I sought Your favor with all my heart; be gracious to me according to Your word. Psalm 119:58
I can hardly grasp this grace God has toward us. Since childhood I have kept myself in reserve, holding back from giving my whole heart in any endeavor, to any person. As it dawned on me in my early twenties the extent of God’s gracious lovingkindness toward this sinner, the light of truth began to rise in my haunted soul. No doubt about it–my inner landscape enjoys the full light of day where once it was a dangerous midnight. Wicked creatures still lurk in the shadows, but I live in a heart of live-giving light.
David says he sought God’s favor–His grace–at the time he had promised to keep His words (the verse preceding this one). Frequently in the Psalms David asks God to be gracious: “Be gracious to me, O Lord, for to You I cry all day long.” Ps. 86:3 We do not ask once only! May it be with a whole heart: “Unite my heart to fear Your name. I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart.” Psalm 86: 11,12
David looks confidently back to God’s Word and to personal experience to ask, “You have said you will be gracious to me. I ask for it; I trust You will.” He was thinking of Exodus 34:6, where God revealed Himself to Moses, “The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth…” David refers to this again in Ps. 103:8, “The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.” Paul applies it to as yet unrepentant sinners in Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Honestly? It is taking me a lifetime to understand this. I think I get it, and then I slip into thinking God cannot be gracious to me this week because I particularly do not deserve it.
But His word cannot be broken, and He said.
I seek this favor with my whole heart. You have been, You are, and You will be gracious to me. And one day I will no longer have a shadow of a doubt.