols the Lord’s mercy and grace and forgiveness and his habit of offering second, third and fourth chances for those who do him wrong. It seems to me that David is not in a great place.

Has that ever happened to you? Someone offends you, or hurts someone you love or does something that causes havoc in your life directly or indirectly? And when you should respond with grace, forgiveness, or a soft answer you just spew out venom about them? To a 3rd party or maybe even directly to the guilty party?

I know I have….and I was so very wrong! I have been extremely unkind behind someone’s back and once or twice to their face. I am not proud of it. And sometimes I have been able to make amends with the person, but sometimes the damage has been irreparable.

But worse than all of that is when I tried to come before God with my own requests and I would feel so ashamed when He reminded me that I had to fix things before I could ask him for my own selfish needs.

And that part of the story is left out of the psalm. The time between praising God and his conflict with his enemies and then the praise section at the end. We never know how much time expires from the first verse to the last of any psalm. Was it an hour? A day? A month? Or years?

You see, life is a process, transpiring over time. And God can reduce all of our mistakes and major blunders into just a few words. He doesn’t hammer us with all the details but usually He gives us a talking to in a loving, private way. We can be at our worse, but the Lord only gives us little reminders of what we did to help us to not repeat it again. Like a little warning.

And I think the Lord used David’s very transparent life and heart to remind us of our own failings and how to get passed them.

**There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.** 1 Corinthians 10:13

The Psalms are an escape for us from falling into the same traps that David and others fell into. They are a way out. Before things get too out of hand. They teach us what NOT to do.

So, let’s all be careful of how we react to a bad situation. David always comes back to the Lord, with repentance, praise and giving of thanks. Let’s try to skip the middle part more often and go right to the last chapter of these events in our own lives. I promise we will all sleep better for it.

Let me know what you think!