Ponder God’s Steadfast Love

Psalm 48 begins by lifting up praise to God: “Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised.”

Quickly, the focus of the psalm turns to the city of God: “Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised in the city of our God.  His holy mountain, beautiful in elevation, is the joy of all the earth, Mount Zion, in the far north, the city of the great King.  Within its citadels God has shown himself a sure defense.”

What is it that makes Jerusalem “the joy of all the earth”?

It is God’s presence among his people in the House of God that makes Jerusalem “the joy of all the earth.”

But why would God make a home on a hill in Jerusalem?

What prompted God to make a home in Jerusalem is that God loves us.  Out of that love for us, God sought to make connection with us by establishing a place where we could meet God and where God could meet with us.  

No wonder the call to us in verse 9 is to “ponder” the “steadfast love of God.” 

Please take some time to ponder “the steadfast love of God”:

Many years ago, Norwegian explorer Nansen Fridtjof tried to measure an extremely deep part of the Arctic Ocean.  The first day, he used his longest measuring line but couldn’t reach the bottom.  He wrote in his log book, “The ocean is deeper than that.”  The next day, he added more line but still could not measure the depth.  He wrote into his record book, “Deeper than that.”  After several days of adding more and more pieces of rope and cord to his line, he had to leave that part of the ocean without learning its actual depth.  All he knew was that it was beyond his ability to measure.  Such is the nature of God’s love: The depth of God’s love is beyond our capacity to measure.

Alexander Whyte puts it this way: “The love of Christ has no border; it has no shore; it has no bottom.  The love of Christ is boundless; it is bottomless; it is infinite; it is divine…. We shall come to the shore, we shall strike the bottom of every other love, but never the love of Christ…. You will never come to the length of it, or to the breadth of it, or to the depth of it, or to the height of it.  To all eternity, the love of Christ to you will be new.”

Brennan Manning asks and answers questions about God’s love for us: “Are you afraid that your weakness could separate you from the love of Christ?  It can’t.  Are you afraid that your inadequacies could separate you from the love of Christ?  They can’t.  Are you afraid that your inner poverty could separate you from the love of Christ?  It can’t.  Difficult marriage, loneliness, anxiety over the children’s future?  They can’t.  Negative self-image?  It can’t.  Economic hardship, racial hatred, street crime?  They can’t.  Rejection by loved ones or the suffering of loved ones?  They can’t.  Persecution by authorities, going to jail.  They can’t.  Nuclear war?  It can’t.  Mistakes, fears, uncertainties?  They can’t.  The gospel of grace calls out, Nothing can ever separate you from the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Annie Johnson Flint writes,

            When we have exhausted our store of endurance,

            When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,

            When we reach the end of our hoarded resources

            Our Father’s full giving is only begun.

            His love has no limit; His grace has no measure;

            His love no boundary known unto men.

            For out of His infinite riches in Jesus

            He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

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