Psalm 106:1-2: Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Who can utter the mighty deeds of the Lord, or declare all his praise?
Psalm 107:43: Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the Lord.
How great it is to know that our Father’s love for us does not change! How wonderful to rest in his faithfulness when we are exhausted! How encouraging to look to him when we do not know what to do! How tender and sweet is his forgiveness when we confess and repent of our sins! What hope comes from this truth: God’s mercies are new every morning (Lam. 3:22-24)!
Psalms 106 & 107 nourish our souls with the message of God’s steadfast love. Psalm 106 sings the story of Israel’s spiritual and moral failures throughout their history as God’s people (v. 6-43). But, the overall message of the psalm is not human failure but rather Divine mercy and compassion. The psalmist began his meditation by rejoicing in the Lord’s goodness and love (v. 1-2), and he ended his meditation – not with despair over Israel’s sin – but rather with hope that the Lord would once again deliver Israel:
Psalm 106:44-48: Nevertheless, he looked upon their distress, when he heard their cry. 45 For their sake he remembered his covenant, and relented according to the abundance of his steadfast love. 46 He caused them to be pitied by all those who held them captive. 47 Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise. 48 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! And let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the Lord!
This same hope in the constancy of God’s love pervades Psalm 107. Whereas Psalm 106 lamented Israel’s history of rebellion but found hope in God’s mercy, Psalm 107 celebrates the different ways in which God delivered his exiled people from their distresses. “Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to a city to dwell in,” but the Lord heard their cries and delivered them (v. 4-9). “Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death,” but the Lord heard their cries and delivered them (v. 10-16). “Some were fools through their sinful ways, and because of their iniquities suffered affliction,” but the Lord heard their cries and delivered them (v. 17-22). “Some went down to the sea in ships and … they reeled and staggered like drunken men and were at their wit’s end,” but the Lord heard their cries and delivered them” (v. 23-32). The Lord is the one who “raises up the needy out of affliction and makes their families like flocks” (v. 41). So, the entire psalm is an invitation to “consider the steadfast love of the Lord” (v. 43).
When we are broken by our sinful choices and habits, our hope is in God’s constant, forgiving love. When we are in situations of distress and trouble, our hope is in God’s constant, delivering love. Both of these psalms point us to the cross of Jesus Christ. On the cross Jesus suffered for all our rebellion, idolatry, and wickedness (1 Peter 2:24-25). On the cross Jesus died to disarm and defeat the powers of evil (Col. 2:8-15). By suffering on the cross for us Jesus revealed how great, how perfect, how unchanging, and how sacrificial is God’s love for us (1 John 4:7-21). So, let us continually return to the cross of Christ and remember that God’s love for us is constant through all our failures and distresses. Let us go to the God revealed in Jesus, confessing our sins and crying out for help, knowing that God is faithful and just to respond to our pleas for mercy. Let us daily give thanks to the Lord for his steadfast love. And, let us daily think about and reflect on how God has shown his steadfast love to us and to the world.
Take time now to seek God. This brief prayer can help you get started. “Heavenly Father, thank you that your love for us is constant and unchanging. Thank you that Jesus died on the cross for us. Thank that that through Jesus you forgive our sins and deliver us from our distresses. Help me to live a life of gratitude for your steadfast love. Help me to think about the greatness of your love every day. Help me to share the good news of your amazing love with others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”