“Because Your lovingkindkness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.” Psalm 63:3–5

One of the great deficits of every young person is the inability to recognize the significance of parental love. Most young people have to wait until they have children of their own to begin to truly grasp what an absolute gift of love their longsuffering parents have given to them, over and over again, year after year, even into maturity. Every stage their own child goes through enhances the sense of value of the gift of parental love. Parents give the gift of unconditional love, even when the child is insensible to the giving, because of an unspoken covenant made within the parent’s heart. It is a special day when a child thanks his parents for their love.

Parental love is impressive because it is lifelong. Parental covenant love is even more impressive when the child is unlovely because parental love is given with no guarantee of return. It cares, it endures, it hopes, it provides, it anticipates, it listens, it serves, and it extends mercy and timely help. Good parental love is perhaps the best earthly picture of God’s lovingkindness.

Our text raises an interesting thought about the lovingkindness of God. David penned these words while he was in the wilderness of Judah, in all likelihood he was on the run from a serious enemy intending to extinguish his life. I do not think that David was speaking in hyperbole, but quite literally. He valued God’s lovingkindness above his love of life.

What would cause him to utter such a thought? After all, how many unsaved people have you introduced to the love of God in the Gospel, and yet they have not trusted Christ because they loved their life rather than the loving­kindness of God? Or, how many Christians have you known who would rather live and love their own lives as they see fit, rather than place their lives and the keeping of them, in the Father’s hands? Our Lord teaches in Matthew 16:25f, “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loves his life for my sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Jesus is not teaching that all believers should be clamoring for a martyr’s fate, but rather we ought to take great comfort that what we place in God’s hands, He assuredly treasures and restores.

David valued God’s promise and provision over his own person and plans. He could not conceive of living his life in the absence of God’s covenant, loyal love. What’s more, he had lived long enough in the delightful providence of God’s covenant, loyal love that he knew the character, benefits, and advantage of it.

The character of God’s lovingkindness is the same to every saint through time and eternity. Isaiah 63:7 states, “I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD and the praises of the LORD…according to the multitude of His lovingkindnesses.” God’s covenant, loyal love was lavishly poured out on the Old Testament saints just as God lavishly pours out His covenant, loyal love on New Testament believers. The famous passage in Ephesians 2 concerning the gracious gift of eternal life hinges on God’s covenant, loyal love through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as stated in verse 7: “that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Titus 3:4ff reveals more about this: “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior.”

Not only is the character of God’s loving­kindness revealed as good and sacrificial, it is also revealed as marvelous (Psalm 17:7) and great (Nehemiah 9:17). His lovingkindness is merciful (Psalm 117) and it is everlasting (Isaiah 54:8).

Once a man is saved from his sins through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, he is made spiritually aware of the benefits of God’s lovingkindness. Every believer needs to make it a habit to actively identify the benefits he is daily receiving, and in so doing learn to praise his heavenly Father. Psalm 107:43 explains this needful habit: “Whoever is wise will observe these things, and they will understand the lovingkindness of the LORD.” C. H. Spurgeon said of this verse, “Those who notice providences shall never be long without a providence to notice.”

The benefits of God’s lovingkindnesses take the shape of spiritual quickening (Psalm 119:88), preservation (Psalm 40:11), comfort (Psalm 119:76), being drawn to Him (Jeremiah 31:3), mercy (Psalm 51:1), and strengthening in trial and affliction (Psalm 42:7f).

The advantage that is yours, believer, in the lovingkindness of your Father’s love is echoed in Psalm 89:33f: “Nevertheless My lovingkindness I will not utterly take from him, nor allow My faithfulness to fail. My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips.”

Receiving that kind of “God-sized” loving­kindness is enough to set your heart singing His praises, and enough to cause you to say that you value His lovingkindness toward you greater than life itself! Trust and obey.