The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord.
Psalm 33:1-11 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Praise to the Creator and Preserver.
Sing for joy in the Lord, O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming to the upright.
2 Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre;
Sing praises to Him with a harp of ten strings.
3 Sing to Him a new song;
Play skillfully with a shout of joy.
4 For the word of the Lord is upright,
And all His work is done in faithfulness.
5 He loves righteousness and justice;
The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord.
6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
And by the breath of His mouth all their host.
7 He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap;
He lays up the deeps in storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear the Lord;
Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.
9 For He spoke, and it was done;
He commanded, and it stood fast.
10 The Lord nullifies the counsel of the nations;
He frustrates the plans of the peoples.
11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
The plans of His heart from generation to generation.
The psalmist says: The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord. It’s difficult at times to have that same perspective. When we look around and we see evidence of man’s inhumanity to man, prejudice, violence, hatred, it’s hard to see the love of God. God though is not responsible for the evil, violence and hatred in the world. He created people with free will, an ability to choose love or hate, good or evil, darkness or light. Psalm 115:16 says: The heavens are the heavens of the LORD, But the earth He has given to the sons of men. In Genesis One, we see that when God created people, He gave them dominion over the earth. So while God is sovereign, He has all authority, He has allowed man to influence the things of earth. The violence, hatred and evil we see around us is evidence of man’s free will, actions and dominion on earth. Jeremiah 17:9, speaking of the heart of man says: "The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?” In spite of the evidence of the evil of man: The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord.
To see the love of God, we must see from the perspective of heaven. It is similar to the scene in Isaiah 6:1-3, which says: In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.” When we look at the earth from the perspective of the things of man, it is difficult to see the glory of God. The good or impressive things man has done are attributed to man. On the other hand, in much of what man has done on the earth there is little or no glory to be seen. When we look at the things of God, His creation, the beauty, wonder and awe of the magnitude and intricacies of all that He has done, we do indeed see the glory of God. The view or the perspective from heaven always sees through the lens of heaven. So there is always the glory of God and there is always God’s love.
The psalmist says: The counsel of the Lord stands forever, The plans of His heart from generation to generation. In Genesis 2:16-17, we see the counsel of God from the beginning: The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” It was not God’s desire for man to have the knowledge of evil. His desire was that we have only the knowledge of good and of love, the knowledge which comes from walking and abiding with Him. The disobedience of man brought forth the knowledge of evil and so gave man, created with a free will, a choice. As the verse in Jeremiah says: "The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?” It’s hard to understand, given the choice of God’s goodness and love or evil, darkness and hatred, why anyone would choose evil over good. Yet as it says in Psalm 53:1-3: The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity; there is none who does good. God looks down from heaven on the children of man to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all fallen away; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one. In John 3:17-20 Jesus says: “God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” Despite the leaning of man toward evil, darkness and hate, God chose to demonstrate His love. Romans 5:8 says: God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. John 3:16 says: “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord. To see it we need only to look at the demonstration of His love, the cross of Christ, through which we are redeemed from sin and reconciled to God. Hebrews 4:14-16 says: Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Because of the cross, we can once again walk in the presence of God and know His goodness and love. From the throne of grace, we can see from the perspective of heaven. We too, from there can say: The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord.
Let us pray the prayer Jesus taught us to pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Thank You for the demonstration of Your love, the cross of Christ. As Your kingdom comes and Your will is done, on earth as it is in heaven, may I and everyone say: Sing for joy in the Lord, O you righteous ones; Praise is becoming to the upright. Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre; Sing praises to Him with a harp of ten strings. Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy. For the word of the Lord is upright, And all His work is done in faithfulness. He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord. Amen.