Psalm 18:25-30 (ESV)–
“With the merciful you show yourself merciful;
with the blameless man you show yourself blameless;
with the purified you show yourself pure;
and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous.
For you save a humble people,
but the haughty eyes you bring down.
For it is you who light my lamp;
the LORD my God lightens my darkness.
For by you I can run against a troop,
and by my God I can leap over a wall.
This God—his way is perfect;
the word of the Lord proves true;
he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.”
Few things are as offensive as religious people who arrogantly check off their duty boxes in order to appear superior to other people. Their lives are consumed with thoughts of keeping the rules, retaining superior databases of biblical information, and looking down on those who fail to see and do life the same way they do.
We read the words of this portion of Psalm 18 and understand from the inspired text that God’s favor is not on the self-righteous and never has been. It is on the humble and needy men and women of the earth who look to God to supply what they cannot supply on their own.
God’s favored people are merciful because their merciful God enables mercy. God’s favored people are blameless because their blameless God enables blamelessness. God’s favored people are pure because their pure God enables purity. Those who pervert and twist the ways of God, making much of self rather than God, experience a twisted and crooked end in life (“tortuous”) as judgment on their arrogance.
God showers saving grace on humble people because they see themselves as poor and needy of God’s goodness and righteousness. But the haughty, who are high and mighty in their own eyes, will be brought down to size in God’s good time. Only God, not man, can produce the light of righteousness and enable people to overcome deficiency and opposition. Humble pursuers of God recognize the reliability needed in life can only come from the God of grace and mercy, who makes Himself known only to those who come to Him for safety.
Humble and dependent followers of God take joy in the goodness of God’s provision and delight to declare God’s goodness and sufficiency to others. The poor and needy who drink from the river of God’s goodness and mercy love to proclaim His goodness and sufficiency to others who are thirsty and needy. Those who are thus satisfied by God’s goodness shun haughtiness and walk in humility before both God and men. The conviction of their hearts and the cry of their mouths is recorded in Revelation 22:17, “The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.” This describes the beauty of God’s provision for every needy sinful soul, through the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ.
May God help this to be the consistent and humble conviction of our hearts and the cry of our mouths!
[Pastor Mark Landess]