Meditations on the Psalms #263

Psalm 117 Part 3

Praise times in our religious life is resting and refreshing times similar to those in our secular life. 
The occasion of praise is Lovingkindness and truth. These are the Lord’s chief attributes in His dealings with people. Lovingkindness is love that stoops, love that departs from the strict ‘deserve’ of retribution. Lovingkindness is love that is kind when justice might make it otherwise. Lovingkindness (unfailing love NIV) is love that condescends to that which is far beneath. Thus chesed – ‘mercy’ (KJV) or steadfast love (RSV) of the OT covers the same ground as grace of the NT. In John 1:17 truth blends with lovingkindness and is God’s fidelity to every obligation under which he has come. Faithfulness to promise! Your salvation depends on His promise, not your works. We see His fidelity in history, His fidelity in His actions, His fidelity to His own character.

God displays ‘chesed’ in making promises and exhibits truth in fulfilling them. Both met in the Covenant to Abraham and Israel, both met at the incarnation and at the cross; both meet in the conversion of sinners and both will be perfected when the saints (God’s people in Christ) reach heaven. Chesed (Mercy, lovingkindness, unfailing love, steadfast love) without truth would be powerless and truth without grace would be legalism. But together God can justify those who believe and yet be just. “Just and yet the justifier of them which believe,” Paul says in Rom3:26. Ps85:10 says they are inseparably blended – they kiss!

Once again, we can imagine with what perfect joy our Lord sang this song, as He moved to the uttermost in His sorrows; for He did so in full and perfect apprehension of the union of lovingkindness and truth in God. Divine grace reaches beyond Israel and embraces ‘all nations’ v1 (A Hebrew wrote this! (C.F.Gen 12:3 with Rev 7:9-17)

Not only is his love so great in-depth and height (c.f. Rom5:20; 1Tem1:14), it is also lasting (‘endures forever’).Praise the LORD: Once again, all peoples are called to say, Hallelujah!Let the hallelujahs of the redeemed be suitable to that ‘lovingkindness,’ and co-eternal with that ‘truth.’ 

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