Psalms 36:5


Psalms 36:5

5 Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.


David was greatly troubled by the cruel determinations of the wicked. Concerning the wicked, he said, “The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good. He deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil.” (vv.3, 4). It is against the backdrop of the purposes of the wicked one that the mercy and faithfulness of the LORD is recollected and exalted. In the midst of the depravity of man, we must turn our eyes to the LORD’s glorious mercy and faithfulness.

David remembers and affirms that the mercy of the Lord “is in the heavens“. Mercy is divine love extended to persons who might expect something else, being guilty. The LORD’s mercy gives us the hope of forgiveness and blessings instead of condemnation and death. All His goodness, forbearance and help are the expressions of mercy. “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not” (Lam. 3:22; cf. Ezra 9:9; Neh. 9:32).

On earth, the mischief of the wicked may disturb us. However the mercy of the LORD that fills the heavens shall come to us as showers of mercy. The heavenly mercy is divine, eternal, pure, refreshing and renewing. It is the highest and the noblest kind. It never changes, nor diminishes. Its goodness and praise is as high as the heavens. Elsewhere David said, “For thy mercy is great unto the heavens” (Psalm 57:10).

David also recollected and praised the faithfulness of the LORD – “thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds“. The Hebrew word for “faithfulness” (ʾemuwnah) comes from the root word “Amen” (ʾāmēn), which means “truth“. God’s faithfulness means that He is true to all that He has revealed Himself to be, to all that He has revealed about the past, present and future, and to His promises and works. His fidelity to His people is so lofty that it appears to reach the clouds. Though the treachery of the wicked abounds, God’s faithfulness is steadfast.

While the LORD’s mercy forgives and saves us, His faithfulness secures us by His Word and His Spirit. While His mercy gives us His promises, His faithfulness delivers His promises to us. Faithfulness of the LORD is His mercy affirmed and applied in our lives.


Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy, 29 December, 2018