“Remember, O LORD, Thy compassion and Thy lovingkindnesses, for they have been from of old. All the paths of the LORD are lovingkindness and truth to those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.” (Psalm 25:6, 10)
Yesterday I mentioned that I had allowed myself to get into certain spiritual ruts. What Christian doesn’t know the misery of being stuck in a rut? Life seems tedious, predictable, and even miserable. One tedious day gives way to another. The term “rut” typically describes habitual behavior that is unhealthy or even destructive. A person has lived a certain way for so long that it seems that he is destined to continue in this lifestyle for the rest of his life.
In the natural world, a rut occurs in a dirt road when vehicles continue to drive over it in the same location. People tend to drive in the same part of the road as others and over time their tires begin to develop a groove in the road. The deeper the groove, the more others tend to fall into it.
The word “rut” has developed a negative connotation, but it can also be used in a positive sense. “All the paths of the LORD are lovingkindness and truth…” The Lord has been operating under these guiding principles (if I could call them that) “from of old.” They have become so established in His typical way of dealing with His people that they could certainly describe a major aspect of His lifestyle.
Consider your own past dealings with the Lord. Can’t you look back on your life and see one instance of His mercy after another? Hasn’t He always been utterly truthful with you—even though at times that truth hurt? Wouldn’t you say that He has abundantly proven to you that lovingkindness and truth make up a large part of His character? And since all of this is true, wouldn’t you naturally expect that He will continue to treat you in the same manner in the days ahead?
In the prayer above, David is making an appeal to the Lord based on His past record. It is as if he has approached the bar in a judicial setting and brought forward some precedent the Court had established through past judicial decisions. “Lord, You have clearly established your methods of dealing with me. I plead the Court’s mercy on the grounds of past precedent.”
The next time you are in need of God’s help in some situation, you might consider employing the same sanctioned tactics David used in prayer.
And how about you? Has your past interactions with the Lord established a fixed trust in your heart for Him? When you have needed God’s help in the past, have you ever thought to remind Him of His past dealings with you?