Blessed are You, O Lord, who is merciful.

I love the Lord, because he has heard
my voice and my pleas for mercy.
Because he inclined his ear to me,
therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
The snares of death encompassed me;
the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;
I suffered distress and anguish.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
“O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!”
Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
our God is merciful.
The Lord preserves the simple;
when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return, O my soul, to your rest;
for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
For you have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling;
I will walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.
~Psalm 116:1-9 (ESV)

Whenever I read Psalm 116, I find myself wondering where the land of the living is and what it looks like. In the Old Testament, the land of the living is Canaan, and the prophet Ezekiel 26:20 tells us that God sets beauty there. With the help of the Psalmist I can imagine just how beautiful the land of the living is.

  • A place of quiet rest where desperate pleas are heard by the Lord who is merciful.
  • A place where child-like believers trust that the Lord who is merciful will preserve them.
  • A place of grace where the Lord who is merciful freely offers life, comfort and sure-footing.
  • A place of compassion where the Lord who is merciful abundantly blesses.

Moreover, the land of the living is a place where the Lord who is merciful invites you and I to walk each new day so we discover what it looks like to be merciful to others.

Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. ~Luke 6:36

Blessed are You, O Lord, who is merciful.

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