‘…let all who take refuge in You be glad…’ (Psalm 5:11)
Read Psalm 5
On initial reading Psalm 5 appears to be one of lamentation and also one which raises the question as to who may enter the Lord’s Holy Temple. However, there is perhaps another issue we need to consider here in this Psalm. We’ve all heard the saying, ‘What came first – the chicken or the egg?, but here the Psalmist seems to pose another dilemma, ‘Which comes first, mercy or justice?’ Yet this must have been a dilemma facing all God’s prophets called to speak His Word to the people as they called on the people to return to the Lord and still today many would debate on what the first course of action should be on someone found guilty of something – for that individual to face justice or be shown mercy.
John 3:17 tells us, ‘…God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him…’ and if we look at the heart of this Psalm we find that it too speaks of this great love of God. Throughout the Psalm we see the contrast between those who are righteous and those who are wicked, along with the issue of who may or may not enter the Lord’s Temple, and there are many things we could consider here.
However, it would seem that the overall aim sought in the Psalm is not protection or who is or is not able to enter the Temple, but joy, and perhaps verse 11 is the one verse that stands out in this respect. The loving kindness of God towards His people – towards us today – is wholly undeserved. If Israel and us today were to receive the proper judgement due to us for our stubborn resistance to God’s will then there would be no option but to condemn us without hope. But God’s love for us all is a love that will not let us go. We may be unfaithful and wander but God remains faithful and welcoming – and in that we can rejoice and be glad.
We may not think of ourselves as being wicked but the reality is that we all think, say and do things that we know are wrong – even if unintentionally – so are we worthy to come before the Lord? The answer to that is no, not on our own – but then we remember the words spoken in John’s Gospel and we know that through Jesus Christ God came to reconcile Himself to us. He looks on us not as we are, but as we are found through Christ our Saviour – so we can indeed be glad and for ever sing for joy in the presence of the Lord.
Lord, we give You thanks for Your love, grace and mercy and ask that You would help us to show these same characteristics in our daily lives. Help us to show the same love and forgiveness to others that You have shown us in Your Son, to the glory and honour of Your name. Amen.
Question Of The Day: On which mountain did the ark settle on after the flood had subsided?