STEADFAST LOVE - Psalm 33

 


This last Monday I finally had a day off! After a period of extreme busyness it was nice to relax after a time when I was working or preparing for the next event on a daily basis. There are always things to do but I did take a good portion of that day to have some quiet. In that quietness I decided to turn the TV on and became glued to CNN as they covered the Libyan rebels making their way into Tripoli, the capital of Libya. Over the last 8 months countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa have seen uprisings that in some places have overturned the existing governments and changed the course of their history. So on a quiet day, I felt myself drawn to this chaos on the other side of the world and realized that I had spoiled my rest and quietness. All week long I have watched the unfolding drama off and on, other events have dominated the news and life has continued to ramp up again. By the end of next week there will new stories that will fill the airwaves and over the rest of this year events may happen, lives will change, and history will be made.

Before I left for Bible Camp two weeks ago I encouraged staff members to read through Psalm 33. The theme of this Psalm, as many portions of Scriptures, it reflects clearly the consistency of God. In the first three verses the encouragement is to praise and worship God through our voices and instruments and then transitions into what the Psalmist knows about God. In verses 4-5 we read “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 steadfast love of the Lord”. What does the word steadfast imply? As I read the dictionary the description is “firm, fixed, unwavering in purpose or resolution”. I think we can safely say...it means solid! When we watch and read about the uncertainties of life and the chaotic world we live in, isn’t it great to know that through the course of history God is unchanging.

As my heart races and I think of all I have to do, all the political and economic fragility of life, and even as I write a massive hurricane is preparing to touch down off the coast of the U.S. near New York City. We do know there is a place of quietness, comfort and security in God’s presence. Psalm 33 certainly tells us that. In the subsequent verses we see how God’s hand in creation teaches us that He created the earth for good purposes.

Mankind have built their own ways of glorifying accomplishments and abilities and often forget God’s majesty and goodness in giving us intelligence and wisdom to accomplish great things. In verse 10 it is stated “The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He frustrates the plans of the peoples”. It isn’t that God is out to give us a hard time but rather He desires us to understand that He has provided all we need. We often take it for granted and say we landed here out of some evolutionary process, or some massive explosion that led to our existence. He observes us and knows us since we are created in “His image”.

The writer of the 33rd Psalm then takes us to verse 16 where he mentions how “kings are not saved by their armies”, and “warriors are not delivered by their great strength”. Depending on man made mechanisms and institutions will not ultimately rescue. Today a man who ruled Libya with an iron fist for 42 years is running for his life hiding from people who want to put him on trial for crimes against his own people. He has trusted in his man made protection and left God out of the picture. Verses 18-19 gives us an insight into God’s grace and character; “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 soul from death and keep them alive in famine”. God shows His love quite clearly and as the Psalm closes it mentions “how our soul waits for the Lord, that He is our help and shield”. The reason is that we can trust in His unchanging character; that unwavering steadfast part of God that creates hope throughout our journey on this earth.

Next time I want peace and quiet, rule number 1......don’t watch the news, read my Bible!

 

 

By: Pastor David Jones