Psalm 119.129-136 (3)
Pray Psalm 119.132.
Look upon me and be merciful to me,
As Your custom is toward those who love Your name.
Sing Psalm 119.132, 133.
(No Other Plea: My Faith Has Found a Resting Place)
Look on me, Lord, with mercy as on all who love Your Name.
Direct my steps to keep Your paths, and all Your Word proclaim.
Yes, let Your Word my shelter be; rule over all my soul,
and keep me from iniquity; my every way control.
Read Psalm 119.129-136; meditate on verse 132.
1. Of what did the psalmist appear to be conscious in this verse?
2. How could he have confidence in asking what he did?
Do you ever think about God, looking upon you? What kind of “look” would you expect to see in His face? Disappointment? Impatience? Irritation bordering on anger? Or one of tenderness, compassion, mercy, and understanding?
In fact, we might expect any of those depending on how we comport ourselves before Him. Of course, we want to think that God always looks upon us with mercy, His face shining with love and understanding and Him ready to give us strength and grace for all our needs. And He does, for we are His chosen children. But we want to see – to experience the sense of – that merciful look more continuously, without fearing the other “looks” we might more appropriately deserve.
And we can. There is a condition, however. We must love Him. We must love His very Name, His Word, His Law, and all His ways. If we love Him, we will delight in and keep His commandments, and He will accompany us with His Presence, looking upon us with mercy and supporting us in all our ways. We prove our love for the Lord – and our faith and salvation (Heb. 11.1; 6.9) – by delighting in His Word, meditating in it, clinging to it, and following its teaching.
It is God’s “custom” – actually, “rule” – to look with mercy on those who love His Name. The more we work at loving Him, the more we may expect to see that merciful look accompanying us in all our ways.
Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“The merciful man does good for his own soul…” (Prov. 11.17).
I know that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, and our ways are not God’s ways (Is. 55.8); but are we so dissimilar that we don’t all appreciate someone who loves us and tries to do things to please us?
God seems to be saying in Psalm 119.132 that He does appreciate those who love His Name, and love His Law so much that they beseech the Holy Spirit to help them live in a way that causes Him delight.
“The earth, O LORD, is full of Your mercy; teach me Your statutes” (Ps. 119.64). Everywhere we look we see God’s mercy. We know of His mercy. We experience His mercy every moment that we draw breath. But we also know that we can experience His displeasure when we are disobedient to His Law. So, we ask Him to teach us how to be merciful, as He is merciful.
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ…” (Eph. 2.4, 5).
Yes, His mercy overcomes our wretchedness. Yes, by His grace we have been saved (Eph. 2.8). And yes, He loved us even when we were His enemies (Rom. 5.8).
Think about your own children. When they were young, you loved them and taught them and trained them, and didn’t expect that they would be interested in you as a person. But when they grow up, and everyone is an adult, one hopes that these little persons will be big persons who love you and are interested in you. I think the same is true for God. He does all the preliminary work of redeeming and reviving us, but He longs for us to love Him, to love His Name and His Law. Jesus said as much, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (Jn. 14.15). And, “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you” (Jn. 15.14).
With these truths in mind we can confidently pray, “Look upon me and be merciful to me, as Your custom is toward those who love Your name” (Ps. 119.132).
Jesus, the very thought of Thee, with sweetness fills my breast;
But sweeter far Thy face to see, and in Thy presence rest.
Nor voice can sing, nor heart can frame, nor can the memory find
A sweeter sound than Thy blest name, O Savior of mankind!
O Hope of every contrite heart, O Joy of all the meek,
To those who fall, how kind Thou art! How good to those who seek!
But what to those who find? Ah! this, nor tongue nor pen can show,
The love of Jesus, what it is, none but His loved ones know.
(Bernard of Clairvaux, 1150)
1. Our relationship with God is one of mutual love. Why is it important to remember that?
2. How do you express your love for God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?
3. Whom can you tell about the love of God today?
The believer, wearied with the cares of life and his conflicts with sin, pants for the consolations conveyed to him by means of the sacred word. And every one may pray, Look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me as thou used to do unto those that love thy name. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Psalm 119.132
Pray Psalm 119.129-131.
Thank the Lord for feeding you with His Word. Ask Him to show more of the wonders of His salvation today and to know His mercy and grace for all your times of need.
Sing Psalm 119.129-131.
(No Other Plea: My Faith Has Found a Resting Place)
Your testimonies, Lord are sweet; I hide them in my soul.
Your words give light unto my feet, and make my thinking whole.
I open wide my mouth to You: Lord, feed me with Your Word!
I vow that all You say I’ll do: I love Your precepts, Lord.
T. M. and Susie Moore
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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.