Yahweh is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His works.
Yahweh is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.
He fulfils the desire of those who fear Him; He also hears their cry and saves them.
Yahweh preserves all who love Him, but all the wicked He will destroy.
My mouth will speak the praise of Yahweh, and let all flesh bless His holy name forever and ever.
The thing to take notice of in this selected text from the psalm is the noun “all” accompanied with specific verbs (actions) of God as well as His people. The thing that takes precedent before all these things is that God is righteous and kind in all His ways and works. This is the basis for which God acts toward His people who call on Him in the following ways: God is near to all who call on Him; He fulfils the desire of all those who fear Him and to all who call on Him in truth; He hears the cry of all those who cry out to Him and He saves them; He preserves all those who love Him; and all the wicked He shall destroy.
Perhaps a table will help:
|God’s Promise to Act||The Relation of His People|
|God is near||to all who call on Him (in truth)|
|God fulfils the desire||of those who fear Him|
|God hears||the cry of those who fear Him|
|God saves||those who cry out to Him|
|God preserves||all who love Him|
|God will destroy||all the wicked|
When God saves the righteous (which are those whom He makes righteous) or destroys the wicked, it is always according to His righteousness since He alone is righteous (right) in all He does.
The Old Testament teaches us God’s gracious preservation of His people Israel. The beginning of Deuteronomy sets up the end of the Torah this way. As God was preparing the people to be brought into the Promised Land, God reminds them that He has preserved them according to the promise He gave to Abraham, “Yahweh your God has multiplied you, and behold, you are today as numerous as the stars of the heavens” (Deuteronomy 1:10).
This is God’s way of saying, “I told you so.” That is, “I told you I would do as I promised to your father Abraham. You didn’t believe Me. And look, My promise has been fulfilled today. Therefore, trust My promise to bring you into the land I have promised you.”
Thus, Christ makes further promises for His people who love Him—promises to preserve them—in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-11):
|Jesus’ Act||The Relation of His People||Jesus’ Promise|
|Jesus will bless||the poor in spirit||They will inherit the kingdom of Heaven|
|Jesus will bless||those who mourn||They shall be comforted|
|Jesus will bless||the meek||They shall inherit the earth|
|Jesus will bless||those who hunger & thirst for righteousness||They shall be satisfied|
|Jesus will bless||the merciful||They shall receive mercy|
|Jesus will bless||the pure in heart||They shall see God|
|Jesus will bless||the peacemakers||They shall be called sons of God|
|Jesus will bless||the persecuted for righteousness’ sake||They shall inherit the kingdom of Heaven|
|Jesus will bless||those who are reviled, persecuted, and falsely slandered for His sake||Their reward is great in Heaven|
When God makes a promise, He keeps it. When He promises to be near and preserve His people, He does so. When He promises to destroy evil, He does so. Therefore, we can trust Jesus’ promises in these Beatitudes.
For Christ humbles the proud—He makes them poor in spirit—and they inherit the kingdom. For Christ provides comfort through the brethren of the Church for those who mourn. For Christ shall give the inheritance of the earth to the meek and not the disobedient. For Christ satisfies our thirst for righteousness in the bread and wine of the Eucharist, His body and blood therein.
For Christ blesses the merciful by giving them His mercy to forgive all our sins—we are merciful because we ourselves have received mercy. For Christ blesses the pure in heart since He makes us pure to see God. For Christ blesses the peacemakers, whom He makes sons of God in Baptism to live peacefully in the earth. For Christ blesses the persecuted for the sake of the Word, since they will inherit the kingdom of God. For Christ blesses all those who are hated and persecuted and falsely slandered for His sake, since He gives to them the great reward of eternal life in Heaven.
©Featured image created by artist Jozef Sedmak.