When the LORD listens to His people, He does not merely hear them. When the LORD listens to His people, He gives an attentive ear. It has been said that all that is needed sometimes is a listening ear to provide comfort and assurance. But God in His goodness does much more. He responds to His people who seek His help. He answers their prayers and provides what they need. As the LORD established His covenant with His people long ago, He called them to shema, to listen to and obey Him. He called them to not only hear, but to pay attention to what He saying and to respond in faithfulness to He decrees. But God does not charge the people with a standard that He Himself does not uphold. He in His goodness exhibits the epitome of faithfulness.
The psalmist asks for the LORD’s help and appeals to Him by recounting his own faithfulness to God. The psalmist has been faithful to God, he has trusted in Him. He has never ceased to call upon the LORD in His distress. But then the psalmist remembers the assurance that God answers the prayers of people not according to their works or their attributes, but according to His own attributes. The LORD readily exhibits His kindness and forgiveness and is abundant in faithful love. There is relief to the psalmist who utters, “You, LORD, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abundant in faithful love and truth.”
Because God is faithful, we can seek to be faithful like Him. We need His example to know how to truly be. This is why we are called to walk in His way and not our own. When we do our best to follow His example, we can truly bring Him honor. We must be taught how to glorify Him. When we seek to listen as the LORD listens to us and remain faithful as He is faithful, our lives are lived with the purpose for which He has designed us. Only then can we truly praise and serve Him.
LORD, You are so faithful. You are so good to hear my prayers to You, to hear when I cry to You for help. You are compassionate to attend to my every need, whether spoken or unspoken. There is no one Who can do the wondrous works You do. There is no one Who is like You: mighty and wise, loving and kind. I praise You LORD. I pray that You teach me to be faithful to You as You are faithful. Help me to be loving like You, kind and compassionate like You. Train me to better shema, to listen and obey You fully as You have decreed by Your Word. Show me Your ways, that I would follow. I pray all of these things in Jesus’ Name, AMEN.
Bible-in-a-Year Reading Plan (credit: Bible, studytools.com): John 19:16-42; 2 Chronicles 30; Psalm 86