Your Steadfast Love…Extends to the Heavens

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“Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.” (Psalm 36:5). Like all of the psalms, this one is rooted in the realities of this life. It begins with a reflection on the sin of pride and its inevitable consequences. It is a reflection on the foolishness of that pride and, in contrast, it is a reflection on God’s steadfast love for those who remain humble and upright in their hearts. It is a worthy reflection for all of us to pray over.

Like the psalmist, we also see that those who have rejected God and turned away from his truth, claiming that the supreme power to declare what is true, good, and right belongs to themselves, are really nothing more than self-deceiving fools. They are blind to their errors and to their guilt. They refuse to see, or to accept, the consequences of their actions. They are people of the lie. They are driven by the hungry desires of their own egos. All of their plotting and deceit is done for their own benefit. They never concern themselves with the suffering they cause for others. The great irony is that they fool themselves, believe they are pulling the wool over the eyes of all others. They no longer bother themselves with the discernment of what is good and what is evil. They are a great danger to themselves and to all others.

Those who know God and who know that his love is steadfast, remain faithful and hold fast to his truth. They count it the most precious thing in their lives. They have learned the foolishness of the ego. They have come to know that all good and grace comes from, and depends on, God’s steadfast love. We all sin. In faith, we know that this is the reason why Jesus, the Son of God, came among us; to forgive us, to call us back to ourselves and to him. When those who believe in God’s righteousness and his steadfast love become aware of their sins, and see them for what they really are, they turn back to him in their sorrow, trusting in his infinite mercy and kindness toward them.

The psalmist’s prayer is our prayer too. We, too, take refuge under the shadow of his wings. In him is our peace, our comfort, and our strength. Just as the psalmist did, we ask him to continue his love and his righteousness to those who know him, those who desire to give themselves over to him. We do not want to be counted among the evildoers who, in the end, will “fall, be thrown down, not able to rise” ever again. (verse 12).

Lord, Help us to know you more clearly and to love you more dearly every day. Give us the faith and the strength to remain faithful to you as you are faithful to us. We know our need for your great mercy and we know your steadfast love. Bring peace to our yearning hearts. We pray in the name of Jesus. Amen!

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.