Meditations on the Psalms #74

Day 74

Psalm 36 part 2 

V7; How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Considering the care of God for His people and His creation, David felt the lovingkindness of God to be a precious and personal thing. Notice that between v5&6 to v7 we have a change of scale from the immense to the intimate and personal. The repeated use of the word lovingkindness is instructive. It is too great to grasp, and too precious to let slip. 

There are two main ways that commentators understand the metaphor; ‘shadow of Your wings’ (v7). Some take it in the sense that a hen covers her young chicks under her wings to protect, hide, and shelter them. More likely here, it means the wings of the cherubim that are over the Ark of the Covenant, which represents the throne of God in His earthly sanctuary; it is called the ‘mercy seat.’ This was the very representation of His presence.  

The picture of taking refuge in the shadow of wings was used of Ruth by Boaz (Ruth.2:12), and of Jerusalem by Jesus (Matt.23:37); it shows an aspect of salvation that is as humbling as it is reassuring. It also speaks of the covering rob of His righteousness that is given to the wedding guests as a means of entry to the eternal banquet. The claims of the perfect law contained within the mercy seat and sprinkled with the blood by the High Priest(Jesus) on the day of atonement, have been satisfied. This means we are in the shadow of the wings, where mercy is to be obtained. To us, Jesus is not only our High Priest, but also the sacrifice whose blood has freed us from the curse of the law (Gal 3:13). He has over-shadowed us with His robe of righteousness, and there we find refuge and lovingkindness (Mercy NKJV).  

Now we are ‘abundantly satisfied with the fullness of His house’ v8 (c.f. Ps23:6) and there we find the metaphoric ‘river of delights.’ A reference to Eden, which the sanctuary pictures as a lost inheritance; restored to us at the end of our wanderings through the wilderness of sin. What a great passage of scripture! 

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