I Love Your Grace!

Today’s reading is Psalm 26.

As we recognized yesterday, David loves the Lord’s house. This sets this psalm up in the middle of a series of psalms starting with Psalm 23. The Shepherd’s psalm ends with the declaration, “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” But who gets to actually dwell in that house? Psalm 24 provides the answer: one who has clean hands and pure heart. But wait, I’ve already messed that up. Is there any hope for me? Psalm 25, the first psalm to explicitly mention the psalmist’s own personal sin, anticipates and answers that objection. Our God is merciful, gracious, abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness (reminding us of God’s own declaration in Exodus 34:6-7). Because of God’s mercy and grace, I can climb His holy Hill and dwell in His house despite my failures and sins. And now Psalm 26 talks about life in God’s house. Before we jump to David’s integrity (a topic for tomorrow), notice how David actually got into God’s house. “Your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness.” In whose faithfulness? David’s faithfulness? No, in God’s. This is another reference back to Exodus 34:6-7. In other words, David isn’t saying, “I’ve been so amazing, I deserve to be in Your house, Lord.” He is remembering the principles we learned in the previous psalm. He has walked in the Lord’s love and faithfulness. He has called on God’s mercy and grace. As Psalm 5:7 explained, David has entered the Lord’s house not because of his own awesomeness, but “through the abundance of your steadfast love.” It is no wonder that David’s prayer about his own integrity still ends with a request for God to “be gracious to me.” The only way to dwell in God’s house is by His grace. Don’t you just love God’s grace? David did. Praise the Lord!

Tomorrow’s reading is Psalm 26.

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Distinct Love

Today’s reading is Psalm 17.

David asked God to “Wondrously show your steadfast love” (vs. 7). The word translated “Wondrously show” however is used in only a few other places. We find it three times during the plagues on Egypt (Exodus 8:22; 9:4; 11:7). Each time it refers to how God made a distinction between Israel and Egypt, punishing Egypt and preserving Israel. In Exodus 33:16, Moses claimed it was by God going with Israel that they were made distinct (that’s our word). Then in Psalm 4:3, we learned that God had set apart (that’s our word) the godly for Himself. In other words, David isn’t simply asking God to love him. David is asking God to show the entire world that it matters who your God is. David is asking God to repeat history. He is asking God to do for him what God did for Moses and Israel when in Egypt and when entering the Promised Land. David is asking God to demonstrate a distinct love. God loves everyone. God has demonstrated His love for everyone. But for His chosen people, He demonstrates a love that shows them to be distinct, to have a special relationship with Him. And while it may sound self-serving to pray that God would distinguish us, His chosen and special people, with a distinct kind of love, it is actually exactly what the world needs to see. The world needs to see that it really does matter who your God is. Perhaps we should spend more time praying that God would make a distinction. Perhaps we should spend more time asking God to distinguish us from the world by His love. The fact is, He only has His covenant love for His covenant people. Why not ask Him to demonstrate it? That may be the only way some people will learn their need and develop a desire to take God up on His covenant.

Tomorrow’s reading is Psalm 17.

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