We conclude our exploration of Psalm 100 by moving on to verse 5. As mentioned previously, I am planning a church service focussed on the message of this Psalm. I’m writing these blogs to ask for your feedback and thoughts.
“For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.”
The previous verse gives us an invitation and an exhortation. The invitation is to come into God’s presence, and the exhortation is to be thankful and praise God. Today we will explore the following verse which assures us of God’s love and faithfulness.
1. Long-lasting love
The word translated “love” is the important Hebrew word “chesed”. It involves the feeling of love, but it means more than feeling. This love is unfailing, loyal, devoted, kind and merciful. Really, it is a divine love.
God’s love for us can be trusted because he is loyal to us, just as he was loyal to the Israelites despite their rebellion, failings and weaknesses. He is consistently “good” to us, even when we are consistently “bad” to him. As Jesus said,
“He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:45)
This is a love that cannot be thwarted. The Apostle Paul had a good handle on this kind of love. Have a read of the MESSAGE version of Romans 8:35-39:
“Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:
‘They kill us in cold blood because they hate you. We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.’
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.”
How do we know that God is love-loyal to us? The cross and the empty tomb are all the evidence we need. The cross tells us God has already made the supreme sacrifice of love so that we can experience his love. The empty tomb tells us God has the power to overcome any barrier to us experiencing his love.
God’s long-lasting love is a compelling reason to trust him with the here and now.
2. Forever faithful
The long-lasting love of God is the reason we can live with confidence. Confident in God’s love for us now, and confident about our future. Both our future in this life, and our future in the next life.
The Psalmist says, “his faithfulness continues through all generations” because it does. God’s faithfulness was not only to Noah and Abraham. It was not only to Isaac and Joseph. It was not only to Daniel and Jeremiah. It was not only to Ezra and Nehemiah. It was not only to David and Solomon. It was not only to John the Baptist and Jesus. It was not only to Peter and John. It was not only to Paul and Timothy.
God’s faithfulness began in Eden with Adam and Eve and continues today all these millennia later to every person on this planet. Billions and billions.
Our unfaithfulness is powerless to prevent God faithfully putting faith in humankind. As Paul put it,
“What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true, and every human being a liar.” Romans 3:3-4.
If God’s faithfulness is available to every generation, why do we fear what will happen in the future? If God promises to love our children and our children’s children with equal faithfulness to the love he has shown us, why do we worry about our children?
To have a loving concern for our children is healthy, but to worry about them not only creates tension but is an implicit assumption of God’s unfaithfulness.
If God has loved you, he will love the next generation, and the one after that, and the one after that…
Psalm 100 ends by looking forward with optimism. God has given us many reasons to be thankful, grateful and joyful. We are secure in our identity and safe in his flock. We have good reason to shout and sing his praises.
What we see in this Psalm provides a good model for most personal prayer and our times of corporate worship. Pray over it, meditate on it. Let it sink into the mind and the heart.
What helps you to believe that the LORD is fundamentally good? In what way have you seen his love remain consistent in your life? How do you feel about the next generation?
Please leave a comment here so that we can all learn from one another. We learn best when we learn in community.
I hope you have a wonderful week of fulfilling quiet times.