“How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings. They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, and You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures. For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light.” – Psalm 36:7-9
As David, a servant of the Lord, meditated on and sang to the living God regarding His many mercies, His faithfulness, righteousness, and preservation of His creation in the preceding context of this psalm, it’s fitting and wonderful that David would also praise God for the excellencies of His love and favor to His people. For as David was a recipient of such divine love and favor, God had opened his understanding to see and know His lovingkindness, along with the value and benefits of it. What is true of God’s lovingkindness?
The Hebrew word for God’s lovingkindness is hesed, which some translate “steadfast love.” The word hesed means “goodness” or “kindness.” It communicates an essential aspect of God’s character and is used to describe God’s loyal love, His faithful love, His steadfast love. Hesed points us to love that is full of devotion. Further, it’s a love that’s active and moves in compassion and mercy.
As David knew and experienced the lovingkindness of His Lord towards him, see how he praised God for how “precious” it is. Now, in referring to the lovingkindness of God as “precious,” David isn’t using that term as we would in some contexts today to say that something, for example, is “cute.” Rather, David teaches and points us to the tremendous value of it, similar to how the Apostle Peter speaks of our genuine faith in 1 Peter 1:7. God’s lovingkindness is immeasurable. It’s rare. It’s splendid. There is no other love that can come remotely close to its value. This love is most abundantly seen in Christ and the cross. Have you thought about how precious God’s love truly is? How does this impact you today?
Because of this active, valuable, loyal love of God, David speaks to the impact it has on His people, which is seen in trust, satisfaction, and sight. David says that knowing the hesed love of God, His people place their trust under the shadow of His wings. They have confidence in Him as they are under His sovereign protection and care. Indeed, we find good refuge under His wings and can say with David:
“Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by.” – Psalm 57:1
Along with such trust in God’s provision comes abundant satisfaction from His provision. God acts as the great and generous host towards His children, giving us of the fullness of His house. In many ways, we have tasted and seen that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8). Further, we’ve tasted God’s goodness to us in Christ. We’ve tasted that the Lord is and has been very gracious to us, our families, our church (1 Peter 2:3). The gifts of His good providence to us satisfy us and we are content. We also trust in His promises and look forward to when He will give us full and complete satisfaction in the house made without hands in eternity with Him in Heaven.
Another piece of God satisfying us is by His giving us drink from the river of His pleasures. This river is always full, fresh, and flowing with more than enough for all His children. This truth is clear and beautiful as He is the source of all life, even life eternal (Luke 23:42, John 3:16). It’s even more wonderful as it points to the person and work of Jesus, who is living water! He gives eternal life to those who drink and believe in Him (John 4:14, John 7:37-39).
As David goes on to proclaim, “in Your light we see light”, we are encouraged and joyful that the giver of life is also the giver of light, and sight. Christ is the light of the world (John 1:7-9, John 8:12). We can’t see His light without God opening our eyes to see, without Him opening our eyes to see and know
Jesus and follow Him, walking in His light (1 John 1:7).
Beloved, how wonderfully precious the lovingkindness of God is! How wonderful the fruitful work of such love is in our lives. Knowing His loyal love, continue to trust your covenant Lord and His good providence to you, grow in trusting Him more and more. Praise Him for His filling and satisfying work in you. If you struggle with godly contentment, make this a matter of prayer, that you would truly and sincerely be content with the riches of His grace that He pours out to you and your family. Praise and thank Him for the life, light, and sight you have in and because of Christ, your Savior!