If you are a child of God, you have to one degree or another, and at one time or another, suffered mockery and ridicule. The gift of salvation makes a night and day difference between us and the world. Jesus once said, “By their will fruits ye shall know them.” This means that we ourselves know by our works, and by our reaction to the mockery of the world, whether we in God’s mercy have salvation begun in us.
Now mockery, ridicule, derision, and sneering are not pleasant. And the child of God knows that, because he has only a small beginning of that new obedience, he can easily fall into hiding his faith to have a more pleasant life, or respond to the mockery in a sinful way. Therefore the psalmist prays in Psalm 119:41, 42, “Let thy mercies also come unto me, O Lord, even thy salvation, according to thy word. So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word.” And we sing:
Thy promised mercies send to me,
Thy great salvation, Lord;
So shall I answer those who scoff;
My trust is in Thy word.
Now that which the psalmist prays for is not that he may be kept from that mockery and derision. Notice that he prays first for God’s mercy, and calls it salvation. Plainly he wants to continue to walk publicly as a child of God before the unbelievers. And he wants to answer them, not for fleshly advantage, but in order that he may defend the truth and be a living witness of the God of his salvation.
Consider also that to watch our tongue, and to be careful that we do not sin in our reaction to this ridicule and scoffing, we need the mercy of God. In fact, we need salvation. In His mercy God must give us that part of our salvation that is called sanctification. We need the Spirit of Christ not only to encourage us, but to hold and keep us faithful no matter how fiercely we are ridiculed and mocked.
We do trust in God’s word, but only because of His mercy. And we will continue to be faithful only as He in His mercy continues the work of salvation in us.
Read: Psalm 119:41-46
Psalter versification: 326:1
This devotional was written by Rev. Heys and published by the Reformed Book Outlet.