When reading Psalm 5 this morning I am lifted up and embraced by one verse in particular: “But I, by your great love, can come into your house; in reverence I bow down toward your holy temple.” (Psalm 5: 7) The King James version says it this way, “But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.”
In particular, I am awestruck by the word multitude or the word translated great. My mind’s eye immediately went to the scene in Avatar when Jake’s life is spared by Neytiri because he is surrounded by the multitude of wood sprites.
The word multitude can also be translated 10,000 and I wondered if I could name 10,000 ways God has shown his love and mercy to me over the years. If I had written all the instances down since I was young, I know they would number more than that. But, the amazing thing this verse is pointing out is in the multitude of God’s mercy we approach God’s throne. We run boldly through a gauntlet of grace to find help and strength in time of need.
Seeing this, I tried to articulate my praise and thanks to the Lord but fell back to a poem I learned in high school that says it better than I can. It is a sonnet #43 by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, How Do I Love Thee?
“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.”