Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; lovingkindness and truth go before You.
According to Psalm 89:14 (NASB) quoted above, God founds His throne on righteousness and justice. He reigns on the basis of setting things right, such that all of creation would have abundant life in fulfilling His originally intended purposes.
Wherever the Lord is, love and truth preside. They go before Him, like one’s breath goes before one on a cold winter day, originating and exuding from the life within.
The New International Version of the Bible translates verse 14 slightly differently, saying “love and faithfulness go before You.” Elsewhere the psalm resounds with God’s faithfulness to covenant relationship as well.
I understand verse 14 to be saying that because God is righteous and just, He is also loving and faithful. Righteousness, justice, love, and faithfulness go hand-in-hand.
Once again, relationship appears at the forefront of biblical justice.
Even as the psalmist says to God, “You have renounced the covenant with Your servant,”1 he also says, “I will declare that Your love stands firm forever, that You established Your faithfulness in heaven itself.”2
The psalmist acknowledges that nothing can shake God’s faithfulness and calls on this loving faithfulness to which He knows the Lord remains true. He declares that no one is faithful like the Lord and closes his struggle to understand God’s apparent absence with, “Praise be to the Lord forever! Amen and Amen.”3
1. Psalm 89:39 (NIV).
2. Psalm 89:2 (NIV).
3. Psalm 89:52 (NIV).