Psalm 145:17-18 The LORD is righteous in all his ways
and loving toward all he has made.
The LORD is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
It would be hard to deny that David knew God, and this description of His character is further evidence for that. The first part of verse 17 says that God follows His own rules. That is to say, He’s not like politicians who make laws and then ignore them, thinking they are personally above them. God occasionally violates what we see as the laws of physics. We call such incidents miracles. However, He never violates His laws of holiness. The Japanese renders the second half of that verse as, “and gracious in all His acts.” “Loving” and “gracious” are deeply intertwined concepts, and it’s easy to understand how the same Hebrew could be translated either way. Verse 18 is extremely important. Many people complain that God seems “distant.” David says they are either not calling on Him, or they are not doing so in truth. It’s that last part that’s the kicker. Sometimes we think we are calling on God, but what we are actually doing is trying to get Him to rubber stamp what we have decided we want. That’s not calling on Him in truth! David’s experience with his first son by Bathsheba comes to mind. When the boy was very ill, David fasted and prayed that he might be healed. However, when he died, David got up, cleaned himself up, and worshiped God. He was more tied to God than he was to what he was asking of God. Joy Dawson rightly pointed out that the way to get clear guidance from God is to die to our own desires in the issue. It’s very hard to receive what He has for us if we won’t let go of our demands that things be the way we want.
I’ve certainly experienced this one! However, each time I’ve managed to let go of what I wanted so badly, I’ve discovered that what God had planned for me was even better. In the process, I’ve discovered that God is very near indeed. I frequently tell people in counseling situations of all sorts that wagamama (selfishly demanding your own way) never leads to happiness, and indeed cannot. One reason for that is that such an attitude makes us deaf toward God, even when He is speaking grace, love, and peace to us. As I seek to help those around me understand this, I need to practice what I preach! I must never think “I’ve got it all together,” but walk in humble trust and gratitude at all times in all situations. That is the way to the intimacy with God that I, and He, desire.
Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for desiring to be close to me! Thank You for the assurance I can have that You desire it even more than I do. Help me be completely honest and true in calling on You, so that nothing will get in the way of Your Spirit in me, doing Your will for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!