Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: 1) Light from His Person (Ps. 36:5-6), 2) Light for His People (Ps. 36:7-9) and 3) Light from His Protection (Ps. 36:10-11)

Why do parents love children so much? As gifts from God, the honour of raising and caring for Children give life a new level of joy beyond expectation. Through words and actions we continue to show how much they mean to us.

A favourite game that I love’s to listen to, is between my youngest son Garret and my wife Lisa. She would start with a generalization about how she loved him. He would respond with a grander vision of love. The game continued until measurements of love were quantified with terms like infinity.

For the redeemed, God calls us His children. Scripture is a record of how much he loved us. Our present care and control in His providence show us His love. The assurances in His word and by His Spirit of eternal life, as well as the evidence of Christ’s resurrection continue to show His great love. The Gospel itself is a picture of God’s love for us.

The Gospel stems from the goodness of God. In the hymn of praise to God’s goodness in Psalm 36, three basic characteristics are presented of Yahweh as the God of "the Gospel of Light". We see 1) Light from His Person (Ps. 36:5-6), 2) Light for His People (Ps. 36:7-9) and 3) Light from His Protection (Ps. 36:10-11)

1) Light from His Person (Ps. 36:5-6)

Psalm 36:5-6 [5]Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. [6]Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O LORD. (ESV)

The most important of the attributes from the perspective of this psalm is hesed, (which is translated here as steadfast love) in other translations it is rendered as:) “unfailing love” or “lovingkindness.” It is important because it begins the list of attributes (in v. 5) and closes it (in v. 7). It also reappears in the closing prayer (in v. 10) (Boice, J. M. (2005). Psalms (Pbk. ed.) (311). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books).

Quote: Alexander Maclaren has a sermon on this psalm in which he unfolds the meaning of the term, calling it goodness, mercy, and grace. “All his goodness is forbearance, and his love is mercy, because of the weakness, the lowliness, and the ill desert of us on whom the love falls. … The first and last, the Alpha and Omega of God, beginning and crowning and summing up all his being and his work, is his mercy, his lovingkindness.”(Alexander Maclaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture, vol. 3, The Psalms, Isaiah 1–48 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1959), 229–30.)

Verse 5a conveys the thought that the LORD’s qualities are beyond measuring, without any limits in that they cover the whole universe. If the imagery of love having physical extension can be used, it may be possible to say, in a simile form, “you love in such a great way it is like the distance from the earth to the sky.” The comparison can also we said that His "constant love is far greater than anything else” or “You always love your people far more than they can imagine.”

• As much as we can read, see and feel God’s love, the great wonder is that He is coordinating and providentially controlling events for our benefit.

He does these things for His people. His “steadfast love/Lovingkindness,” which is God’s basic characteristic in the context of covenant, is amplified by “faithfulness” (The two terms are poetically synonymous; in that He is faithful to His promises as defined by Covenant. Every act of mercy is at one and the same time an act of faithfulness because every act of mercy fulfils God’s promise to be merciful. We must, therefore, exalt his faithfulness as much as we do his mercy (Ellsworth, R. (2006). Opening up Psalms (142). Leominster: Day One Publications.).

God’s “steadfast love/Lovingkindness,” has to do with God’s verbal revelation, for only a God who has spoken promises to mankind can be thought of as faithful. This God has done. He has given numerous revelations and promises, and he has adhered unwaveringly to each one (Boice, J. M. (2005). Psalms (Pbk. ed.) (311). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.).

The scope of His faithfulness is noted that it extends “to the heavens” which does not imply distance, but something which has no boundaries or limits. (Craigie, P. C. (2002). Vol. 19: Word Biblical Commentary : Psalms 1-50. Word Biblical Commentary (292). Dallas: Word, Incorporated).

Quote: On this A. W. Pink said: "Far above all finite comprehension is the unchanging faithfulness of God. Everything about God is great, vast, incomparable. He never forgets, never fails, never falters, never forfeits His word. To every declaration of promise or prophecy the Lord has exactly adhered, every engagement of covenant or threatening He will make good, for “God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: hath He said, and shall He not do it? or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?” (Num. 23:19, AV). Therefore does the believer exclaim, “His compassions fail not, they are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness” (Lam. 3:22, 23, AV)". (A. W. Pink, The Attributes of God, p. 47.)

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