THE LORD’S MERCIFUL KINDNESS
by Wayne S. Walker
“For His merciful kindness is great toward us, and the truth of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD!” (Psalm 117:2). The longest Psalm is Psalm 119. The shortest Psalm is just two Psalms earlier, Psalm 117, with two verses. It is basically a Psalm of praise. Verse one reads, “Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles! Laud Him all you peoples!” The second verse then gives the reason why the Psalmist encourages everyone to praise the Lord. “His merciful kindness is great toward us.”
The Lord’s merciful kindness towards sinful mankind is truly great. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Even though every single responsible human being has sinned against God, He still loves us enough to have sent His Son to die for our sins so that we might have salvation.
The Lord’s merciful kindness towards His people is also great. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ….in [whom] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:3-7). Not only is redemption offered to all mankind, but also once we have been redeemed, we have wonderful blessings such as the privilege of prayer, the guidance of God’s word, the fellowship of other Christians in the church, and, of course, the hope of eternal life. That is merciful kindness indeed!
The Lord’s merciful kindness towards each of us as individuals is surely great as well. “Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14:17). Yes, I know that there are many in this world, and even in our own land, who are suffering. But the vast majority of us have roofs over our heads, clothing for our bodies, sufficient food to eat, and a number of other comforts and conveniences, all of which the merciful kindness of God makes possible.
The Lord’s merciful kindness towards the world in general is great. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). The Bible definitely teaches that Jesus will return. There is much evil in this world, and we may sometimes wonder why He has not come back yet. But the reason is that God is longsuffering and wishes to give every possible chance for repentance. Certainly we can join with the Psalmist to say that God’s merciful kindness towards us is great!