Pastor Joe Miller IV
When I was young, it didn’t take long to figure out the importance of having a good relationship with my parents. When I realized the love they had for me and the sacrifice they made for me, it caused my respect for them to grow. When I realized that when I made their desires my desires and was obedient to their will, there were blessings in my life that not only benefited me but also my family. I learned when the trials of life came my way growing up, that a close relationship with my parents benefited me. The love and compassion they had for me and their wisdom were close by and within my grasp to help me out of a jam and teach me a lesson through it. Being close to my parents always brought me peace, safety, and blessings. There was always more joy and purpose in life. My relationship with my parents was a great example of the Father-Son relationship we have with God.
The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. The Lord 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.
In verse 17, we see some characteristics of God. He is righteous, which means He is just. He is lawful. He is the standard of ethics and morality. He is the Creator. He is right and holy. The word holy (chasid) means kind, benevolent, gracious, good, merciful, and bountiful. All these put together the perfect Father. Our heavenly Father is trustworthy, omnipresent (all present), omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful). These describe our Father and the benefits of being His children.
The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.
The qualifying word here in verse 18 is ‘truth.’ One who is faithful, a child of God who is faithful and in the will of God - His voice will be heard by God.
He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.
The key phrase is ‘them that fear Him.’ The fear of the Lord is two parts. The first part is that we recognize Creator God for who He is (and we described His characteristics earlier), but that is not all there is to being a ‘God fearer’ (Yare). Even Satan recognizes God. For part two, you need to reflect on the recognition of God in your life. As I grew in my relationship with my parents and I recognized the love they had for me, their sacrifices and wisdom, my respect and fear for them grew. Their desires and will became my desires and will, I stayed close to them, and they stayed close to me. This works the same way with our Heavenly Father.
There is a saying and a great reminder that goes around the church staff ‘stay close and clean.’ A great reminder not for every week, but every minute of every day of every week. Because in life, not every day is it easy to smile. Trials come and go, and we need to be close to God, our preserver, to save us and sustain us. The second half of verse 19 tells us the faithful or fearful voice will be heard. Not always in our timing, always remember that your timing and God’s timing don’t always match. God’s timing is as perfect as He is, and I can trust and place faith in that. So church members, reflect our relationship with God in our attitudes, words, and actions to our church family with peace, joy, and purpose. Make God’s desire your desire, God’s will your will.
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.