THE LORD IS RIGHTEOUS, GRACIOUS, AND NEAR
Psalm 145:17-18 “The Lord is righteous in all His ways, gracious in all His works. The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.”
King David begins Psalm 145 with a shout of praise to God. It is interesting that David addresses Him as my God, O King; let’s take a look at how David begins this Psalm of adoration.
Psalm 145:1 “I will extol (praise) You, my God, O King; and I will bless Your name forever and ever.”
It takes a king to understand the difficulties of fairly and justly ruling over a kingdom. This Psalm can be read from the perspective of a testimonial that David, as a human king who understood the difficulties of ruling and reigning over flawed humans, bestowed upon our God the Creator, who is also the Great ruling King over all mankind.
In our opening text, David makes three key points that underline the qualities with which God rules as King over His creation.
First David says of God’s rule: The Lord is righteous in all His ways.
Coming from any of us, that statement would not carry as much weight as it does coming from an earthly king who ruled over God’s people for forty years. If you have ever been in a position of leadership, you know how difficult it is to make decisions that affect a group of people and really say to yourself that such decision would be accepted as the perfect choice by everyone involved.
As any true leader will tell you, you can’t please everyone, as I’m sure David knew that very well, but yet He says of God our King, that He is righteous in all His ways.
Why is this fact so important, that God’s rule is always perfect?
Doubt is the opposite of faith, and without faith it is impossible to please God, so that if we are doubting the righteousness of God on any situation that we face, we put ourselves at a disadvantage, and by doing so we forfeit the blessings that are offered to us within His kingdom.
Psalm 145:5 “I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on (the words of) Your wondrous works.”
Meditating is the process of slowly ingesting and digesting information, in David’s case he was meditating not only on what God had promised him, but also in what God had already accomplished in his life as well.
In the early struggles of my walk by faith journey, I remember at times feeling abandoned by the Lord just because certain things did not work out the way that I expected them to work out, and I remember the words of encouragement that Jesus would always send my way, I did not bring you out this far just to let you go!
Psalm 145:19 “He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them.”
I soon realized that in our walk of faith we have to learn how to walk in what the Bible calls the fear of the Lord before He will hear our cry for help, in other words we have to learn how to respect the way that His kingdom operates, which is by faith.
Oh, the innocence of those times! One of my first lessons in hearing from the Lord occurred as I was driving from the Orange County area in California where I lived at the time, to the San Fernando Valley area to get pay from my labor as a painting contractor, for that was where the office was located that I had done the work for.
Immediately as I started driving towards the office I felt the Lord impressing on me that I was to go someplace and pray after I left the office, so when I picked up the check I said to the Lord, where do you want me to go and pray Lord? Of course I heard nothing back, but since I was sure He had spoken to me earlier, I proceeded through a mountain road down to the coast where the Malibu area is located, for I figured that the mountain or the beach would be a good place to stop and pray.
I still felt nothing, so I continued down the coast to the South Bay area of Los Angeles hoping to hear from the Lord as to where I was supposed to stop and pray, about two hours had elapsed and nothing, the church that we attended was in the port area of Los Angeles so I thought that God wanted me to go to the church and pray there, so that was where I headed, when I got over there, the Christian school was having an event in the auditorium, so praying there was out of the question.
As I walked through the parking lot to get in my car and finally drive home, someone flagged me down, a church member and his wife had just gotten real bad news and asked me if I would pray with them over the situation that they were facing. I told them of my ordeal just to find out where I was supposed to go and pray, and it encouraged them so much that God had sent someone to pray for them before they even got the bad news, that their faith was made strong enough to overcome their situation.
I realized there and then that God always has a perfect plan for everything that He does, and that all that is required of us is to remain faithful, for if we do not give up, we will not only have the victory over whatever situation we are facing, but in time we will understand how perfect and marvelous God’s ways are.
Psalm 145:6 “Men shall speak (as I just did) of the might of Your awesome acts, and I will declare Your greatness.”
I learned then, and continue to learn now, that the Lord is righteous in all His ways, whether I understand them or not, after all it is said and done the fact that the Lord is righteous in all His ways will be revealed to all the saints and will be acknowledged by them.
Psalm 145:10 “All Your works shall praise You, O Lord, and Your saints shall bless You.”
Secondly, David said about God’s rule that the Lord is: Gracious in all His works!
Psalm 97:2 “Clouds and darkness surrounds Him; Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.”
All the works of God are perfect, and since we forfeited our perfection when Adam sinned, the justice of God has to be satisfied, that is why Jesus had to die on the cross for our sins, to satisfy the righteous demands of justice. So that all of the works of God on behalf of mankind are all founded on His grace, as David also acknowledged.
Psalm 145:8-9 “The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.”
In Bible days a king ruled supreme, the words that came out of his mouth were the law, anyone who trespassed against the king’s edicts faced sure death unless the king pardoned their transgression by offering them his mercy.
David understood the principles of mercy, because from his ruling position he also understood that the righteousness of God required perfection, something that no human had, that is also why the Messiah had to be all human and all perfect.
Thirdly, David said about God’s rule that: The Lord is near to all who call on Him!
Imagine that, in the natural, the more responsibility that a person in leadership has the more difficult it is for people to get near them, for their time becomes that much more valuable, so that we usually have to deal with the underlings of those who exercise great authority, but not so with our King, He can meet alone with everyone of His subjects at the same time and in different places, because our King is also God.
Psalm 145:13 “Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures throughout all generations.”
And unlike our present world system where the lower that we are in the societal spectrum, the more difficult it is for us to reach those who are in authority, with our Eternal King is the opposite.
Psalm 145:14 “The Lord upholds all who fall, and raises up all who are bowed down.”
No wonder David was praising God with such great exuberance, for what he is saying in this Psalm is that there is no god like our God.
Psalm 145:3 “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable (beyond our understanding).”
So that it is always by faith; our righteousness comes by faith in His Word, our dealings with Him are always based on our faith of His gracious works toward us, and by faith we know that He is always near to us, for we know that He will never leave us nor forsake us.
And that’s the truth, so let us call upon Him in truth, for He hears us.