“Whoever is wise will consider these things and will understand the lovingkindness of God.” (Psalm 107:43)In every case, they cried out to the Lord and He heard them, and delivered them out of their distresses (Psalm 107) Click To Tweet
What do “these things” refer to here? Four times in Psalm 107 the Lord, the Faithful God, delivered a particular group of people who found themselves in trouble because of (1) wandering away from the Lord and His people (v.4,5); or (2) rebelling against the Word of God and disdaining His counsel (v.10-12); or (3) choosing to live in sin (v.17,18); or (4) living in material lust and human wisdom (v.23-27); or simply because of the humps and bumps in the path that those serving the Lord encounter! But in every case, they cried out to the Lord and He heard them, and delivered them out of their distresses (v.6,13,19,28). No wonder David explodes four times with “O that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men!” This faithful God is the same today for us as He was for those m David’s day.
” … know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God Who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments.” (Deuteronomy 7:9)
He is “a God of faithfulness without breach or deviation …”, here the NKJV Bible calls Him “a God of Truth” (Deut.32:4) The Hebrew word for faithfulness is “emunaw”, which denotes a fixed position or office, stability, always according to truth. In English Psalm 100:5 tells us that His faithfulness endures to all generations; in the French Bible we read here that His truth endures from generation to generation. Also in Psalm 89:33b we see this connection between God’s faithfulness and Truth: “I will not allow My faithfulness to fail.”; in French this translates as “I will not betray, or be untrue to, My faithfulness.” Now, in Exodus 34:6,7a we see that “The Lord passed before Moses and proclaimed, ‘The LORD, the LORD GOD, merciful and gracious … abounding in goodness and Truth (in French, “fidelité”, faithfulness), keeping mercy for thousands”. There is also a “partnership” between the faithfulness and mercy of God.
“Mercy shall be built up forever; Your faithfulness You shall establish in the very heavens.” (Psalm 89:2)
In Psalm 36:5 we read that His Mercy is actually in the heavens as well, and His “faithfulness reaches to the clouds.” Lamentations 3:22-24 confirms this relationship between Mercy and faithfulness: “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” Really, our God can be nothing but faithful. All that He says, all that He promises, all that He has done, is based upon His faithfulness. We can perhaps better understand now, after reading all these passages, how the Lord could be so merciful and faithful to the Israelites when time after time they would be rebellious toward and unfaithful to Him! He esteemed His Name and His Word above all else, and His Word even above His Name (Psalm 138:2).
Our God, the faithful God, is faithful in all to all of His own.
He is faithful to fulfill our call: “Faithful is He Who is calling you [to Himself] and utterly trustworthy, and He will also do it [fulfill His call by hallowing and keeping you].” (I Thess.5:24, AMPL) “God is faithful ( … ever true to His promise, and He can be depended upon); by Him you were called into companionship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (I Cor.1:9, AMPL)
He is faithful to protect us: “The Lord is faithful, Who will establish and guard you from the evil one.” (II Thess.3:3) “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, Who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” (I Cor.10:13)
He is faithful to accomplish His Word. “His Word is faithful” (Titus 1:9) ” … the Lord … has given rest to His people …, according to all that He promised. There has not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised …” (I Kings 8:56) “But as God is faithful, our word to you was not Yes and No. For the Son of God … was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes. For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the Glory of God, through us.” (II Cor.1:18-20) He assures us in Psalm 89:34, ” My covenant I will not break, nor alter the Word that has gone out of My lips.” Indeed, our God, “Who promised, is reliable and faithful to His Word.” (Hebrews 10:23)
He is faithful to answer prayer: “Hear my prayer, O Lord, give ear to my supplications! In Your faithfulness answer me, and in Your Righteousness.” (Psalm 143:1) He delights to honor His Righteousness in us – which indeed is ours, in Christ (II Cor.5:21; Jer.23:6; 3:16)
He is faithful to forgive us: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9) And even when we are unfaithful to Him, He remains faithful to us! “If we are faithless [do not believe and are untrue to Him], He remains true (faithful to His Word and His righteous character); for He cannot deny Himself.” (II Timothy 2:13, AMPL). What a faithful God!
“It is HIS faithfulness that transforms us, not our own.” (Pastor John Love)
We can do nothing against His faithfulness which could change it, just as we can do nothing against the Truth but only for the Truth (II Cor.13:8). (Remember that “faithfulness” means “a fixed position or office, stability according to the Truth”). Therefore, as we read above, the writer of Hebrews urges us to ” hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He Who promised is faithful to His Word.” (Heb.10:23) Without this faithfulness to His Word, to His covenant, and to us, we could do nothing. We are all as Mephibosheth in II Samuel 9, who, although lame in both legs, unable to walk or move by himself, “sat at the king’s table all the days of his life”, after David found him. His life, his destiny, depended entirely on the faithfulness of the king to fulfill his promise to his friend Jonathan. We are our King’s friends (John 15:15), and look at all our King has promised us!
” … in faithfulness You have afflicted me.” (Psalm 119:75)
The psalmist knew that his affliction was allowed by his God for his benefit. “It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes.” (v.67), and then in verse 71 he declares “Before I was afflicted, I went astray, but now I keep Your Word.” Often, in sufferings, believers stop believing and faithful Christians become unfaithful to the faithful God. They think, perhaps, that He has deserted them, or is angry with them, or is punishing them, or has put them on the shelf because they are now no longer useful to him. A thousand times NO! The afflictions are for our sakes, to draw us into deeper intimacy with Him, greater dependence on Him – which glorifies Him and pleases Him. Remember, He’s our Fiancé, our Bridegroom-to-be; and He promised in Hosea 2:20 “I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, and you shall know the Lord.”
We become faithful to Him when we trust His faithfulness to us.
Let us receive Grace upon Grace (John 1:16) to trust His faithfulness to His Word, to His Finished Work covenant, to what He’s promised us corporately and personally, His Word which He will never alter. Imagine, finally standing before Him, Face to face, and hearing “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” (or perhaps we will hear “friend” instead of “servant”!?), simply because we chose to trust His faithfulness to us.
He is faithful when He calls us, when we suffer, when we are humbled by afflictions, when we fail. He is faithful to give us Grace to rebound, to forgive us, to give us power to not give in to temptation, to keep us from the wicked one, to cleanse us of all iniquity. Let’s be persuaded, like Paul was, that He will keep that which we have committed to Him till we are in Heaven with Him – our lives and everything pertaining to them.
Lord, remove from us the way of falsehood and unfaithfulness to You (Psalm 119:29), the way of “unTruth”, the path that leads us away from the Truth. By Grace, through faith, we commit our lives, our way, to the way of faithfulness and Truth (v.30a). Amen.