“Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness. Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even thy salvation, according to thy word…. Thou art my portion, O LORD: I have said that I would keep thy words.” (Psalm 119:40-41, 57)
Graveyards can be interesting places. Usually they are quiet places, and you can walk around and read the names and see the birthdays and the death dates of the people whose bodies are buried underground there. Most graveyards have stone markers that show the places where people’s bodies have been buried. Why do we say that their bodies are buried? Well, for Christians who have died, the body is the only part that is placed in a casket and buried underground or in a mausoleum (a tomb). The Bible teaches that when a Christian’s body dies, his or her soul keeps on living and goes immediately to be with the Lord – not to a graveyard or tomb.
One reason graveyards are interesting is that they are a good place to go if you need to think. The Bible says we can learn much from visiting the “house of mourning.” It is good for us to be reminded that we are on Earth only for one lifetime. Some of the birthdays and death dates of those people do not have very many years between them. Some of those markers are memorials for children, teen-agers, and middle-aged people. You might see a family member who has come to visit a grave of a loved one. Some people come and talk to the graves. Can their loved ones still hear them? Can they talk back?
A dead person’s ears do not work anymore. They cannot hear. They cannot speak. They cannot come back to life and have a conversation with living people who come to visit the graveyard. Even if a dead person could hear, and even if a dead person could speak, he would not be able to choose between silence and speaking. He would not be able to choose between not breathing and breathing. Part of being dead is being unable to do what living people can do.
The Bible uses the imagery of being dead or being alive to show what God does in our hearts when He saves us from our sin. Until Jesus Christ saves us, we are “spiritually dead.” We were born that way! Our physical bodies are alive, but we are not “alive” spiritually. Like a grave, we are stuck in our sin. We are trapped. We are unable to get out of our sinfulness on our own. We are unable to choose righteousness, because true righteousness is something that spiritually dead people cannot have. Only the spiritually alive people can be truly righteous and truly right with God.
Psalm 119:40-41 tells us about One Who is truly righteous, and He is the only One Who can make us spiritually alive. When it says “quicken,” it means “make alive.” The psalmist is praying that the LORD would bring him to life by His righteousness and because of His righteousness. He prays that the LORD’s mercies will come to him. Only the LORD can give spiritual life. He is a merciful God, and He saves people out of their sinfulness and spiritual death because of His righteousness, His mercy, and His faithful Word. Are you trusting the LORD to do what you cannot do on your own? Are you trusting Him to “quicken” you (to bring you to life) in His righteousness?
Spiritual life is a merciful gift only God can give.
» Am I able to “quicken” myself from spiritual deadness to spiritual life?
» Is my heart trapped and weighed down by sinfulness?
» Is my sin too much to be covered by God’s mercy?