Sunday, 29 May 2022
“How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! …” Psalm 36:7 [NASB]
In our reading today, the Psalmist portrays the picture of a heart that is soaked in God’s love, adoring the righteousness and faithfulness of God and a heart of an ungodly person that is pursuing wickedness.
A man of this world has no fear of God in his heart. His thoughts are only about himself and how he can prosper by wicked means. He schemes wickedness on his bed and vainly thinks that it will not be discovered. The world sees him a successful man.
On the other hand, we see the cry of a man whose heart is wholly turned towards the living God. His dependency is completely on God. He is not allured by the fantasies of this world. His thoughts are inclined towards the love of God that extends beyond his understanding. He ponders God’s faithfulness, righteousness, judgments, love and providence, especially His lovingkindness (V.7). While under the refuge of the shadow of His wings he is drinking from the rivers of his delights from the abundance of His house, he ascribes it all to God’s lovingkindness (Vs 5, 7) and ends his cry by asking God the fountain of Life to continue His lovingkindness to all those who know Him (Vs. 10).
So what are we thinking about when we are relaxing? Where do our thoughts travel to? Does it go towards God to thank Him for His lovingkindness given to us as benefits of the New Covenant in Him or does it hover over the worldly things that are perishing?
Expressions of lovingkindness
In Hebrew the word is “hesed” which is commonly translated as “mercy” or “steadfast love” or “loyal love” or “covenant love” but most commonly as “lovingkindness” for the lack of a word to represent it. This attribute is central to the love of God and is found throughout the Old Testament. Israel sinned, got chastised and when they repented, God restored. This is the underlying story of the Old Testament. The eternal covenant that God makes with His people demonstrates that nothing can separate us from this loyal, immutable love. It is His unconditional love whereby He is always faithful even when we are unfaithful. Isaiah 54:8 says "In an outburst of anger I hid My face from you for a moment, But with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you," Says the LORD your Redeemer.” Our Lord’s lovingkindness is everlasting!
Let the above understanding fill us with compassion for the ones who do not know their Creator so that we will travail in prayer for them, and when God gives us a divine appointment, witness to them about His lovingkindness. His lovingkindness led to the sacrifice of His one and only Son Jesus Christ on the cross to redeem you and me. 2 Cor.5:21 says: “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” If we have been the beneficiaries of His lovingkindness we need to extend it to others so that they too can enjoy the benefits of His redemption in Jesus Christ!
Micah 6:8 gives us a small glimpse of what lovingkindness towards others looks like “And what does the Lord require of you, But to do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God?” This is “hesed” from us to others!
Think on: “…but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD (Jeremiah 9:24)