PRAISING GOD FOR HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS
A truth that ought to receive more emphasis today is the righteousness of God. There is so much talk about His love that completely ignores and even denies His righteousness. But the psalmist, being guided by God Himself, does not do that. He had spoken of God's greatness and worthiness of great praise, and had written about the safety of God's church. Then he wrote: "We have thought of Thy lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of Thy temple. According to Thy name, O God, so is Thy praise unto the ends of the earth: Thy right hand is full of righteousness" Psalm 48:9-10.
Speaking of God's lovingkindness the psalmist does not ignore His righteousness. For God has no lovingkindness, no mercy, and no grace, apart from His righteousness. It is all based on His righteousness. The temple in Jerusalem declared that in its altar and bloody sacrifices. And Christ, Who is at God's right hand in heaven, manifests that righteousness.
God's righteousness demands full payment of the debt which we owe Him. The everlasting punishment for our sins must be suffered fully; and all the work of love which we did not bring to Him must still be brought in full measure. Until and unless that is done, there is no lovingkindness that God can show us. He is the righteous God.
All this Christ did for us. He is that right hand of God that saves us and because of which God's love, mercy, and grace come down upon us. He made us to be righteous. This we ought to see more clearly than the Old Testament saints who had the altar in the temple to show it.
Surely then we should sing meaningfully:
Within Thy temple, Lord,
In that most holy place,
We on Thy loving kindness dwell,
The wonders of Thy grace.
Men sing Thy praise, O God,
Where'er Thy name is known;
By every deed Thy hand hath wrought
Thy righteousness is shown.
Praise God for His righteousness. That belongs to His greatness. And that makes His grace, mercy, and love to us possible.
Psalter versification: 134:1
(Words and Music of the Psalter)
on the Heidelberg Catechism
for Meditation: Psalter number 264
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Through the Bible in One
Quote for Reflection:
"The vast majority of our fellows live as though there were no eternity to come, no judgment day when they must appear before God, give an account of the deeds they have done in the body, and be sentenced according to their works. They know full well how brief and uncertain this life is: at short intervals their companions are cut down by the hand of death, but no lasting serious impressions are made upon them. Instead, they continue in their pleasure-loving whirl, impervious to the divine threatenings, deaf to the voice of conscience, disregarding any entreaties or admonitions which they may receive from Christian friends or the servants of God. --A.W. Pink, The Life of David, (pg. 220)