This is for your Bible study and sermon series and personal edification. All the words for love and grace in these three books of the biblical Wisdom literature are found here. Great for your personal edification or a series in a Bible study or sermons.
These verses are about God’s love and grace towards you, which never change; this post is not about your love for him, which fluctuates from hour to hour.
Paul said all the promises that God has made in the Old Testament belong to us:
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. (2 Cor. 1:20)
If you would like to see other translations, you may go to Biblegateway.com and type in the references.
Look for the key words in bold italics.
“Grace” is often translated as “favor” in the Old Testament. It means God’s undeserved, unmerited, unearned favor on you, which flows out of his love for you.
“Love” is translated a few times as “mercy” or “set affection upon.”
For further word studies of the Hebrew words, please see these posts:
In the worst time of his life, when Job thought he would die, even should die (“I loathe my life” 10:1), Job expresses the basic benefit that God granted him – life and steadfast, unwavering, and unfailing love.
11 You clothed me with skin and flesh, and knit me together with bones and sinews. 12 You have granted me life and steadfast love, and your care has preserved my spirit. (Job 10:11-12)
I like how verse 26 talks about restoration, after a man prays and finds favor, which God gladly gives:
23 “Yet if there is an angel on his side
as a mediator, one out of a thousand,
to tell a man what is right for him,
24 to be gracious to him and say,
‘Spare him from going down to the pit;
I have found a ransom for him’—
25 then his flesh is renewed like a child’s;
it is restored as in the days of his youth.
26 He prays to God and finds favor with him,
he sees God’s face and shouts for joy;
he is restored by God to his righteous state. (Job 33:23-26)
Elihu was the fourth and final and younger comforter of Job, the only one whom God did not rebuke. In his speech he extols the marvelous works of God in creation, in these verses, the clouds. They are at the command of God, whether for correction, the land (Matt. 5:45), or love.
12 They turn around and around by his guidance, to accomplish all that he commands them on the face of the habitable world. 13 Whether for correction or for his land or for love, he causes it to happen. (Job 37:12-13)
In the Old Covenant one way God deals with egregiously and excessively sinful humanity is a natural disaster. Think of the Flood (Gen. 6-9; 2 Peter 2:5; 3:6). But with believers in Christ living throughout the world, the brakes have been applied to slow down egregious and excessive sins, though sometimes it does not feel like it. Therefore, for now God commands his creation to express love. When it runs amok, nature is taking its course (Luke 13:4; Rom. 8:22) or Satan is involved somehow, the details of which we can’t figure out (Eph. 2:1; 6:12; 1 John 5:19). Either way, when natural disaster strikes, we should not worry about the cause, but work to see God’s love go forth as we repair the damage.
Let’s open the Psalms with God’s grace, which is given you in your distress. Pray and he will answer in his time and his will:
1 Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer! (Ps. 4:1, ESV)
David wrote these psalms for the choirmaster and is about the Lord leading David away from his enemies:
7 But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house. I will bow down toward your holy temple in the fear of you. (Ps. 5:7, ESV)
Each day, picture God’s favor surrounding you like a shield:
12 For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield. (Ps. 5:12, ratsōn)
After bestowing his grace, God heals you, as you languish in the hospital or in your bed at home:
2 Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am languishing; heal me, O LORD, for my bones are troubled. (Ps. 6:2, ESV)
David prays in his distress:
4 Turn, O LORD, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love. (Ps. 6:4)
13 Be gracious to me, O LORD! See my affliction from those who hate me, O you who lift me up from the gates of death, 14 that I may recount all your praises, that in the gates of the daughter of Zion I may rejoice in your salvation. (Ps. 9:13-14, ESV)
David says his enemies threaten him and will rejoice in his downfall, but then he says:
5 But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. (Ps. 13:5)
David expresses trust in God, after he asks God to examine him (Ps. 17:3). Then he prays:
6 I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer. 7 Show the wonder of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes. (Ps. 17:6-7)
David lists the blessing that the Lord has bestowed on the king (we have royal blood in Christ according to 1 Peter 2:9):
7 For the king trusts in the LORD; through the unfailing love of the Most High he will not be shaken. (Ps. 21:7)
God’s goodness and love go with you, no matter where you are:
6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. (Ps. 23:6)
David asks for deliverance from his enemies, but also for the Lord to instruct him. God is always good, even when you don’t feel it. Rely on Scripture over your circumstances and feelings. He’s good even when you were rebellious in your youth:
6 Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. 7 Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD. (Ps. 25:6-7)
Are you lonely? Afflicted or wounded in body or soul? God’s grace is there:
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. (Ps. 25:16)
David says he has led a blameless life, and, in comparison with his political enemies, that is true. But he also asks God to try him and examine his heart:
2 Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; 3 for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth. (Ps. 26:2-3)
To have confidence before God, you must realize God’s love is always in front of you, while you enter his throne room. In the New covenant, your integrity is in Christ, not in your mustering it up:
11 But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity; redeem me, and be gracious to me. 12 My foot stands on level ground; in the great assembly I will bless the LORD. (Ps. 26:11-12, ESV)
God is so full of grace for you, he will answer your prayers, even when you don’t see the answer immediately or exactly how you order it done:
7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me! (Ps. 27:7, ESV)
Don’t forget to sing to the Lord, because your weeping may last for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. The shaking ground under your feet, after God’s favor, will become firm:
4 Sing to the LORD, you saints of his;
praise his holy name.
5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may remain for a night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.
6 When I felt secure, I said,
“I will never be shaken.”
7 O LORD, when you favored me,
you made my mountain stand firm (Ps. 30:4-7, ratsōn)
God hears and helps:
10 “Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me; O LORD, be my helper.” (Ps. 30:10, NASB)
Rhetorical questions that God answers with life, restoration, mercy, and help:
8 To you, O LORD, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy: 9 “What gain is there in my destruction, in my going down into the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness? 10 Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me; O LORD, be my help.” (Ps. 30:8-10)
David prays in his distress from the persecution of his political and personal enemies:
7 I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul. … 9 Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; my eye is wasted from grief; my soul and my body also. 16 Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love. … 21 Praise be to the LORD, for he showed his wonderful love to me when I was in a besieged city. 22 In my alarm I said, “I am cut off from your sight!” Yet you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help. (Ps. 31:7, 9, 16, 21-22)
David says the man whose sins are forgiven are blessed. The Lord instructs him in his ways:
10 Many are the woes of the wicked, but the LORD’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him. (Ps. 32:10)
David says to praise the Lord, sing joyfully before him, for he made the stars and the earth. On a personal note his love rests on you:
5 The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love. … 18 But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, 19 to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. 20 We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. 21 In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. 22 May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you. (Ps. 33:5, 18-22)
David says that despite the awesomeness of God’s love that reaches towards the skies, it is still applied to you personally:
5 Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. 6 Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. 10 Continue your love to those who know you, your righteousness to the upright in heart. (Ps. 36:5-6, 10)
Next, David describes the person whom the Lord loves. The just shall live by faith (Romans 1:17), and your faithfulness is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). for us in the New Covenant, those virtues come through the Spirit, which takes the pressure off us from performing to get them.
28 For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. They will be protected forever, but the offspring of the wicked will be cut off; 29 the righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever. (Ps. 37:28-29)
David says the man who trusts in the Lord is blessed, so he does not hide God’s love from the assembly:
10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and salvation. I do not conceal your love and your truth from the great assembly. 11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, O LORD; may your love and your truth always protect me. (Ps. 40:10-11)
Next, God is willing to be gracious and heal you. Here, an affliction or disease is traced back to a sin. But not every disease or affliction can be traced back to that. Whatever the cause, when God raises you up, don’t repay enemies, since you’re in the New Covenant. Let God do that (Romans 12:17-21 and Prov. 25:21-22):
4 As for me, I said, “O LORD, be gracious to me; heal me, for I have sinned against you!” … 9 Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me. 10 But you, O LORD, be gracious to me, and raise me up, that I may repay them! (Ps. 41:4, 9-10)
David’s soul pants for God as a deer pants for streams of water, and his soul is downcast. But he will remember the Lord, because then our panting ends, as we receive his love:
8 By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life. (Ps. 42:8)
How does God save and deliver his people? By their strength or his?
3 It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them. (Ps. 44:3)
Then the psalmist says in the same psalm that has heard of God’s great wonders in Israel’s history, but the Lord seems to have forgotten the king and his people in David’s days. But he asks God to redeem them with his great love.
23 Awake, O Lord! Why do you sleep? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever. 24 Why do you hide your face and forget our misery and oppression? 25 We are brought down to the dust; our bodies cling to the ground. 26 Rise up and help us; redeem us because of your unfailing love. (Ps. 44:23-26)
You can be anointed with grace and favor:
1 My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. 2 You are the most excellent of men and your lips have been anointed with grace, since God has blessed you forever. (Ps. 45:1-2)
The sons of Korah say the Lord loves righteousness; and don’t forget our righteousness is in Christ (1 Cor. 1:30):
6 Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom. 7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy. (Ps. 45:6-7)
That psalm, above, is described in its introduction as a “love song.” It first is addressed to the king, but then it shifts to God and his anointing on the king. God’s throne is established forever. The everlasting nature of this kingship was ultimately fulfilled in Christ (Matt. 21:5; John 12:15; Rev. 15; 17:14; 19:16).
The Lord subdued Israel’s enemies because he loved Jacob:
2 How awesome is the LORD Most High, the great King over all the earth! 3 He subdued nations under us, peoples under our feet. 4 He chose our inheritance for us, the pride of Jacob, whom he loved. (Ps. 47:2-4)
The sons of Korah write about the proper subject on on which we should meditate:
9 Within your temple, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love. (Ps. 48:9)
After David sinned with Bathsheba, and Nathan rebuked him, David prayed:
1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. (Ps. 51:1-2)
1 Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions. (Ps. 51:1, NASB)
Next, in this same psalm about David’s sin with Bathsheba, David still realizes it is God’s good pleasure to make Zion prosper. As you repent of your sins, God is so full of grace, he can still make you prosper in your “personal Zion” or your household affairs and rebuild your walls, which I interpret in your life as your relationships. That’s God’s goodness for the repentant in Christ.
18 In your good pleasure make Zion prosper; build up the walls of Jerusalem. (Ps. 51:18, ratsōn)
This next psalm was occasioned when Doeg the Edomite had gone to Saul and told him: “David has gone to the house of Ahimelech” (see 1 Sam. 22:9-10). David’s enemies set out to chase him, but he trusts in God’s unfailing love.
1 Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man? The steadfast love of God endures all the day. … 8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever. 9 I will thank you forever, because you have done it. I will wait for your name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly. (Ps. 52:1, 8-9, ESV)
When David had fled from Saul into the cave, God is still loving and faithful (see 1 Sam. 24:1-3). God can show you favor and love when enemies persecute you and accuse you unjustly. He can even give those gifts to you when you don’t deserve it:
3 He sends from heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me; God sends his love and his faithfulness. … 9 I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. 10 For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. (Ps. 57:3, 9-10)
1 Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me; all day long an attacker oppresses me; 2 my enemies trample on me all day long, for many attack me proudly. 3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. (Ps. 56:1-3, ESV)
Take refuge in God, and he’ll show you mercy / love:
1 Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. (Ps. 57:1)
When Saul had sent men to watch David’s house in order to kill him, David still depended on God’s steadfast love:
10 My God in his steadfast love will meet me; God will let me look in triumph on my enemies. 16 But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress. 17 O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love. (Ps. 59:10, 16-17, ESV)
When David fought Aram Naharaim and Aram Zobah, and when Joab returned and struck down twelve thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt, David called out for the Lord’s help.
5 Save us and help us with your right hand, that those you love may be delivered. (Ps. 60:5)
David’s heart grows faint, but he asks God for long life and for God’s presence and love:
6 Increase the days of the king’s life, his years for many generations. 7 May he be enthroned in God’s presence forever; appoint your love and faithfulness to protect him. (Ps. 61:6-7)
The Lord is famous for two things; he is strong and loving:
11 One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong, 12 and that you, O Lord, are loving. Surely you will reward each person according to what he has done. (Ps. 62:11-12)
The final verse, above, is quoted by Jesus (Matt. 16:27) and Paul (Rom. 2:6).
David earnestly seeks God, and his soul and body thirsts for him as if they are in a dry and parched land. But he remembers he has seen the Lord in his sanctuary.
2 I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. 3 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. (Ps. 63:2-3)
The psalmist praises God for all of his benefits, but he finishes his son with this good confession:
20 Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! (Ps. 66:20)
It is a good witness to all people when God gives you favor and love:
1 May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us, 2 that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations. (Ps. 67:1-2)
This verse combines love and grace (favor):
13 But I pray to you, O LORD, in the time of your favor; in your great love, O God, answer me with your sure salvation. (Ps. 69:13, ratsōn)
David is being persecuted by his enemies; he is being scorned, disgraced and shamed. This verse indicates that God loves us first, and only then can we love him in return (1 John 4:19).
16 Answer me, O LORD, out of the goodness of your love; in your great mercy turn to me. … 36 the children of his servants will inherit it, and those who love his name will dwell there. (Ps. 69:16, 36)
Next, in the New Covenant, God never rejects you; you’ve heard it said that sin never breaks relationship with God, but it breaks fellowship with him. But that is never true. You never love relationship or fellowship with him, during or after you sin. He’s always there. In any case, these verses ask for restoration:
7 “Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? 8 Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? 9 Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?” (Ps. 77:7-9)
After Israel in the north rebelled against God, the Lord placed his love on Judah and her capital in the south.
68 But he chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion, which he loved. (Ps. 78:68)
Favor and honor come from the Lord; and you can be blameless only in Christ’s free gift of righteousness:
11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. (Ps. 84:11)
The sons of Korah remember the favor and blessing the Lord has bestowed on his people.
7 Show us your unfailing love, O LORD, and grant us your salvation. … 10 Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other. (Ps. 85:7, 10)
David praises the Lord for there is no one like him, among all the nations. Even though his enemies were attacking him, he remembers the Lord’s great and abounding love.
5 You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you. … 13 For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave. … 15 But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. (Ps. 86:5, 13, 15)
3 Be gracious to me, O Lord, For to You I cry all day long. … 15 But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, Slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth. 16 Turn to me, and be gracious to me; Oh grant Your strength to Your servant, And save the son of Your handmaid. (Ps. 86:3, 15-16, NASB)
The Lord loves his chosen capital:
1 He has set his foundation on the holy mountain; 2 the LORD loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. (Ps. 87:1-2)
The sons of Korah ask rhetorical questions of the Lord, and the answer is no. The Lord delivers his people.
11 Is your love declared in the grave, your faithfulness in Destruction? (Ps. 88:11)
Ethan the Ezrahite praises the Lord for the benefits he gave his people throughout their history. He spoke to David in a vision and promised him he would never withdraw his love (v. 24, 28, 33). Then Ethan finishes off his psalm with a rhetorical question and later answers it in the affirmative.
1 I will sing of the LORD’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations. 2 I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you established your faithfulness in heaven itself. … 14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you. … 17 For you are their glory and strength, and by your favor you exalt our horn. (ratsōn) 24 My faithful love will be with him, and through my name his horn will be exalted. … 28 I will maintain my love to him forever, and my covenant with him will never fail. … 33 but I will not take my love from him, nor will I ever betray my faithfulness. … (Ps. 89:1-2, 14, 17, 24, 28, 33)
This is a prayer of Moses, the man of God. He ends his psalm with a request for God’s favor to rest on his nation.
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. (Ps. 90:14)
This is a psalm for the Sabbath day or whichever day you choose for rest. Don’t forget to sing and play music or listen to it. Proclaim his love in your music.
1 It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O Most High, 2 to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night (Ps. 92:1-2)
The context of these verses finds the psalmist being attacked by his enemies.
18 When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your love, O LORD, supported me. 19 When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul. (Ps. 94:18-19)
This is a psalm of praise for the Lord’s revelation of his character and attributes.
3 He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to the house of Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. (Ps. 98:3)
The Lord, the King, loves justice and establishes his rule in Zion
4 The King is mighty, he loves justice— you have established equity; in Jacob you have done what is just and right. (Ps. 99:4)
In this psalm we are commanded to give thanks. But our thanks is directed towards his love for us.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. (Ps. 100:4-5)
David says he will sing of God’s love and justice.
1 I will sing of your love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will sing praise. (Ps. 101:1)
God is enthroned and loves Zion or Jerusalem. It’s time for him to show her favor and love / pity.
12 But you, O LORD, sit enthroned forever; your renown endures through all generations. 13 You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to show favor to her; the appointed time has come. 13 You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to show favor to her; the appointed time has come. 14 For her stones are dear to your servants; her very dust moves them to pity. (Ps. 102:12-14)
David asks us to remember the benefits God gives his children.
4 [He] redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, 5 [and] satisfies your desires with good things … 8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. … 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; … 17 But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him (Ps. 103:4, 8, 11, 17)
The psalmist gives thanks of the Lord’s great love for his people; recounts how the Lord delivered them from many distresses, out of his great love:
1 Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. … 4 Remember me, O LORD, when you show favor to your people, come to my aid when you save them, 5 that I may enjoy the prosperity of your chosen ones, that I may share in the joy of your nation and join your inheritance in giving praise. (ratsōn) 44 But he took note of their distress when he heard their cry; 45 for their sake he remembered his covenant and out of his great love he relented. (Ps. 106:1, 4-5, 44-45)
In Psalm 107, the divinely inspired poet tells us the specific ways the Lord delivered his people; then the author tells us repeatedly in a refrain to give thanks for God’s unfailing love. He sets the stage with the first verse (v. 1) and finishes the theme with the last one (v. 43). We must consider or think about God’s love for us.
1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
4 Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. 5 They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away. 6 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. 7 He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle. 8 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men …
14 He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains. 15 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men, 16 for he breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron. …
20 He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave. 21 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men. …
29 He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. 30 They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. 31 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men.
43 Whoever is wise, let him heed these things and consider the great love of the LORD. (Ps. 107:1, 4-8, 14-16, 20-21, 29-31, 43)
David says he will sing of the Lord’s great love before all the nations; then he calls out to the Lord for help from the surrounding nations, in context:
3 I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. 4 For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. 6 Save us and help us with your right hand, that those you love may be delivered. (Ps. 108:3-4, 6)
David is in distress from his enemies, so he calls out for help.
21 But you, O Sovereign LORD, deal well with me for your name’s sake; out of the goodness of your love, deliver me. 26 Help me, O LORD my God; save me in accordance with your love. (Ps. 109:21, 26)
Nations look at Israel and ask where their God is. Why doesn’t he deliver them? The psalmist begins, however, with the right perspective. At the end of the psalm he assures us that the Lord will remember them and bless them and says, “Praise the Lord.”
1 Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. (Ps. 115:1)
This short psalm in its entirety gives the nations the right perspective:
1 Praise the LORD, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. 2 For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD. (Ps. 117:1-2)
The psalmist starts off telling the house of Israel and all who fear the Lord to speak of the Lord’s ever-enduring love. Then he ends the psalm with the same exhortation.
1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. 2 Let Israel say: “His love endures forever.” 3 Let the house of Aaron say: “His love endures forever.” 4 Let those who fear the LORD say: “His love endures forever.” … 29 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. (Ps. 118:1-4, 29)
In Psalm 119, the longest one and which promotes the law, we can still find God’s grace.
29 Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me through your law. (Ps. 119:29)
58 I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise. (Ps. 119:58)
132 Turn to me and be gracious to me, as is your way with those who love your name. (Ps. 119:132)
Psalm 119, the longest one, has many verses that tell of the psalmist’s love for the law, but here we include only the verses that speak of the Lord’s love for the psalmist.
41 May your unfailing love come to me, O LORD, your salvation according to your promise; … 64 The earth is filled with your love, O LORD; teach me your decrees. … 76 May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant. … 88 Preserve my life according to your love, and I will obey the statutes of your mouth. … 124 Deal with your servant according to your love and teach me your decrees. … 149 Hear my voice in accordance with your love; preserve my life, O LORD, according to your laws. … 159 See how I love your precepts; preserve my life, O LORD, according to your love. (Ps. 119:41, 64, 76, 88, 124, 149, 159)
These verse speak of simple intimacy with God:
1 I lift up my eyes to you, to you whose throne is in heaven. 2 As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he shows us his mercy. (Ps. 123:1-2)
The Lord builds the house and grants sleep to those he loves.
2 In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves. (Ps. 127:2)
Psalm 136 is built on the refrain of the Lord’s ever-enduring love for his people. Here are only sample verses.
1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
2 Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.
4 to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.
5 who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.
6 who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.
7 who made the great lights —
His love endures forever.
8 the sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.
9 the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever. (Ps. 136:1-9)
David praises the Lord for the many benefits he offers, but surely he would say love is the best.
2 I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, 8 The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever— do not abandon the works of your hands. (Ps. 138:2, 8)
Next, you may certainly pour out your complaint before the Lord, but don’t forget to be grateful for your salvation and the fact you can even approach him and pray.
1 I cry aloud to the LORD; I lift up my voice to the LORD for mercy. 2 I pour out my complaint before him; before him I tell my trouble. (Ps. 142:1-2)
David asks for good news in the morning and for the Lord to deliver him from his persecutors.
8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. … 11 For your name’s sake, O LORD, preserve my life; in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble. 12 In your unfailing love, silence my enemies; destroy all my foes, for I am your servant. (Ps. 143:8, 11-12)
David says the Lord is his fortress and deliverer and shield.
2 He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me. (Ps. 144:2)
David praises the Lord for his qualities and blessings.
8 The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. 9 The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. … 13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made. … 17 The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made. (Ps. 145:8-9, 13, 17)
The psalmist sings of the deliverance the Lord brings to oppressed people, and he loves the righteous. In the New Covenant we know that Christ is our righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30; 2 Cor. 5:21). Christ performed all these spiritual and physical healings that the psalmist recounts.
7 He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, 8 the LORD gives sight to the blind, the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves the righteous. 9 The LORD watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. (Ps. 146:7-9)
The psalmist tells us the Lord does not delight in our strength, but in our hope in his unfailing love.
10 His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of a man; 11 the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. (Ps. 147:10-11)
Listening to your father and mother can bring you grace. If they’re dysfunctional, pray for them.
8 Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. 9 They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck. (Prov. 1:8-9)
Wisdom and sound judgment speaks to everyone, but don’t forget, Christ is our wisdom (1 Cor. 1:30):
3 Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. (Prov. 3:3-4)
21 My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; 22 they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. (Prov. 3:21-22)
The Lord corrects us, but he does so out of his love (Hebrews 12:5-10).
11 My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, 12 because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. (Prov. 3:11-12)
Next, we got to show humility when we ask for favor:
34 He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble. (Prov. 3:34; cf. 1 Peter 5:5-6)
Wisdom is in short supply nowadays, so seek God for it, and he he will give it to you (cf. James 1:5-8)
7 Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. 8 Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. 9 She will set a garland of grace on your head and present you with a crown of splendor.” (Prov. 4:7-9)
The New Testament tells us that Christ has become our wisdom (1 Cor. 1:30), and the cross is wisdom for those who are wise in God (1 Cor. 1:18-2:16). In the Proverbs, wisdom is personified and calls to people, using the first-person pronoun “I”:
17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. (Prov. 8:17; but see 1 John 4:19, which clarifies the origins of love)
Next, the special friend is Christ, in the New Covenant:
24 A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Prov. 18:24)
Wisdom, again, brings us favor:
35 For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the LORD. (Prov. 8:35, ratsōn)
Sharp contrast here:
16 A gracious woman gets honor, and violent men get riches. (Prov. 11:16, ESV)
Our goodness is in Christ alone:
2 A good man obtains favor from the LORD, but the LORD condemns a crafty man. (Prov. 12:2, ratsōn)
Rely on Christ to be truthful:
22 The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful. (Prov. 12:22, ratsōn)
Wisdom, or in this verse, understanding, is the path towards favor (James 1:5-10)
15 Good understanding wins favor, but the way of the unfaithful is hard. (Prov. 13:15)
Next, the New Covenant teaches us that Christ is our righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21)
9 The LORD detests the way of the wicked but he loves those who pursue righteousness. (Prov. 15:9)
The ultimate atonement for sin was in Christ on the cross (Rom. 3:25).
6 Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the LORD a man avoids evil. (Prov. 16:6)
Marriage is good for us individually and therefore for society:
22 He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD. (Prov. 18:22, ratsōn)
1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold. (Prov. 22:1, ESV)
I hope you see yourself in these verses and claim the promises as your own.
One last word to wrap up. Some may criticize this post as “prooftexting” and taking things out of context. But I see nothing wrong with appropriating these promises that are ordered thematically into our hearts and lives. God’s love and grace are timeless (for every generation) and universal (for everyone everywhere). And here is an example of Paul “prooftexting”: Romans 3:10-18.
Anyway, I hope the verses build your faith and hope.
POSTS IN THE SERIES
God’s Love and Grace in Job, Psalms, and Proverbs