Psalm 36:5-6 - Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, Your faithfulness to the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; Your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast You save, O LORD.
As I reflect on this powerful psalm, I am left with a feeling of shame at the smallness of my faith. The psalmist describes a pureness of faith that I should have, but when I look at these words honestly it is O me of little faith! My faith in Jesus shrinks from what it can and should be because my trust in self is more than it should be. Could it be that you and I find our self-worth in what we do or try to do and not in our God and Savior?
Also, meditating on this psalm never fails to expand my thoughts beyond the ordinary, day-to-day way I look at things. Do I have to go into a sanctuary to think about God? Meditating on Psalm 36 puts the faithfulness and righteousness of God in greater perspective than just a building and a Sunday service.
Hear how the psalmist compares the magnificence of God's loving-kindness to the greatness of creation: "How precious is Your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. They feast on the abundance of Your house, and You give them drink from the river of Your delights. For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light do we see light" (Psalm 36:7-9).
What is God telling us here? His remarkable creation is all around us, and in all His loving-kindness He is even more magnificent. You and I are living in God's cathedral of creation, and His Word reminds us that all good things are precious gifts from God, which He freely gives to those who love Him.
Psalm 36 concludes with this prayer: "Oh, continue Your steadfast love to those who know You, and Your righteousness to the upright of heart! Let not the foot of arrogance come upon me, nor the hand of the wicked drive me away. There the evildoers lie fallen; they are thrust down, unable to rise" (Psalm 36:10-12). With these sober words, we are mindful of the effect sin has in our lives and how we must continually turn to God for shelter in His steadfast love.
And when the psalmist says, "There the evildoers lie fallen; they are thrust down, unable to rise," how shall we understand that? The answer is by faith, trusting that God's justice and righteousness will finally prevail. Since God's love reaches to the heavens and His faithfulness to the skies, since His righteousness is like the mighty mountains and His justice like the great deep, we trust Him for the ultimate victory of good over evil.
WE PRAY: Heavenly Father, steadfast is the love You have shown the world in Your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.
Based on "In Your Light We See Light," a sermon from Rev. Dr. Dale Meyer, Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
1. Standing before God's righteous judgment is impossible for sinners. What has God done so we can appear before Him on Judgment Day?
2. How has God shown us that His love is steadfast and something we can depend on?
3. When temptations become a problem, do you know you can turn to God for help? (See John 14:26; Proverbs 3:5-6.)
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