Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by. Psalm 57:1-2
Psalm 57, was written by David while he was hiding in a cave to protect himself against King Saul, who wanted to kill him. Whereas that cave was a refuge for David, he was yet alone, discouraged, and in continued danger. By the time David made it to that cave, he had been through several near-death experiences. The anxiety of David was so overwhelming that he repeated his request for mercy two times at the beginning of the Psalm.
In the past couple of weeks, I have repeatedly asked God to be merciful to the nations. As I continue to watch the increasing number of people infected with coronavirus and its effect on the world’s economy, I have been saying, ‘Be merciful to the world, O God, be merciful to the world. For, only by God’s divine mercy, can we bring this pandemic to a halt!
As was David in the cave, the people of the world are desperate, discouraged, and in constant danger from COVID-19. We are overwhelmed with the number of people dying. I know of several people that have died from the virus, and many others who are struggling with his devastating symptoms.
The Hebrew word for merciful is “Chanan,” which is also transliterated, “to be gracious, show favor, and pity.” The word that stands out to me the most is the word “pity.” The etymology of pity is the Latin word “pietas,” which is defined as compassion and clemency. Clemency is precisely what the nations of the world need. We need God to moderate the severity of COVID-19.
David’s plea comes from a heart of trust in God’s faithfulness. He reminds the Lord that in him, his soul takes refuge. In other words, David did not have a plan B. He was not expecting a stimulus package, or a bailout plan, or any form of assistance from anyone. He knew that his life was not safe from the king, even in the cave.
As much as we appreciate what the US government is trying to do to help those who are affected by COVID-19 economically, what we really need is the “pity” of God. Even the stimulus package cannot rescue us from the deadly effects of coronavirus. After all, what good is a stimulus check if we are dead? Therefore, we need divine clemency.
I am crying out for clemency for my dad, and all the people who are in nursing homes throughout the country. The people who are in the front line as doctors, nurses, hospital administrators, cafeteria workers, lab technicians that process the tests for COVID-19 need clemency. People who work in supermarkets, or deliver food, or delivers the mail, or work in nursing homes that are infected with the virus need clemency.
The governments of the nations of the world need clemency. Many of them are running out of medical supply to give to their citizens in the fight against COVID-19. People who are being abused because they are forced to stay at home with their abusers need clemency. Those who have lost their jobs and are worried about paying their rent or mortgage or car note or buy food to eat need clemency.
In verse 2, David reminds the Lord, “in the shadow of his wings he will find refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.” The phrase “in the shadow of his wings,” is a figure of speech that is used to highlight how a mother bird shields her young chicks from predators, from the elements, and dangers by gathering them under her wings. As we wait for a vaccine to protect us against coronavirus, we have to remain hidden in the shadow of God’s wings as we cry out for his clemency.
Some nonbelievers may think prayer is useless against this pandemic. However, we believe that God can do exceedingly and more abundantly than we can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20-21). We may not know when the COVID-19 crisis will end. But we know that our God is a very present help in times of danger.
Prayer- Heavenly Father, the people of the world, need your divine clemency. So please be merciful to us and hide us under your wings, till the storms of COVID-19 destruction pass by.