And here is love:
Psalm 103:15-18 As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.** **But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.
This is an amazing declaration. Not that life is short, but that God’s love is declared from infinity past and does not stop all the way to infinity future.
What that means to me is that no matter how I chop and slice up the space-time continuum, His love was always there.
This is what I mean about space and time. There is a common notion among Christians that God loved us because he looked upon my life, saw that I would trust in him and thus, He started loving me. However, this passage dismisses such a notion.
Look at the line: the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting. The fact we are talking about everlasting to everlasting suggest that God’s love for us did not have a starting point. And if the Psalmist called this love everlasting to everlasting then the love of God for us does not have a starting point does not have an ending point. That is the whole definition of infinity. (Didn’t think this would be a nerd-erfic post, did you?)
Look at the line once more: But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him. It does not say, “because of those who fear him.” It clearly says, “… The steadfast love of the LORD is on those who fear him.” Not because but on. God’s love is there. It was on us because He put that on us. Why? He saved us.
We know that is truly amazing. And yet, the amazing doesn’t stop there. But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him and his righteousness to children’s children. What does that mean? The children and the grandchildren of those who are saved will also be saved? We have the entire history of mankind that states otherwise. Have you read the Samuels, Kings and Chronicles? Then you know it isn’t true.
My grandmother knew this verse. She never assumed that my dad’s, my own and my son’s salvation would be automatic. My grandmother prayed—prayed for 50 years before my dad was saved, prayed for 32 before I was saved, and prayed for 5 before my son was saved.
Therein lies the blessing. Children in a godly home are grown up blessed. The fact that you trusted in God and because you trusted God, you kept his covenant close, and obeyed His Word, your children will be blessed and their children will be blessed.
Now you might say, “I trust in God but my kids are balling out of control!” Let me tell you one story about one particular kid: my Dad. My Dad balled out of control for 30 plus years. God grabbed his attention by smashing his face through a windshield while driving drunk with no seatbelt. God pursued him by allowing brain cancer to threaten his life, but only to cure it through surgery. God rescued his family safely as my dad’s house burned to the ground. My dad still sinned even more. My dad’s life was spiraling out of control into the active wrath of God that is hell.
But my God loved my Dad before the heavens and the earth were formed. You would not know that for most of my Dad’s life. In his merciful, beautiful, gracious sovereign love, my God sent my Dad to prison. My Dad came to a place where he had nothing better to do than to engage with the Living God or rot in prison and die like he is suppose to do.
Now my Dad says this:
“Now my God did everything humanly possibly to grab my attention and He saved me. He finally put me in a place where I had no choice. Now, this is my home. This prison is my mission field. If my God would keep me here, to serve Him and to point others to Him until He calls me home, than I would be more than blessed.”
My Dad has done wicked things. So much so, that it landed Him in prison. But out of that wickedness and what my Dad intended for evil, God turned it around, used it for good to save my Dad’s soul.
The irony: He was saved before I was. Me who thought I was saved since I was 8 because said some magical words that I thought that could get me into heaven. God could have done it any other way but I know because the blessing started not with him or me but it started out with my grandmother.
Now the blessing is on my Dad with some of his kids balling out of control.
Now the blessing is on me and my kids are freakin’ awesome.
My hope and prayer is that, as God was beautifully merciful with my Dad and me, that he would be so beautifully merciful with my children and my grandchildren.
Mercy. Grace. Hope. Faith. Sovereignty. Power. Might. Holy. Righteousness. Blessing. You know what is called?
That is love.