Home Psalms The steadfast love of God in the Psalms

The steadfast love of God in the Psalms

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By Pr Isaiah White

Have you ever been in love with someone? If the answer is ‘yes,’ that means you are no longer in love with that person and probably moved on.

The answer in past tense means you are no longer with that person you were in love with. Human beings’ love is inconsistent.

It is dependent on emotions and feelings. It changes. Today he/ she loves you and tomorrow they do not feel the same.

This kind of love usually depends on what you do for them. Human love cannot be trusted because it changes every now and then.

Human love changes, but God’s love is consistent. Malachi 2:6: “For I am the Lord, I do not change.”

Imagine if God was as fickle and volatile as we are, I am sure we would not be alive today and this world would have been destroyed by His wrath.

We thank the Lord for His love. “Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever!” (Psalms 106:1).

Steadfast love is unfailing love. (Photo/InsightsFromTom)

God is steadfast
What exactly is ‘steadfast love’? To answer this question, we need to look at the verses; Exodus 34:6, 1Chronicles 16:34, Job 10:12, Psalms 106:1, Isaiah 54:10 that report this.

In the Hebrew language from which our Old Testament English version translates, the word ‘steadfast love’ is got from the phrase ‘Khesed’.

The term appears 127 times in Psalms and that is more than half of all the times it appears in the entire Old Testament. Thirty-seven of the 127 times, this term is used to refer to God’s acts of benevolence, and in the remaining 90 times, it is used referring to the covenant, loyal love and faithfulness in action.

The meaning of steadfast love, therefore, is unfailing love.

The steadfast love of God that is talked about in Psalms is loyal love and a love that is not changeable, but always faithful (Psalms 119:41, 106:7, 45, 89:1 25:6, 107:43).

The love of God is a standard attitude towards a sinner and a saint. He does not love saints more than He loves sinners, He loves them both equally.

The psalter praises God as one with steadfast love to remind us that we worship a God whose love is not conditioned on what we do or not do.

The way God loved you while you were a saint is the same way He loves you while you are a sinner.

Romans 5:8-10: “But God demonstrates His love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
“Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.

“For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”

Worship without worry
Does the steadfast love of God mean that our behaviour does not matter then?

Not at all, just as our righteousness does not increase God’s love for us, so does our sinning.

Our sinning does not promote God’s love for us as sinners. Generally, whatever we do or fail to do does not have any effect on His love for us.

The knowledge that God loves us regardless of our moral state and that His love towards us is steadfast should frighten us the more, instead of exciting us.

We should bow our heads in reverence and worship God for loving us, unworthy as we are.

The fact that God stays faithful to us even when we let Him down again and again, should scare us to the ground to ensure that we praise and worship Him forever.

The reassurance is that our covenant with God has not been destroyed.

In emphasising the steadfast love of God, the book of Psalms wants all believers and worshippers to understand that they do not have a fickle God.

Therefore, we should not worry that His love may change. I do not have to worry that He is going to lose His temper one day because He is annoyed.

I can trust that His love for me is the same no matter what I do. If God’s love for sinners was not steadfast, then all sinners would be consumed today.

Malachi 3:6 reminds us of this truth: “For I am the Lord, I do not change; therefore, you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.”

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