“Oh, continue Your lovingkindness to those who know You, and Your righteousness to the upright in heart. Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked drive me away. There the workers of iniquity have fallen; They have been cast down and are not able to rise.” – Psalm 36:10-12
King David knew, enjoyed, and praised God for His lovingkindness and the preciousness of it. Its value is immeasurable. The loyal love of the living God is truly splendid! Not only did David place his trust in his faithful Lord and under the shadow of His wings, not only was David fully satisfied by Him and full of the life He gave and light He revealed, but David also desired that his brothers and sisters would know their God more and more and experience the same. In fact, we find David beseeching the Lord in prayer with good and important petitions as he closes this psalm.
What were his requests? That God’s blessings would continue to be poured out upon His people. David begged the Lord to continue to extend His faithful love and righteousness to His children. In Hebrew, the word “continue” has the meaning of being “extended” or to “keep stretched out”. It carries with it the idea of God’s ongoing blessing in drawing His people. In Jeremiah 31, we find this to be true with His lovingkindness. God’s covenant loyalty is sovereignly stretched out to those He has eternally loved in Christ.
“The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” – Jeremiah 31:3
In Psalm 36, David prayed for God’s steadfast love to not be like a sealed fountain, but rather that it would draw forth to those who bear two marks – 1) they know Him, and 2) are upright in heart. David prayed for those who are known by God and therefore truly know the Lord, who are also those who by His grace live their lives uprightly. This should remind us of the Apostle John’s words of assurance to believers and comfort our hearts:
“Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” – 1 John 2:3-6
And so, as David interceded for all the saints, he then also prayed for himself. How did he pray the continuing of God’s righteousness would be evident? Look at his petition in verses 11-12. He prayed that such continuing righteousness would be seen in God’s defense of David. He prayed it would be evident in the vindication of his innocence. David prayed it would be clear in the restraint of his enemies, as well as in the display of God’s faithful preservation of David against all who would attack him.
“My defense is of God, Who saves the upright in heart.” – Psalm 7:10
Beloved, be blessed by the perfect and beautiful character of God that shines forth in this passage as He stands in great contrast to the wicked! His sovereign defense of His people and restraint of evil display His goodness to His creatures. Divine wrath and its service of divine justice is another way His goodness is clearly evident. Even more, the presence and work of God’s loyal love, faithfulness, righteousness, and justice show us that He isn’t aloof. He doesn’t remain at a distance from sinful men. Rather, He pursues and draws sinners to Himself through faith in Jesus Christ so that His goodness is known in this way as well. Christ loves us with an everlasting love. In Christ, we have true and eternal satisfaction. Praise the Lord!