Psalm 36:5-11

God’s Grace in Times of Adversity
Jessica Bullock

Read Psalm 36

Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
     your faithfulness to the clouds.

Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,

     your judgments are like the great deep;

     you save humans and animals alike, O Lord. Psalm 36: 5-6

We don’t know exactly when this psalm was penned — there is speculation about whether it was when David was attacked by Absalom or Saul. Regardless, it was obviously at a moment in time when he recognized that he was unable to fight his adversaries on his own. David, in his erratic journey from shepherd to king, was a bit of a poster child for the need to trust in God versus his own resources.

In this section of the psalm, David shifts his focus from the first few verses, where he describes the transgressions of the wicked, to the comfort and the grace that we receive from God. He acknowledges our imperfection and encourages us to rest in the grace that we receive through him. The imagery that David uses to describe God’s love and protection — the heavens, clouds, mighty mountains, “the great deep” and the “river of your delights”— is truly awe-inspiring. It is easy to imagine David sitting by a river looking into the clouds and mountains and imagining God’s grace in his time of adversity.

As we progress through the season of Lent, let us consider the great gifts that God has given us. Jesus sacrificed so much by coming to earth and dying for us. While we may experience moments of darkness or pain, God is always with us. He’s much greater than us and has our ultimate interests at heart. 

As David writes. 

O continue your steadfast love to those who know you,
and your salvation to the upright of heart!

Do not let the foot of the arrogant tread on me,

or the hand of the wicked drive me away. Amen

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