Compassion + Lovingkindness+ Truth = Preservation
Psalm 40:11-17 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
You, O Lord, will not withhold Your compassion from me;
Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me.
12 For evils beyond number have surrounded me;
My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to see;
They are more numerous than the hairs of my head,
And my heart has failed me.
13 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me;
Make haste, O Lord, to help me.
14 Let those be ashamed and humiliated together
Who seek my life to destroy it;
Let those be turned back and dishonored
Who delight in my hurt.
15 Let those be appalled because of their shame
Who say to me, “Aha, aha!”
16 Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
Let those who love Your salvation say continually,
“The Lord be magnified!”
17 Since I am afflicted and needy,
Let the Lord be mindful of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
Do not delay, O my God.
Yesterday the psalmist said: I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me and heard my cry. We looked at the virtue of patience and its importance in our lives. Today the second half of psalm 40 begins with the psalmist saying: You, O Lord, will not withhold Your compassion from me; Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me. Although he is experiencing difficulties, the psalmist recognizes the compassion and the lovingkindness of God. God is indeed a loving, kind, compassionate, merciful and gracious God. The psalmist says: My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to see; They are more numerous than the hairs of my head, The love, kindness, compassion, the mercy and grace of God are unconditional. They are not dependant on our worthiness. God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) That is what is so amazing about God’s grace. Natural, human love has conditional attachments. We give love based on the worth of others to receive that love. In Jeremiah 31:3, God says: “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” God’s love for us is not only unconditional but, because it is unconditional it is eternal, everlasting. Nothing will change God’s love for us. Romans 8:35-39 says: Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword… But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. God’s unconditional, eternal love, is demonstrated in Christ Jesus our Lord. Nothing we have done or can do, can change God’s love.
There is another key attribute of God which the psalmist recognizes. The psalmist also says that God’s truth will preserve him. God’s truth, His righteousness, His justice also differentiate who God is. God’s love and compassion are unconditional, but they also are uncompromising. Psalm 89:14 says: Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Lovingkindness and truth go before You. Very often our love and zeal for the truth, for righteousness and justice causes us not to love people. We recognize that they are unworthy of love, they don’t deserve our kindness or compassion. We say we love the sinner but hate the sin, yet within our natural human capabilities we are unable to do that. In order to love as we believe we should, we then compromise the truth. We tolerate unrighteousness. God on the other hand is fully righteous and fully compassionate. He is fully truthful and just, without lacking in love, kindness, mercy and grace. God is I Am. He is simultaneously all those things and more.
The psalmist recognized his sin. He did not try to deny it, to justify it or blame it on anyone or anything but himself. In Psalm 139 he says: O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O Lord, You know it all. You have enclosed me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it. When we, like the psalmist, recognize and acknowledge God’s omnipresence, His omnipotence and His omniscience; that He is everywhere, all powerful and all knowing, then we can recognize the futility of trying to hide our sin from Him. We recognize the futility of denying Him. When we, like the psalmist, bare ourselves before the righteous holy God of all creation, in truth, we open ourselves to His everlasting, unconditional love, compassion and grace.
The psalmist ends his declaration saying: Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
Let those who love Your salvation say continually, “The Lord be magnified!” Since I am afflicted and needy, Let the Lord be mindful of me. You are my help and my deliverer;
Do not delay, O my God. Let those who love Your salvation… God is both our eternal savior. God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16) and He is also: our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)
You, O Lord, will not withhold Your compassion from me; Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me. Lord be magnified! You are my help and deliverer. Thank You. Amen