“Listen to me…you that seek the LORD”

Psalm 51:1-6

“​1 Listen to me, you that pursue righteousness,
you that seek the LORD.
Look to the rock from which you were hewn,
and to the quarry from which you were dug.
2 Look to Abraham your father
and to Sarah who bore you;
for he was but one when I called him,
but I blessed him and made him many.
3 For the LORD will comfort Zion;
he will comfort all her waste places,
and will make her wilderness like Eden,
her desert like the garden of the LORD;
joy and gladness will be found in her,
thanksgiving and the voice of song.
4 Listen to me, my people,
and give heed to me, my nation;
for a teaching will go out from me,
and my justice for a light to the peoples.
5 I will bring near my deliverance swiftly,
my salvation has gone out
and my arms will rule the peoples;
the coastlands wait for me,
and for my arm they hope.
6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
and look at the earth beneath;
for the heavens will vanish like smoke,
the earth will wear out like a garment,
and those who live on it will die like gnats;
but my salvation will be forever,
and my deliverance will never be ended.  NRSV

The Psalms convey many messages. Some are a recounting of Israel’s history. Some honor the kings God anointed to rule over Israel. There are Psalms of praise and Psalms of lament.  Each has a time and place for touching the soul of its reader. Most of all they speak to the relationship between God and God’s people.

Psalms like Psalm 51 reveal God’s deep and abiding love for God’s people. Even after all the ways the people of God abuse this relationship, God’s love remains steadfast and God’s promises sure.

There is something else that remains consistent, not only in the Psalms, but throughout the whole of the Bible. It is God’s demand for justice and righteousness from God’s people. Justice and righteousness are the way of God. However, this demand is not a condition by which God’s love is given. God’s love is unconditional. It flows over us and through us in an endless stream. Amos said it this way, “But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” Amos 5:24

The people who don’t pursue the justice and righteousness of God, come to the fountain of God’s love with just a cupped hand. They only get a sip and can’t take it with them. People who pursue God’s justice and righteousness come to the fountain of God’s love with a 64 ounce water bottle they can take with them wherever they go. It is always has enough to refresh them and the people around them between their visits to the fountain.

“Listen to me, you that pursue righteousness,
you that seek the LORD….my salvation will be forever,
and my deliverance will never be ended.

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