In Psalm 33:5b, the psalmist continues to remind the congregation that God is not only truthful in His word and faithful in His works, not only that He delights in justice and righteousness, but also that ‘the earth is full of His unfailing love.’ The word unfailing love in the original language is the same as lovingkindness or steadfast love in other translations. Lovingkindness is a concrete manifestation of God’s goodness.
The idea of God’s lovingkindness in this verse is that of a general favor toward all the earth. But lovingkindness is commonly used to refer to God’s special favor toward His own chosen people. This is especially clear in v. 12 where God pronounces blessing upon Israel, His chosen people, whom God has called to be a royal priesthood, a chosen nation, a people belonging to Him.
As God's new covenant people, God’s blessing and special favor rest upon us, the church, through Jesus Christ. As such, God has called us out of the kingdom of darkness into His marvelous kingdom of light. For what purpose? Peter says that God has blessed us ‘that [we] may declare the praises of him who called [us].’ God’s lovingkindness is upon you and me that we may go and proclaim to the world God’s work of salvation. He has called us to serve Him as salt and light of this world. He chose us that we may live as strangers and aliens in this world on our way to the heavenly kingdom.
But as we do, God exhorts us to abstain from sinful desires that endanger our souls. He commands us to live such good and holy lives among the pagans that though they may accuse us of doing wrong, they may see our good deeds and glorify God in the end. Such is our calling as God’s chosen people.
While the Lord looks down and sees all mankind, His eyes are especially on those whose hope is in His unfailing love. Verse 19 tells us the reason why God does this to you and me. The verse says, ‘to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.’ No wonder that at the end of this psalm God’s covenant people invoke God’s lovingkindness to rest upon them as they put their hope in Him.
God’s steadfast love is expressed in His acts of grace, patience and forgiveness to those who trust and fear Him. Because of His tender mercies, we are not consumed in the holy presence of God. The bestowal of His lovingkindness to us leads us to repentance.
Not only that, God’s steadfast love also carries us through even in our failures for ‘if we are faithless, He remains faithful’ (2 Tim 2:13). It is God’s enduring principle at work in our life even when all hopes seem to fade and the present seems so bleak for ‘His lovingkindness endures forever’ (Psalm 136).
I remember, when prophet Jeremiah was in the midst of destruction and turmoil, he finds hope and comfort in God’s unfailing love. Because of God’s tender mercies he was able to sing a new song of praise to God saying, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lam 3:22-23).
Be at peace, children of God, for the Lord is with you. In this world you may go through all kinds of trials because of your faith in God. You may be going through a difficult situation in your work, in your marriage, or in your relationship with your children. Maybe you are having personal issues and troubles that keep on bothering you. God’s abiding love in Christ remains in you through His Spirit. You can therefore lift your hearts to God in joyful adoration for He alone deserves your praise and thanksgiving.
You have a truthful and faithful God who keeps His promises. You have a righteous and just Redeemer and Lord who saves you and forgives all your sins. And you have a loving God who will enable you to persevere to the end. Lay down your burdens to Him. Cast your sorrows upon Him for He cares for you. And together let us join our voices to sing the glories of this God whom we worship and praise.