God is Right Beside You All The Time
INTERESTING FACTS : Patrick Henry, REVOLUTIONARY GENERAL; LEGISLATOR; "THE VOICE OF LIBERTY"; RATIFIER OF THE U. S. CONSTITUTION; GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA
"Being a Christian is a character which I prize far above all this world has or can boast. The Bible? is a book worth more than all the other books that were ever printed. Righteousness alone can exalt America as a nation. Whoever thou art, remember this; and in thy sphere practice virtue thyself, and encourage it in others. The great pillars of all government and of social life [are] virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor, my friend, and this alone, that renders us invincible. This is all the inheritance I can give to my dear family. The religion of Christ can give them one which will make them rich indeed."
DAILY READING : PSALM 140 - 145
TEXT : PSALM 145:8 The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. 145:9 The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. 145:10 All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee. 145:14 The LORD upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down. 145:18 The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. 145:20 The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy.
THEME : THE GOODNESS OF GOD
Psalm 145, another acrostic or alphabetical Psalm is said to be one of David's favorites. This is according to Charles Spurgeon. Why would it not? It extols the extensive unreserved, and generous goodness of God throughout. According to Spurgeon, this Psalm is David's praise as Psalm 86 is David's prayer. All through this Psalm, the goodness of God is accented. You who are troubled, failing, or fearful - cheer up! The one Psalm tells you all you need to know to be encouraged and strengthened!
This is one of the alphabetical Psalms, composed with much art, and, doubtless, so arranged that the memory might be aided. The Holy Spirit condescends to use even the more artificial methods of the poet, to secure attention, and impress the heart.
Title. - David's Psalm of Praise. It is David's, David's very own, David's favourite. It is David's Praise just as another (Psalm 86) is David's Prayer. It is altogether praise, and praise pitched in a high key. David had blessed God many a time in other Psalms, but this he regarded as his peculiar, his crown jewel of praise. Certainly David's praise is the best of praise, for it is that of a man of experience, of sincerity, of calm deliberation, and of intense warmth of heart. It is not for any one of us to render David's praise, for David only could do that; but we may take David's Psalm as a model, and aim at making our own personal adoration as much like it as possible: we shall be long before we equal our model. Let each Christian reader present his own praise unto the Lord, and call it by his own name. What a wealth of varied praise will thus be presented through Christ Jesus! [C.H. Spurgeon]
God is kind. Unlike Man whose kindness is capricious and limited, God's kindness knows no change. It is always the same, and always available to you. When you are in need of a Friend, He is there. When you need counsel, He is there. When you need anything at all - He is there! Come to Him today and see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! His compassion for His own children exceeds anything you have ever known!
"The Lord is gracious." Was it not in some such terms that the Lord revealed himself to Moses? Is not this Jehovah's glory? To all living men this is his aspect: he is gracious, or full of goodness and generosity. He treats his creatures with kindness, his subjects with consideration, and his saints with favour. His words and ways, his promises and his gifts, his plans and his purposes all manifest his grace, or free favour. There is nothing suspicious, prejudiced, morose, tyrannical, or unapproachable in Jehovah, - he is condescending and kind. "And full of compassion." To the suffering, the weak, the foolish, the despondent, he is very pitiful: he feels for them, he feels with them: he does this heartily, and in a practical manner. Of this pitifulness he is full, so that he compassionates freely, constantly, deeply, divinely, and effectually. In God is fulness in a sense not known among men, and this fulness is all fragrant with sympathy for human misery. If the Lord be full of compassion there is no room in him for forgetfulness or harshness, and none should suspect him thereof. What an ocean of compassion there must be since the Infinite God is full of it. "Slow to anger." Even those who refuse his grace yet share in long-suffering. When men do not repent, but, on the contrary, go from bad to worse, he is still averse to let his wrath flame forth against them. Greatly patient and extremely anxious that the sinner may live, he "lets the lifted thunder drop," and still forbears. "Love suffereth long and is kind," and God is love. "And of great mercy." This is his attitude towards the guilty. When men at last repent, they find pardon awaiting them. Great is their sin, and great is God's mercy. They need great help, and they have it though they deserve it not; for he is greatly good to the greatly guilty. [C.H. Spurgeon]
In addition, the LORD is good to all. That is His nature. God is love. He cannot be otherwise. Man may be loving and kind, then again, he may not. However, the LORD cannot be anything but good because He is God and cannot be otherwise. In other words, God cannot change else He would cease to be God. What is part of the LORD's nature never changes. Thus, you can rest in the certainty that the LORD is good, and He knows no favorites. He is good to ALL!
"The Lord is good to all - To all his creatures. That is, he is kind and compassionate toward them; he is disposed and ready to do them good. There is not one of them whom he is not ready and willing to bless; not one whose happiness would not be agreeable to him, or whose welfare he is not ready to promote. Compare Psa_100:5.
And his tender mercies are over all his works - In all that he has made there is evidence that he is a kind and benevolent God. He has a heart to love, to bless, what he has made; everywhere arrangements are made for happiness; he is not disposed to cast off the feeble, the erring, and the suffering; he is willing to receive back again those who have wandered from him, to pardon the offending, to wipe away the tears of the sorrowful." [Albert Barnes]
All of the LORD's works praise Him! From the gentle cooing of the mourning dove, to the exceeding brightness of the burning, ever glowing sun, His handiwork praises Him. The stars twinkle and the lion roars. Yet, both say - "Praise the LORD, for His mercy endures forever!" There is no end to His goodness, and all that He has formed with His Hands praises Him. Thus, you should praise Him as well. The LORD made you, you did not make yourself. [Psa_100:3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.] In addition, He made you and you belong to Him. [Psa_24:1 A Psalm of David. The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.] Be glad, the LORD is good to all that trust in Him!
"All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord,.... Not all his works or creatures in general; though these do objectively praise him, or are the cause rather of others praising him on their account: but those who are in a special manner the works of his hands, of his powerful and efficacious grace; when he has formed for himself, that they may show forth his praise; such as are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people: these in an eminent sense, in the best way and manner, praise their blessed Saviour and Redeemer; see Isa_43:21;
and thy saints shall bless thee: which are mentioned last, not as distinct from the former; but as explanative of them, as well as of their work: these are they that are set apart by the Lord, on whom his favours are bestowed; to whom Christ is made sanctification, and who are sanctified by his blood, and also by his Spirit; and, being sensible of the blessings of grace they receive from him, rise up and call him blessed, and ascribe blessing, honour, glory, and praise to him, for ever and ever." [John Gill]
The LORD holds up all who fall! What a tremendous word of comfort and encouragement! For who does not fall - from time to time, in this pilgrimage to our Father's House? Everyone does. Yet, He who made all things, holds you and helps you up when you fall! He sustains you and satisfies your mouth with good things so your youth is renewed like the eagle's! Even when you sin, He is faithful and just to forgive your sin, and cleanse you from ALL unrighteousness! Take heart, He will refresh you and renew your body, soul, and spirit so you can continue on the pathway to His eternal Kingdom.
"The Lord upholdeth all that fall,.... Not all that fell in Adam, as all mankind did; nor all that fall into sin, as every man does; and therefore not those that fall into hell: but this is to be understood of the subjects of Christ's kingdom, of which the psalmist is speaking; who does that which no mortal king can do, as Aben Ezra observes: another king raises up one, and depresses another; supports one, and lets another fall: but the Lord upholds all his people and subjects with the right hand of his righteousness; though they are liable to fall into sin, and in many instances do fall, and into various temptations and afflictions; yet he sustains and upholds them, that they shall not fall finally and totally by sin, nor be overwhelmed and crushed by their heavy afflictions. Or, "all that are falling" (g); he either upholds and keeps them that they shall not fall, at least so as to perish; or he holds them by his right hand when they are fallen, and raises them up again; and bears them up under all their exercises, so that they are not utterly cast down and destroyed, Psa_37:24; and raiseth up all those that be bowed down: with a body of sin, under which they groan, being burdened, and which presses them sore; with Satan's temptations, like the woman in the Gospel, bound together by him; and with various troubles and afflictions; but the Lord raises and bears them up under all, and comforts and refreshes them. [John Gill]
TRUTH FOR TODAY : "GOD IS RIGHT BESIDE YOU ALL THE TIME!"
The nearness of father or mother is the sole comfort of the little child. Easily frightened, the child, the infant, needs to know the parent is always near. Just the sound of the voice of mother or father is enough at times - raised sufficiently to a volume that communicates closeness, can settle the anxiety of the delicate newborn, the fearful toddler, or the inexperienced youngster. How much more we who are His children? We need to know He is close. For we are much the same as the children we raise. The imposing problems, the overwhelming challenges, and the continual struggles of life alarm us. They startle and upset us. Then, we need to know the All Powerful father is close by. He does not disappoint us. For we hear His voice saying - "...Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid." [Mat_14:27 ] "Here I am," says your Savior, "don't be afraid." What consolation! What reassurance! You are not alone - ever! He is near at ALL times!
""The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him." Not only near by his omnipresence, but to sympathize and favour. He does not leave praying men, and men who confess his name, to battle with the world alone, but he is ever at their side. This favour is not for a few of those who invoke him; but for each one of the pious company. "All" who place themselves beneath the shield of his glorious name by calling themselves by it, and by calling upon it in supplication, shall find him to be a very present help in trouble. "To all that call upon him in truth'" for there are many whose formal prayers and false professions will never bring them into communion with the Lord. To pray in truth, we must have a true heart, and the truth in our heart; and then we must be humble, for pride is a falsehood; and be earnest, or else prayer is a lie. A God of truth cannot be nigh to the spirit of hypocrisy; this he knows and hates; neither can he be far removed from a sincere spirit, since it is his work, and he forsakes not the work of his own hands." [C.H. Spurgeon]
Although the LORD is everywhere present at all times, He only reveals Himself to His own children. Like all parents near someone else's children, fathers and mothers only take care of their own. Thus, the LORD, although everywhere present, reveals Himself to His own, and not to the world. [Joh 17:9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. / Joh 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.]
"The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him - There is a sense in which he is "nigh" to all, for he is ever ywhere present; but there is a special sense in which he seems to be near to us; in which he manifests himself to us; in which he gives us evidence of his presence. It is in prayer, in praise, in his ordinances - in his gracious interpositions in our behalf - in the peace and joy which we have in communion with him. Compare the notes at Psa_34:18 : "The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart."
To all that call upon him in truth - In sincerity; not hypocritically; worshipping him as the true God, and with a sincere desire to obtain his favor. Compare the notes at Joh_4:24. We can have no hope that God will hear us unless we are sincere in our worship. He sees the heart, and he will act toward us as we are, and not as we profess to be." [Albert Barnes]
Therefore, do not despair. There is nothing, absolutely nothing that can separate you from your LORD!
Rom 8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Rom 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Rom 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Rom 8:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Rom 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. Rom 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Rom 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
God is right beside you - at ALL times!
"Many children of God, who have been ready to fall into sin, to fall into despair, have tasted his goodness in preventing their falls, or recovering them speedily by his graces and comforts. And with respect to all that are heavy laden under the burden of sin, if they come to Christ by faith, he will ease them, he will raise them. He is very ready to hear and answer the prayers of his people. He is present every where; but in a special way he is nigh to them, as he is not to others. He is in their hearts, and dwells there by faith, and they dwell in him. He is nigh to those that call upon him, to help them in all times of need. He will be nigh to them, that they may have what they ask, and find what they seek, if they call upon him in truth and sincerity. And having taught men to love his name and holy ways, he will save them from the destruction of the wicked. May we then love his name, and walk in his ways, while we desire that all flesh should bless his holy name for ever and ever.
If any are destroyed they may thank themselves: All the wicked he will destroy, but they have by their wic kedness fitted themselves for destruction. This magnifies his goodness in the protection of the righteous, that with their eyes they shall see the reward of the wicked (Psa_91:8); and God will by this means preserve his people, even by destroying the wicked that would do them a mischief." [Matthew Henry]