God’s steadfast love (Travelling Through God’s Word: Psalms, Part One)

Do you wonder if there is a God of love in the Old Testament? I hope that, through reading this selection of verses from the Psalms, you will see very clearly that, at the heart of the Old Testament, in the book of Psalms, there is a very strong emphasis on God’s steadfast love

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O Lord, deliver me for the sake of thy steadfast love” (Psalm 6).

I have trusted in thy steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation (Psalm 13).

Great triumphs he gives to the king, and shows steadfast love to his anointed, to David and descendants forever (Psalm 18).

Steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the Lord (Psalm 32).

The earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord… Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their souk from death… Let thy steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in thee (Psalm 33).

Do not thou, O Lord, withhold thy mercy from me, let thy steadfast love and thy faithfulness ever preserve me! (Psalm 40).

By day the Lord commands his steadfast love; and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life (Psalm 42).

Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy steadfast love; according to thy abundant mercy blot out my transgressions (Psalm 51).

Prolong the life of the king’ may his years endure to all generations! May he be enthroned for ever before God; bid steadfast love and faithfulness watch over him! (Psalm 61).

Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God; and that to thee, O Lord, belongs steadfast love (Psalm 62)

“So I have looked upon thee in the sanctuary, beholding thy power and glory. Because thy steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise thee (Psalm 63).

But, as for me, my prayer is to thee, O Lord. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of thy steadfast love answer me… Answer me, O Lord, for thy steadfast love is good; according to thy abundant mercy, turn to me (Psalm 69).

My soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to Sheol… Is thy steadfast love declared in the grave, or thy faithfulness in Abaddon? (Psalm 88). Here, the Psalmist is deeply troubled and is asking questions, he is still speaking of God’s steadfast love! Even in our troubled times, in our times of deep certainty, may we be given the faith that we need to hold on to this: God loves us with a steadfast love. It may not be long before we are raised above our negative feelings and into a strong faith which praises the Lord: “I will sing of thy steadfast love, O Lord, for ever. I will proclaim thy faithfulness to all generations. For thy steadfast love was established for ever, thy faithfulness is firm in the heavens” (Psalm 89).

Righteousness and justice are the foundations of thy throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before thee (Psalm 89).

I have set the crown upon one who is mighty, I have exalted one chosen from the people. I have found David, my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him; so that my hand shall ever abide with him, my arm also shall strengthen him… My faithfulness and my steadfast love shall be with him, and in my name shall his horn be exalted… My steadfast love I will keep for him for ever, and my covenant will stand firm for him. I will establish his line for ever and his throne as the days of the heavens (Psalm 89)/

If his children forsake my law and do not walk according to my ordinances, if they violate my statutes and do not keep my commandments, then I will punish their transgressions with the rod and their iniquities with scourges; but I will not remove from him my steadfast love, or be false to my faithfulness (Psalm 89).

When we lose our focus on God’s steadfast love, we meed to be reminded of this: God loves us. He will not stop loving us. He keeps on loving us.

When the Psalmist was deeply troubled and full of questions, he asked God these questions, “How long, O Lord? Wilt thou hide thyself for ever? How long will thy wrath burn like fire? (Psalm 89).

When he was lifted above his negative feelings, his faith in God’s steadfast love was restored, and he said, “Be the Lord for ever! Amen and Amen” (Psalm 89).

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These words of praise to the Lord bring us to the end of Book III of the five books that make up the 150 Psalms. In the next post, we will look at what we learn about God’s steadfast love, when we turn our attention to Books IV and V of the Psalms (Psalms 90-150).

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