“The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.” Psalm 138:8 (NASB)
Each day we look at a verse or two in our Bible and we consider the promises from God that we find there. We know that when God promises He will absolutely keep that promise. David is affirming his belief in this in today’s verse. Promise number one is that our Lord God will, in all ways, accomplish what concerns each of us each day because he is involved in our lives. Other versions say that the Lord will “fulfill His purpose” or, that “He will vindicate”. God’s work is our salvation and growth in the Holy Spirit. A second promise is that God’s love is steadfast and endures forever and it is out of His everlasting lovingkindness to us. The last promise David declares is his confirmation plea to God to not forsake or abandon His work. David knows, and so can we, that God will never forsake us and He will never abandon His work in our lives. We have assurance of that certainty. Let’s affirm these promises today. God is at work and He will accomplish what He intends to do.
“By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for, And by the fear of the LORD one keeps away from evil.” – Proverbs 16:6 (NASB)
Words used in other versions for ‘lovingkindness’ in this proverb are: ‘steadfast love,’ and ‘mercy.’ We receive what we do not deserve and we don’t receive what we do deserve. This is the mercy given to us by God Himself to those who believe in Him and in His promise of salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus. It was the work of Jesus who willingly went to the cross to dies as a sinless man that provided all who believe the atonement they need. By God’s “lovingkindness and truth,” He affects the atonement or covering of sin, which for the believing sinner inclines him to keep away from evil. And “the fear of the Lord” is reverential awe and admiring, submissive fear which is the foundation for all spiritual knowledge and wisdom. The unbeliever may make statements about life and truth yet they don’t have true or ultimate knowledge until they are, by the Holy Spirit brought into a redemptive relationship of reverential awe with God. The fear of the Lord is a state of mind in which one’s own attitudes, will, feelings, deeds, and goals are exchanged for God’s.
“For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, And My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” Says the Lord who has compassion on you.” Isaiah 54:10 (NASB)
The promise we look at today comes to us in the book of the prophet Isaiah many years ago. We might look at the hills and especially the majestic mountains as being reminders of the greatness of God who created them. In our verse, however, God wants us to know that there is something more majestic and more enduring than the mountains for us to marvel about. Even the mountains can be shaken but God’s care for us cannot be. God’s lovingkindness is an unfailing love and it is forever for those who believe. Our promise reminds us that God’s love for us will always remain, and so will His promise of peace. Realize that God loves us and we’ll have this assurance – He’ll give us peace in our hearts even in the midst of a world of turmoil. Whatever challenges we are facing, let’s allow these words from our God produce His peace in our heart today. There is nothing that can cause us to lose God’s mercy not a hurricane, not a tornado, not an earthquake They may move hills and mountains but cannot move God’s lovingkindness.
“Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!” Psalm 115:1 (ESV)
We would be right to understand that nothing we can do that is greater than giving God the Glory He deserve*. Many of the songs in the Psalms remind us of the reasons we have for thanking and for praising our Lord. We notice that the very act of giving praise to God is the way we are to give Him glory. We do not worship God in order to generate good feelings within ourselves – although sincere praise does bring satisfaction and joy to us. Our verse teaches us that the reason we have any reason for thankfulness and praise is because of God’s love and because of His faithfulness. It is true, isn’t it? The reason God helps us and does so much for his children is His love for us. His love is steadfast, it is the lovingkindness that he has for us. When God does something for us, if He answers our prayers and meets our needs because of His love, not our merit. God also helps us because He is faithful to His promises and to His character also. He can be depended on, what He says, He will do.
What is Glory of God?
“But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, Because He has dealt bountifully with me.” – Psalm 13:5-6 (NASB)
This psalm, written by King David is a prayer for help in time of trouble. Before he became King he frequently faced such troubles which threatened his life. “How long?” he asks will the Lord seem to forget him and turn away from him. But David shifts radically from turmoil to tranquility in the space of this short Psalm (6 verses). One commentary describes David’s attitude being in three levels. The first two verses he was expressing Despair for he was below “sea level.” Verses 3 and 4 he is at “sea level” expressions of Desires. In the last verses, which are our selection today, David’s expressions are of Delight and rejoicing in a “mountaintop level.” Why can he move so quickly from “How long?” to “I will sing?” The answer for him is the same for us – Trust. David trusted God’s steadfast love. He believed God’s promise of forever love. Another way to say this would be that David understood and believed in God’s mercy, His lovingkindness. It is the also a promise we can trust in. God does and will deal abundantly with us His children because of His lovingkindness, His mercy, His steadfast love.
“The LORD descended in the cloud and stood there with him as he called upon the name of the LORD. Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth;” – Exodus 34:5-6 (NASB)
While we are not expected to have experiences with God in the manner that Moses did, we find in these verses from Exodus a promise for us from God. He came down to Moses who had ascended to the top of the mountain. On this particular occasion God came down in a glorious cloud. This was what is called a theophany—a visible manifestation of the invisible God. God had appeared to Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3:1-9), so he appeared again on the mountain. The Bible says almost nothing about God’s appearance. Moses wanted to see God, but rather than telling us what he saw, the Bible tells us what Moses heard: The Prophet heard the promises which defined God’s character. Our LORD God is, compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness, truth and faithfulness, Verse 7 goes on; God maintains love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Each of these characters also define names of our LORD. For God’s name stands for his entire being. It is his nature. It is who He is—the God of creation and redemption, who made and saves His people.
Source: Philip Graham Ryken and R. Kent Hughes, Exodus: Saved for God’s Glory, (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2005), 1040–1041.
“May Your lovingkindnesses also come to me, O LORD,
Your salvation according to Your word;
So I will have an answer for him who reproaches me,
For I trust in Your word.” – Psalm 119:41-42 (NASB)
There is an increase in the resistance of our world to the Word of God. There is also a significant decrease in the number who hold the Bible to be absolute truth. Within this battle, those who oppose the teachings in the Bible are becoming more active in demonstrating their hostility. The psalmist called on God to deliver him through His love and His Word and He will for us based on the promise God has given to us. He sought and trusted that he would have an answer for his enemy. He prayed and affirmed that the Word would continue to be his pattern of life. That is the way God has prepared for us to enjoy victory over the obstructions they set to the spreading of His Word. When opposition comes we frequently take it very personally but here we can know that it is God that the non-believer is rejecting and fighting against. We can like this passage teaches learn to delight in God’s commandments grow to love them for they are life to our soul. Next time we meet resistance, lets remember, God’s Word has an answer for us to give in return.
“For our heart rejoices in Him, Because we trust in His holy name. Let Your lovingkindness, O Lord, be upon us, According as we have hoped in You.” Psalm 33:21-22 (NASB)
Psalm 33 was written to praise God as the Creator and Preserver of life. Especially our life if we have believed His word. God’s unfailing love is defined as his mercy or his lovingkindness. Another word used would be steadfast love. Can we imagine a love that is loving, kind, and steadfast? The Psalms in our Bible offers many expressions of praise to God. There are also many prayers in these songs as our verse today in an example. God’s love is eternal, it never fails. In order to experience this unfailing love, something is required on our part. We must have an attitude of expectation, of true hope. The psalmist has the request for God’s love to be upon us “according as” which is ‘even as’ or ‘according to’ the hope we have in God’s promises. Our hope is built on that which comes from what we know is true and we can expect it to happen. To experience God’s unfailing love, we need to expect Him to show it to us – then His love will cover us, it will be with us. If we constantly expect His love, we’ll constantly experience it.
“Blessed be God, Who has not turned away my prayer Nor His lovingkindness from me.” Psalm 66:20 (NASB)
Perhaps there are times when we feel as if God has not heard our prayers or maybe rejected them. God always hears the prayers of those who abide in Him and love Him. As so many of the songs we have in the book of Psalms in our Bible, this is an expression by the writer about what God had done for him. Written many centuries ago we can still believe this promise and it can become our own expression of praise to God. We know that God hears and answers our prayers and even in those times when we receive an answer different than our request, we know that God has not rejected our prayer. He may have answered it in a different way than we expected or hoped, but we know it is in a way that is best for us because He loves us and he does not withhold his love from us. Our promise today is that He has not rejected our prayer, and because he loves us so much, he has given us an answer that is better for us. Let’s trust Him today and enjoy His love for us.
“The LORD will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.” Psalm 138:8 (NASB)
The importance of the promises, as in our verse today, is better understood when we consider source and context. This is a psalm of thanksgiving and praise by David. We may have considered this verse previously and repetition of God’s promises is always beneficial. David declares our LORD God is exalted over all His creation. He favors the humble in spirit but the arrogant, who David calls haughty, are kept far from Him. Additionally, God watches over our lives and protects us from the hatred of our enemies. The conclusion of Psalm 138 has critical importance for us because we do not always turn to God and trust these promises. Our fears and worries distract us and we are prone to believe God gives up on us. He doesn’t because His promise is that He will accomplish and fulfill all that is His purpose for us. God’s love is steady and holds fast in all circumstances. We can always trust this promise even though we might strongly feel the need to call on God to continue His work in our lives. When we think we’ve lost, God says it is not finished. God’s work continues in our lives.