Putting things in Perspective
David’s praise of the Lord in Psalm 36 is lavish. But, to me, it feels as though he wants to go even further. As he tries to find enough words to describe something of God’s greatness, he is limited by what he sees and understands.
‘Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
your justice like the great deep.
You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights’ (v 5 – 8)
It is as if he is saying: ‘I cannot see beyond the stars in the heavens, but your love, O Lord, goes at least that far. Your righteousness compared to mine is like the tallest mountain compared to my tiny frame, but I’m sure it is much bigger. Those that find refuge in you, like newly hatched birds finding protection under their mother’s wings, lack nothing. In fact, with you, there is feasting and abundance and a whole, vast river of delights. I know that your love will never ever fail me.
David’s God is big, wide and deep and generous.
And it is from that exuberant offering of worship that David then declares, ‘In your light, we see light’ (v 9).
The word, ‘light’ is often used in the Bible to mean ‘revelation’ or ‘understanding’. If that meaning applies here, what is David saying? Perhaps it is simply this: ‘When I see a fresh revelation of your greatness and loving care, O Lord, I see a different perspective of the challenges I face here at home. When I see how big you are and how you take care of absolutely everything I see and hear, I know you will also take care of me.’
‘When I look at you, your eternal faithfulness, your unfathomable justice, your rich and enormously generous provision, somehow, everything else in my life looks different. My small problems don’t seem that big anymore.’
It is all about perspective. In the light of who He is, we see how easy it is for Him to take care of us. If He is as loving and as powerful as David is trying to describe, then nothing in my life is too hard for him to handle.
Suggested prayer: Read Psalm 36: 5 – 9 again. Stop at each phrase and imagine the wonder of God’s creation. Then apply what David is saying about each part. For example, think of the vastness of space and the stars in the sky and then thank God that His love for you is, at least, that great.