This Week's Focus Passage

A Psalm of praise; of David

Focus Passage: Psalm 145:18

‘To all that call upon him in truth.’

Many of our copies of the Word of God have an inspired heading, or title, for this Psalm 145. It may well declare that this is ‘A Psalm of praise; of David.’ We note that ‘A Psalm of’ is added by the translators as is faithfully indicated in their use of italics for that portion of the title. If we omit that translator’s addition, it might well read simply, ‘Praise, of David.’ As we are informed of a great many of the psalms that they are the ‘prayers of David,’ or ‘a prayer of David,’ so here we may well say that we have ‘the praises of David’ for the God whose heart he follows hard after. This is David, we might well imagine, finding himself a solitary place for meditation, whether that be a walk upon the towers, a sojourn through the valley, or sitting upon a hillside overlooking his father’s flocks. His thoughts turn to his God. How exceeding wonderful whenever our thoughts are so turned; when we are awakened in the middle of the night, praising God as well as communicating to Him our love and our praise of Him, asking His indispensible help even perhaps for that matter that may have taken away our sleep. Blessed it is, as David echoes elsewhere in his psalms, ‘my heart instructeth me in the night seasons,’ ‘thou hast visited me in the night,’ ‘in the night his song shall be with me,’ perhaps most poignantly expressed in the 63rd psalm at verse 6, ‘When I remember thee upon my bed, And meditate on thee in the night-watches.’ We are given with this term ‘night-watches’ the concept of a sentry at his post in the middle of the night, and how his thoughts may, in that circumstance, have such a broad range as seldom experienced otherwise. So here we find David, perhaps in the watches of the night remembering the lovingkindnesses and mercies that he has received from his God; recalling the incalculable blessings that he has been granted; from a God who is unspeakably grand and glorious in all His ways, which are past finding out. He concludes these rapturous thoughts from verse 18 to the end of the psalm at verse 21:

Jehovah is nigh unto all them that call upon him, To all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him; He also will hear their cry, and will save them. Jehovah preserveth all them that love him; But all the wicked he will destroy. My mouth shall speak the praise of Jehovah; And let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever. —Psalm 145:18-21

David has spoken in these words of the blessedness of Jehovah’s being nigh; of the wonder that He would fulfill desires even far beyond wants; that He would hear the cry of any among the fallen race of Adam; and indeed, that He would preserve any at all out of this race of rebels. No wonder then that David’s mouth will speak the praise of this God, and bless His holy name. We must be very careful, however, to note equally the qualifiers that have been attached to the blessings. David—the Holy Spirit—has been most careful to point out that the Lord is nigh unto those that call upon Him in truth; that it is those that fear Him whose desire He will fulfill, yea, He will hear their cry and save them; He will preserve all those that love Him. These are most important qualifiers, and yet there is no merit in meeting these qualifications because we are not the ones who meet them, or ever will meet them. God has met every qualification for us in His Son, Jesus Christ. We may say that we are saved by works, but it is not our works! It is the work of our Savior and Lord in His perfect life of active obedience that we may have a righteousness imputed to us. And it is His passive obedience from Gethsemane to Golgotha that has obtained forgiveness for His people. He himself is our merit; He is our justification; He is our sanctification; He is our Champion! Because He is the Truth, His own people will call upon God in truth. He put truth in their hearts when they were regenerated by the Holy Spirit; the Spirit of Christ. He put His fear in our hearts; not a slavish fear of punishment, but a filial fear of displeasing our heavenly Father. For this reason, Moses could say to the people, ‘Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before you, that ye sin not.’ David then speaks in our psalm of the preservation of all them that love God. We have, do we not, a description of a ‘man after God’s own heart’? Is this man not one that embraces truth, that fears the frown of God upon his behavior, and that loves God with all his heart, mind, soul, and strength?

Truth will engender love; love will engender truth. Can any actually call upon God apart from truth? We have heard of ‘foxhole conversions;’ someone calling upon God to save them from the enemies’ firepower, but not calling upon Him to save them from their sin. We have examples in the Scriptures of those like Simon Magus, ‘Pray ye for me to the Lord, that none of the things which ye have spoken come upon me.’ It had become evident that Simon Magus was not sincere in his profession of faith and in his baptism. It was not done in truth, and there was no love of the truth. Sadly, great is the number of those that, in a practical way, think of love and truth as being incompatible. If ever it seems as if love and truth are at odds, some folk are ready to cast out one of them to keep the other. Can they ever really be at odds with each other? ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son;’ did God so love that He was willing to sacrifice truth in the least? No: never! In fact, His only begotten Son came that both love and truth would be forever honored and maintained; that God might at one and the same time, be able to justify His people, without any blemish on His justice. This was accomplished when, according to the writer of Psalm 85:10, ‘Mercy and truth are met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.’ All praise unto God for His impenetrable wisdom in His plan of salvation!

David Farmer, elder

Fellowship Bible Church


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