Righteousness - Justice - Love - Truth
Psalm 89:14-37 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne;
Lovingkindness and truth go before You.
15 How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound!
O Lord, they walk in the light of Your countenance.
16 In Your name they rejoice all the day,
And by Your righteousness they are exalted.
17 For You are the glory of their strength,
And by Your favor our horn is exalted.
18 For our shield belongs to the Lord, And our king to the Holy One of Israel.
19 Once You spoke in vision to Your godly ones,
And said, “I have given help to one who is mighty;
I have exalted one chosen from the people.
20 “I have found David My servant;
With My holy oil I have anointed him,
21 With whom My hand will be established;
My arm also will strengthen him.
22 “The enemy will not deceive him,
Nor the son of wickedness afflict him.
23 “But I shall crush his adversaries before him,
And strike those who hate him.
24 “My faithfulness and My lovingkindness will be with him,
And in My name his horn will be exalted.
25 “I shall also set his hand on the sea
And his right hand on the rivers.
26 “He will cry to Me, ‘You are my Father,
My God, and the rock of my salvation.’
27 “I also shall make him My firstborn,
The highest of the kings of the earth.
28 “My lovingkindness I will keep for him forever,
And My covenant shall be confirmed to him.
29 “So I will establish his descendants forever
And his throne as the days of heaven.
30 “If his sons forsake My law
And do not walk in My judgments,
31 If they violate My statutes
And do not keep My commandments,
32 Then I will punish their transgression with the rod
And their iniquity with stripes.
33 “But I will not break off My lovingkindness from him,
Nor deal falsely in My faithfulness.
34 “My covenant I will not violate,
Nor will I alter the utterance of My lips.
35 “Once I have sworn by My holiness;
I will not lie to David.
36 “His descendants shall endure forever
And his throne as the sun before Me.
37 “It shall be established forever like the moon,
And the witness in the sky is faithful.” Selah.
Yesterday we saw that Jesus is the corner stone, the foundation of everything
that matters. We saw that it is upon the revelation that Jesus is the Christ, the Anointed One, the Savior, that Jesus builds His church. We saw that while love is a vital aspect of the character of God, love is and was not the foundation, but the motivation
behind the foundation of Christ as Lord and Savior. John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” Romans
5:8 says: God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. In today’s text the psalmist says: Righteousness and
justice are the foundation of Your throne; Lovingkindness and truth go before You. Again then we see that love is active and moving. Love is not the thing that is built on, but rather love is what is built with. The psalmist says along with
love truth goes before God. In Numbers 23:19 it says: God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? God will do what He says He will do. His motivation for doing what He does is love, but it is also truth, righteousness and justice.
In yesterday’s text it spoke of Jesus authority. The psalmist says that righteousness and justice are the foundation of God’s throne. So it is righteousness and justice which are what God’s authority are built on. Perhaps in our own society there is little respect for the authority of leaders because there is little evidence of righteousness and justice. Additionally in our culture and society, we promote a different kind of love. It is a love that disregards rather than going hand in hand with truth. Tolerance and inclusiveness are buzz words of our modern culture in regards to love. Truth has become relative. Each person or group of people determine or define their own truth. Dark is light. Good is evil. In the same way that our culture has wrongly substituted tolerance for love, it has also substituted the idea that things or people are the same; identical rather than that they are equal. Truth and love recognize that there are differences between people, yet regards them equally. Tolerance and inclusion, in the place of love, tell a lie rather than the truth. Tolerance and inclusion disregard the truth that there are differences between people. People are tall or short. They are heavy or thin. They are black, white, brown, red or yellow. They are male or female. There are many ways that people are different, yet justice, truth and love, see them and treat them equally. To say that all people are the same, is to disregard the truth. Justice and true equality cannot be built on a lie. A lie never becomes the truth, no matter how often or how emphatically it is told. Equality and justice must be built on righteousness, truth and love.
Ephesians 4:15-16 says: Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. When we disregard the truth and promote a lie that says all things are the same, we don’t truly build ourselves up in love. Tolerance based on a lie in the place of equality based on truth and love, actually causes division rather than unity. Webster defines tolerance as: capacity to endure pain or hardship - sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one's own Tolerance involves pain and hardship. We tolerate things we don’t like. If you have ever been in a place where you were tolerated rather than loved, you would know and understand the difference. To be tolerated is not something anyone would really want, yet it is the lie that the world is telling in place of true love. What people want, what they deserve is to be loved. God’s love is unconditional. Yet it moves around the foundation of righteousness and justice. True love partners with truth and a lie can never become truth. In the same way, tolerance will never bring about love.
The psalmist speaks of God’s enduring covenant with David saying: “My lovingkindness I will keep for him forever, And My covenant shall be confirmed to him. So I will establish his descendants forever And his throne as the days of heaven. If his sons forsake My law And do not walk in My judgments, If they violate My statutes And do not keep My commandments, Then I will punish their transgression with the rod And their iniquity with stripes. But I will not break ff My lovingkindness from him, Nor deal falsely in My faithfulness. My covenant I will not violate, Nor will I alter the utterance of My lips. Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David. His descendants shall endure forever And his throne as the sun before Me. It shall be established forever like the moon, And the witness in the sky is faithful.” God’s lovingkindness and faithfulness are not established in the actions of the people, but rather in His character of truth, righteousness and justice. We are not under the covenant of David, but rather under the covenant established in Christ. God’s love and justice is not based on our actions, but yet in truth and righteousness, He does not disregard sinfulness, He doesn’t tolerate sin. Instead, He forgives sin. God loves us so much, He could not allow our relationship with Him to be based in tolerance. He demonstrated His love in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. We too, must be willing to speak the truth in love. We should not settle for tolerance, but rather we should seek unity based in the recognition of our equality, not in what we look like or the way we act, but rather as having been created in the image and likeness of God. The covenant of Christ, the message and the power of the cross does not disregard sin or evil, it redeems and restores.
Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit. Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Lovingkindness and truth go before You. How blessed are the people
who know the joyful sound! O Lord, they walk in the light of Your countenance. In Your name they rejoice all the day, And by Your righteousness they are exalted. Amen.