Vs. 124 — Deal with Your servant according to Your mercy, And teach me Your statutes.
“Deal with thy servant according unto thy mercy.” If I am a “servant” of God, I can bring my services before him only upon the ground of “mercy”; feeling that for my best performances I need an immeasurable world of mercy—pardoning—saving—everlasting mercy; and yet I am emboldened by the blood of Jesus to plead for my soul—“Deal with thy servant according unto thy mercy.”
But then I am ignorant as well as guilty; and yet I dare not pray for divine teaching, much and hourly as I need it, until I have afresh obtained mercy. “Mercy” is the first blessing, not only in point of importance, but in point of order. I must seek the Lord, and know him as a Saviour, before I can go to him with any confidence to be my teacher. But when once I have found acceptance to my petition—“Deal with thy servant according unto thy mercy”—my way will be opened to follow on my petition—“Teach me thy statutes. Give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies”—that I may know, walk, yea, “run in the way of thy commandments” with an enlarged heart, ver. 32. My plea is the same as I have urged with acceptance (ver. 94)—“I am thy servant.”
The object of the Prophet’s request then is, that God would teach him in his statutes. But he begins with the divine mercy, employing it as an argument to prevail with God to grant him what he desires. This prayer then must be resolved thus: Lord, deal gently with me, and manifest thy goodness towards me by instructing me in thy commandments. Our whole happiness undoubtedly consists in our having that true wisdom which is to be derived from the word of God; and our only hope of obtaining this wisdom lies in God’s being pleased to display his mercy and goodness towards us. The Prophet, therefore, magnifies the greatness and excellence of the benefit of being instructed in the divine law, when he requests that it may be bestowed upon him as a free gift. (Calvin, J., & Anderson, J. (2010). Commentary on the Book of Psalms (Vol. 5, pp. 4–5). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.)
Father, I offer this hour a simple prayer. Actually, Father, it is a deep plea from both a longing and a deep, dry thirst. Deal with Your servant according to Your mercy, and teach me Your statutes.