Through Love (Psalm 5:7a)

3O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice;
    in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.

For you are not a God who delights in wickedness;
    evil may not dwell with you.
The boastful shall not stand before your eyes;
    you hate all evildoers.
You destroy those who speak lies;
    the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love,
    will enter your house.
I will bow down toward your holy temple

In verse 3-6 we saw David identifying with the wicked man. He was someone who needed to bring a sacrifice before the Lord because God does not delight in wickedness. He comes before God with a sacrifice because he understands his sin. But then, in verse 7, we see David does make a contrast. This contrast is not one of his own righteousness vs. the unrighteousness of the wicked, which is how I usually hear a Psalm like this interpreted, but rather he is contrasting the position he finds himself in vs. the position that the evildoer should be in.

In verses 4-5 David mentions several times how the evildoer is kept from being with God and dwelling with him, “evil may not dwell with you.The boastful shall not stand before your eyes.” But now jump down to verse 7 and David says, “But I…will enter your house. I will bow down toward your holy temple…” an evildoer dwelling with God! Somehow David, a sinful man IS entering God’s house! He is contrasting the position he should be in; estrangement from God- with the position he is actually in now; freedom and ability to enter God’s house and presence. What allows David, a wicked man to enter the house of God? He answers this question in verse 7 “Through the abundance of your steadfast love.”

Once again, I will point out. David doesn’t come to God in his own righteousness, he doesn’t come to God by contrasting his own righteousness with that of the wicked man and upon the grounds of his own goodness claims he is allowed to enter the presence of God. He knows that the basis of his coming to God is God’s mercy and love upon him. It is an abundant love…He knows he needs a lot of it…And a steadfast love. A love that remains constant despite David’s ups and downs in life. And David had many ups and downs.

To sum up, David comes to God, identifying his sin, bringing a sacrifice, and reveling in the great abundant, steadfast love that God has towards sinners like him. God accepted David because he is a God of love and mercy who desires that the wicked turn from their sin and come to him- and that is what David did.

We the wicked, the ones who cannot dwell with God, find ourselves in a strange place…the presence of a Father who loves us?

Hebrews 10 says,

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”

Ephesians 2 says,

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

I John 4 says,

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

God loves. The very hatred God has for sin that we see in Psalm 5 comes out of his love for humanity. When you look around you and see the results that sin has had on our world, both in the damage its done to our fellow humans and the estrangement its caused between man and God, it would be difficult to come to the conclusion that love would let sin and evil remain. Rather, love works towards a kingdom in which sin cannot dwell and that is the ends towards which God is working. Even in his hatred for sin, we see God’s love working and motivating him to come and take that sin upon himself, we see him conquering sin and the death that it brings. We see him working towards the redemption of the cursed creation and the reconciliation of all things to himself. All of this because God loves.

In my own struggle against sin and the wickedness I find in my own heart, there has been nothing so powerful in my fight, as the thought of God’s love for me. God’s love assures me my sin has been taken and conquered by Jesus’ death. God’s love assures me my fight has been won for me. God’s love welcomes me into his presence with confidence not shame, and these are the wonderful truths that turn my heart again and again from my sin and towards my Father who draws and welcomes me, through the abundance of his steadfast love, into his house, his presence, his kingdom.

I invite you too…through the abundance of God’s steadfast love, so powerfully given and displayed to us through Jesus, to turn from your sin to this God who loves you.

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