Monday, October 3, 2022

Whatever He Pleases (Psalm 115)

"But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases" (Ps. 115:3).

Psalm 115 was probably written when the Israelites faced some great affliction. Unworthy as they were to be heard by God, they asked Him for deliverance, lest His holy name be exposed to scorn and reproach among the heathen nations.

In calling the people to praise God and to realize the worthlessness of idols, the writer makes poignant statements that can benefit Christians in all circumstances. First, he acknowledges that God helps His people not because of anything within themselves but for His own glory. God is totally independent from His creation and owes no man anything. He shares His glory with no one. He sets His love and protection on His people for His own glory. Nothing within them merits anything of God.

Further, the writer says God does whatever He pleases. Some may ask why God has chosen them for eternal life and not someone else. The answer does not rest on anything within the elect, but wholly in God’s own pleasure and wisdom. God is not hampered His creation. Though the devil rage against heaven, God is not swayed. Though men shake their fists at His holiness, God’s judgments will not abate unless He chooses to show mercy.

“That God can do whatsoever He pleaseth is a doctrine of great importance, provided it be truly and legitimately applied.… If we would derive advantage from this doctrine, we must attend to the import of God’s doing whatsoever He pleaseth in heaven and on the earth,” Calvin wrote. “God has all power for the preservation of His church, and for providing for her welfare; and, secondly, all creatures are under His control, and therefore nothing can prevent Him from accomplishing His purposes. However much, then, the faithful may find themselves cut off from all means of subsistence and safety, they ought nevertheless to take courage from the fact, that God is not only superior to all impediments, but that He can render them subservient to the advancement of His own designs.”

When you are confronted with obstacles that you cannot overcome, remember that God is able to do all things, that He has purposed all things for His glory and for the good of His people. Trust in Him, in His power, authority, and eternal goodness.