Prayers

The Plight of Man and the Mercy of God

6 Mins read

None Are Good but God Alone, Yet God Still Calls Sinners to Himself

“The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any who did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the Lord” (KJV, Ps. 14:2-4).

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“The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men”

Father, I thank You for the privilege of being able to pray to You. I thank You that You are a God Who hears my prayer. I thank You that You are a God Who delights in answering the prayers of His children. Father, I thank You that when You created the world, You didn’t leave the world to fend for itself. I see that You are a God Who is intimately involved with His creation. The verse at hand tells me that You look down from heaven upon me.

I pray that I would not take it lightly that You look upon Your creation. You see all things and know all things. You have a way about Yourself that infinitely transcends the ways of man. Your thoughts are not my thoughts, and Your ways are not my ways. To You, one day is as one thousand years, and one thousand years is as a day.

Your Word tells me that You are constantly looking down from heaven upon Your creation. In actuality, that is only a portion of the whole. You are also here with Your creation. You are in all places at all times. You are omnipresent. May I always be mindful of the fact that You are keeping a close watch over Your creation. May I always be mindful of the fact that I cannot run from Your Spirit or escape from Your presence. Even if I were to make my bed in Sheol, I could not be where You are not.

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“to see if there were any who did understand”

As Your Word progresses, I can see that You look down from heaven to see if there are any who understand. To understand is far greater than to simply have knowledge of something. To have knowledge of something is not necessarily equated with wisdom. The Scriptures tell me that a fool has knowledge, but he is a fool because he does not apply the knowledge that he has. In a sense, it could be properly stated that the fool does not truly understand.

But Your Word tells me that someone cannot truly understand Your Word unless the Spirit of God is present in his life. I pray that You would give me a heart to understand. I also pray that You would open my eyes to the truth of Your Word.

I also see that in the parable of the sower, there are many different people in this world. There is the one from whom Satan plucks the seed away quickly, so that it does not bear fruit. There is another who lacks a solid root in Christ and is, as a result, outside of the fold. There is yet another who is focused on the world rather than on Christ. Finally, there is the one with the good soil. Your Word tells me that it is the one with the good soil who both hears the Word and understands the Word and, as a result, bears much fruit.

I see in this parable that there is a great necessity to understand the truth. I must not simply hear the truth. I must not simply be intrigued by the truth. I must not simply know someone who knows the truth. Instead, I must hear the truth and understand Your truth personally. Please, Father, give me a heart to understand Your truth.

“and seek God”

Father, You are worthy to be sought. There is none like You, nor will there ever be. At the end of the day, what matters to me – and to You – is if I am truly seeking You. I see that there were many kings in the Old Testament who did good in Your eyes, but there were even more kings who did not. One of the dividing lines between the good kings and the ones who did evil was that the good kings sought Your face and the wicked kings did not. I pray that You would burden my heart to seek Your face.

Show me what it means to seek You. Do You desire that I would pray more? Do You desire that I would read Your Word more or memorize Scripture? Do You desire that I would confess and forsake a particular sin? Do you desire that I would fast and humble myself before You? Show me how I could seek You in greater measure.

“They are all gone aside”

David made it clear that the people of his day had turned aside from you. The sad reality is that man could not bear it if You chose to turn away from him. However, I see that man is stubborn in his heart and turns from You as a result. I also see that Paul uses this verse to tell of the universality of sin. I pray that You would keep me close to You, Lord, and guard my heart from turning.

I thank You that in Christ, I can see my Savior hung high upon a cross. I see in my own life a time in which I had turned aside from You. Nevertheless, You sent Your Son to die for me. You turned Your face from Christ instead of from me. I pray that You would help me to remember that You have turned Your face from Your Son, and now You will never turn Your face from me.

“they are all together become filthy”

The fact of the matter is that sin pollutes. Sin is by its very nature unclean and thus filthy. Father, I thank You that You have made a way that I can be clean. I thank You that You have made a way that I can be cleansed of my unrighteousness. Father, I pray that You would forgive me for my sin this day. If You clean me, Father, I will be whiter than snow.

I thank You that in Christ, I am seen as clean, I am seen as pure, and I am seen as holy. I thank You that in Christ, I am seen as sanctified, and in one sense, the work has been done. However, I also see that I must confess and forsake my sin. I must humble myself before You and ask for forgiveness.

“there is none that doeth good, no, not one”Mercy of God

When I place myself up against Your law, I can see that I am not good. I am not who I ought to be. By worldly standards, I may be good. By my own standard, I may be good. According to the law of the government, I may be good. Nevertheless, I am not good when placed up against Your law.

Your law condemns me whenever I accurately gauge my performance by it. Needless to say, that is what Your law does best. Your law shows me my sin and teaches me that I must look elsewhere to be justified. I cannot find a hope in Your law; I must look outside of Your law for hope.

I am reminded of the rich young ruler who went to Jesus and called Jesus a good teacher. Jesus’ response was telling. Jesus asked the rich young ruler as to why he had called Him good. The reason for this question is that only You are good.

Please help me to look to Christ this day. Please have mercy upon me, and teach me that I must trust in Christ alone.

“Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge?”

How can the people of the earth sin against You? Why do they persist, Lord? Why do I persist and never truly give up my sin? David was curious as to why the people of the land sinned against You. It would seem as though they did not truly have a proper knowledge of You and Who You are.

A proper knowledge of You should lead to a proper response to You. However, it seems as though this is not always the case. Your Word also tells me that there will be times when knowledge will merely puff me up with pride if I am not careful, but love will build me up. I pray that you would increase my knowledge of You, but that it would also be coupled with a love for You.

“who eat up my people as they eat bread”

There is a war going on among the children of man. The war was spoken of in Genesis chapter 3 and then exhibited in Genesis chapter 4. Cain, the firstborn, killed Abel, the second born. In the same way, there will now be war and violence between the firstborn and those who have been born again. The children of the enemy will be at war with the children of God until Your Son comes back to the earth. Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly. Come and establish Your kingdom and reign upon the earth.

“and call not upon the Lord”

While all men sin, it is not true that all men call upon the Lord. The unrepentant sinner does not call upon the Lord. The Christian spends much of his time seeking the Lord and calling upon Your name. Father, I pray that You would establish my steps this day. I pray that You would help me to live in this world and to honor You in it. I pray that You would help me to understand the Gospel better and to see the glories of my Savior in the Gospel message. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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