God’s Steadfast Love

Aside

“Let your steadfast love come to me, O Lord, your salvation according to your promise; then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me, for I trust in your word.”

(Psalms 119:41–42 ESV)

Psalm 119 has captivated many hearts, souls, and minds over the years, including Martin Luther who said he would not part with one leaf of it for the whole world.  Church of England pastor, Charles Bridges, has written perhaps one of the best expositions of this most precious and soul-stirring, mind-renewing, faith-strengthening psalms concerning true piety.  There are other great ones, but Bridges is one of my favorites.  Here is what he had to say about Psalm 119:42…

“What is the salvation which he had just been speaking of?  The whole gift of the mercy of God — redemption from sin, death, and hell — pardon, peace, and acceptance with a reconciled God — constant communication of spiritual blessings — all that God can give, or we can want; all that we are able to receive here, or heaven can perfect hear after.  Now if this comes to us — comes to our hearts — surely it will furnish us at all times with an answer to him that reproacheth us.  The world casts upon us the reproach of the cross.  “What profit is there that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of Hosts?” (Mal. 3:14).  What is there to counterbalance the relinquishment of pleasure, esteem, and worldly comfort?  The mere professor can give no answer.  He has heard of it, but it has never come to him.  The believer is ready with his answer, ‘I have found in the Lord’s salvation pardon and peace — “not as the world giveth” — and such as the world cannot take away.  Here, therefore, do I abide, finding it my happiness not to live without the cross, and testifying in the midst of abounding tribulation, that there are no comforts like Christ’s comforts.’

But there is a far heavier reproach than that of the world — when the grand accuser injects hard thoughts of God — when he throws our guilt and unworthiness — our helplessness and difficulties, in our face… Free grace has saved me — an unspotted righteousness covers me — an Almighty arm sustains me — eternal glory awaits me.  Who shall condemn? “Who shall separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord?” (Rom. 8:33-39).”

This reminds me of the great hymn “Before the Throne of God Above” by Charitie Bancroft:

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in Heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace,
One in Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God!

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