Monday, October 23, 2023

The Steadfast Love of the Lord

Monday, October 23, 2023

 The Steadfast Love of the Lord – Psalm 33  Submitted by Kay Crumley

We read the word steadfast in scripture over 200 times, depending on the translation.  The Hebrew word hesed or chesed, translated steadfast love, is found more than 120 times in the Psalms alone.  I believe that’s reason enough to investigate the meaning, how it relates to our Lord, and application for us in today’s world. 

 The Oxford Language dictionary defines steadfast as an adjective, a word that defines or describes a noun, meaning resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering.  We don’t use that descriptor often in our conversations, at least I don’t.  I am challenged to consider how I would use it, what other words I might replace with it.  That man’s dog is loyal and trustworthy as he is always by his side.  Does steadfast fit in that sentence?  That man’s dog is steadfast as he is always by his side.  I believe it does.  What other words more commonly used have similar meanings?  Some examples are loyal, faithful, committed, true, firm, determined, and dependable.  Those are all descriptors we have used in various situations.  Perhaps they have been used to describe you. Have you considered that they are words that describe the love of our Father God for us?  If so, how, or when do you apply that characteristic to Him?  I have chosen Psalm 33 for us to examine to help answer that for us.   

Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous!Praise befits the upright. Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings! Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.  For the word of the Lord is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness. He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord...Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield  For our heart is glad in him,  because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,  even as we hope in you. Psalm 33:1-5; 20-22

The psalmist wrote this song of praise to God for what He is and does.  It is to be sung by those who are rightly aligned with Him, Christians.   The opening verses show how to praise Him, with musical instruments, singing voices, and loud shouts.  We are to express our gratitude and joy to Him in every way we can.  Those praises are to be offered skillfully and with exuberance.  The reasons for our praise are shown in verses 4-5.  His Word is upright or right and true, all His works are done in faithfulness.  He loves right living, loyalty, and His steadfast love is everywhere.  That is reason enough to sing praises to Him.  However, there are more that I will list from verses 6-19.  I didn’t include them here but encourage you to read them for yourself.  

In verses 6-7 we are reminded that the Lord created the heavens, the sky and all the stars and planets; He created the seas, the oceans and all the waters of the earth.  These were created in response to His word speaking them into existence.

Verses 8-9 honors His creation of all inhabitants of the world.  We are created by Him for His glory.  He spoke all the living creatures into being.  As a result of His power and authority, we are to stand in awe and wonder of Him.  We are to set ourselves in a state of humble awe of Him.   

Verses 10-12 bring to the realization that the plans of man, outside His authority, comes to nothing.  But those nations who align themselves with God will be blessed.  His inheritance belongs to His chosen people.  Believers are His through faith in Jesus Christ, we are His people and promised His inheritance.   

We are encouraged by verses 13-15 as the psalmist assures us that God sees us and makes us who we are.  He has His eye on us and all that we do.  As our creator He has the right to inspect us because He loves us.   

Verses 16-17 points out the futility in trusting in our own strength.  The strength of armies or powers is a vain hope as we are not delivered by human power. 

We are promised, in verses 18-19, that those who fear the Lord are in His protection.  We have the confidence that placing our faith in Him results in His love being always with us. We may suffer loss or death, but we know we have a future in Him as He promised. 

Finally, the last verses repeat how we started. Our hope and trust are in Him our help and shield.  We can rest in that hope because His steadfast love never fails.   

The question I must ask myself, and I hope you will also apply, is ‘am I living steadfastly in Him?’  Do I put my trust in human power, authorities, or self-sufficiency?  As we face many unknowns in our current world conditions, I pray that I can truthfully say that my hope in Him is sure and my trust in Him is steadfast.   


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