My wife and I are reading through the Psalms in our evening reading and occasionally a nugget of the Psalms jumps out of the page. Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart.
This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.
I pray I can communicate a portion of the blessing we receive from this wonderful book.
5 Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
6 Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O LORD.
David begins such a wonderful description of our God, with the backdrop of the wicked man, showing our Gods beauties for all of creation in these two verses.
This post will spend a few minutes in verse six.
When I mention righteousness, what do you think? Is it the idea of always being right? Of never having to say you are sorry?
When I think of righteousness, I think of balance.
Let me explain
God is holy. God is love. God is good. God is gracious, God is mighty, God is great, God is pure, God is jealous, God is true, God is faithful, God is light…. And God is One, perfectly aligned within Himself with each of His attributes, with each of His characteristics. I fear I am speaking foolishly here, but consider. He is not in tension within Himself as to what is a correct action, or struggles with a decision, experiencing inner turmoil as to the proper way to proceed. No, He is at peace within Himself.
Each of these characteristics of our God is not in conflict with one another, where His love is arguing with His purity, (rescue or condemn the sinner) or His holiness is struggling with his mercy (remain separate or join fallen humanity) Each characteristic provides potential conflict for us, if we seek to live within these bounds, but not so with God.
You see, He is righteous, that is, He is not in conflict within Himself, and this balance, this peace is the essence of His righteousness. He is righteous, and performs all things righteously, since He is the standard of all existence. His holiness is not ignored in order to love His creation. His jealously is not staining His faithfulness. No – all of God’s characteristics are in balance, in harmony.
This righteousness that belongs to the Lord is solid, without wavering and is a constant within the life of David. David, as he looks to the mountains, sees what he has always seen, a solid mass of immovable rock.
God’s righteousness is visible to all, for the mountains are of the greatest geological formation on the earth, and cannot be hidden.
If you are like myself, (which, if you are, try to find a way to change!!) when you hear of “judgement” you automatically think of condemnation. But a “judgement” is simply a decision that is made based on knowledge received, upon which a course of action will be pursued.
If I see an ice cream stand on the side of the road, I judge that it would taste great to have some ice cream, and based on that decision, I slam on the brakes, backup and pull into the parking lot. Although this judgement may satisfy my desire for yummy ice cream and cause a fender bender, my point is made. The results of the judgement may be positive or negative, depending on the recipient!
God’s judgements, His decisions are mysterious. His judgements are past finding out.
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! – Rom 11:33 ESV
A number of these decisions may seem to have a negative impact in our experiences, but our interpretation of the judgement may, and usually is, far from the intended purposes designed by God.
You see, God’s judgements, His decisions are like the great deep. David could see the mountains, for the mountains were ever before the psalmists eyes, but the great deep was a massive mystery. Whether he is speaking of the Dead Sea, the Sea of Galilee, or the Mediterranean, the Old Testament prophets knew very little of life in the great depths. Admittedly, the culture was dependent on the sea in many ways, yet the ancient Israelite floated on the sea, and did not delve into the depths. Mysterious, like the judgements of God. Even the great man of God David admitted to his lack of understanding the judgements of our God.
Truly, it is good to remember that there is mystery in our relationship with God, and His Son Jesus Christ. As we walk through our pilgrim way, let us remember that God does mysterious feats that we cannot predict within our lives and the lives of others. And let us be thankful for the mystery, for in all His ways, He is perfectly righteous in all His judgements.
Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.
One thought on “Psalms for Psome – Ps 36 – D”
I like the way you describe God’s Righteousness as a balance of His attributes. I have tried to describe his righteousness also, I think that the trouble we have with understanding Him is found in our time sequence approach to understanding as apposed to His eternal perspective. God knows the beginning from the end and that is the key to understanding His righteousness and the lack of our understanding our limited point of view is the cause of our errors.