Attributes of God (7)
11 March 2018 PM – Psalm 145: 17, 21 – Psa145 – Scott Childs
Introduction: When we lived in PNG, I used to have fun describing to the village people things in America that they had never seen or even dreamed of. I would seek to paint a vivid picture for them with my descriptive words. For example, how do you describe snow to someone who has never left the tropics?
Trying to envision God when we have never seen Him is very difficult. However, studying the attributes of God, those vivid character qualities that are an innate part of His nature, helps us to envision what God is like.
Transition: As we near the end of this great chapter, we find two more attributes of God that I want us to focus our attention on this evening.
1. The Lord is Righteous
(Psalms 145:17) “The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.“
a. The Lord is righteous in all His ways
1) The word “righteous” means that God is just. He is correct. His innate character always does what is right.
a) Abram when pleading with God for the people of Sodom said, (Genesis 18:25) “That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
b) The Psalmist said, (Psalms 19:9) “The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.”
c) Jeremiah wrote, (Jeremiah 9:23-24) “Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.”
2) God is the absolute standard of right.
a) Here in Australia, the metre is our standard of measurement. A graham is our standard of weight. A litre is our standard of liquid measure.
b) Spiritually, we measure what is right by God’s perfection. God measures our righteousness compared to His.
² There is story of a girl who dreamed that God was measuring righteous character on judgment day. She watched as some she thought were spiritual, shrank before the measuring rod because God knew their hypocritical hearts. Some she thought would measure poorly actually grew taller and taller next to the rod because they had a heart for God. When it was her turn and she stood up to the measuring rod, she began to shrink and shrink. Then she awakened. The principle of the story is that one day we WILL stand before God to give account. Now is the time to prepare.
3) David wrote that God is righteous in all His ways.
a) God is right in the paths He follows – He never makes a wrong turn. He sees the beginning and the end.
b) He is right in thoughts – He makes a mistake or poor decision. He is always fair as He has all the facts.
c) He is right in his moral character – not once has God ever had an impure thought or lustful desire
4) We do not have an innate righteous character. Instead, our hearts are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jer 17:9). (Isaiah 64:6) “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” The very best we can do is still far from God’s perfect righteousness.
5) The only way that we can become righteous is to receive Christ’s righteousness. (Romans 10:4) “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” In other words, Christ perfectly fulfilled the Law and puts His righteousness in every one who believes on Him. We receive His new nature.
O Praise God, the LORD is righteous in all His ways.
b. The Lord is holy in all His works
1) The word in this verse translated “holy” is not the common word translated holy. In fact this word is often translated in other ways: saints (19x), holy (3x), merciful (3x), godly (2x), good (1x), godly man (1x), Holy One (1x), and holy one (1x).
a) We see that saint and holy are primary definitions but the word also means faithful, kind, godly, or pious.
b) One who is holy means set apart from others. Thus, God is set apart in His kindness, faithfulness, mercy and goodness.
2) Compared to man, God is holy or set apart as faithful and kind in all His works. This aspect of holiness is part of God’s innate nature. God does not have to strive to be faithful, He is faithful. God does not have to work at being kind, He is kind. He is set apart as holy in these areas. Our concept of faithfulness and kindness finds its roots in God.
3) In God’s works of creation He is holy or set apart as faithful. All that He made was good.
4) God’s works since creation have been set apart as kind and good. Even in chastening and judgment God is holy, kind and good.
O Praise God, the LORD is holy in all His works.
2. The Lord is Holy
(Psalms 145:21) “My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.“
a. The Lord’s name is holy
1) The word translated “holy” in this verse is the common word for holy. It is found 468x in the KJV.
2) It describes the apartness, holiness, sacredness, or separateness of God from all that is unlike His perfect nature.
3) Charles Spurgeon states, “Specially should his holiness be adored: this is the crown, and in a certain sense the sum, of all his attributes.”
4) The very name of the LORD is holy. His name is set apart from all others because it belongs to God. We must be very careful how we used the names “God, Lord or Jesus”.
a) All who say “O my __” or “J__ C__” as expletives are under the curse of the 3rd Commandment.
b) We ought also to fear using euphemisms (softer curse words) of God’s names like Gee, Golly, or Gosh.
b. His holy name is worthy our praise and blessing
1) David vowed to speak praise of the LORD. We should too.
2) He challenged ALL flesh to bless the LORD’s holy name forever and ever.
a) We have examined this word “bless” earlier in this chapter. Its root means to kneel.
b) We are to kneel before the LORD and praise His holy name.
c) We should do this in our personal devotions.
d) We should do this in our corporate worship.
e) We should do this by living holy lives. (1 Peter 1:14-16) “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
Conclusion: Because the LORD is righteous and is the standard of right by which we should live, we must first receive His righteousness by faith in Christ and then live unto righteousness. (1 Peter 2:24) “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” We must never forget that one day we will be judged according to His righteousness.
The LORD is also holy or set apart from all that is unrighteous. His holiness is kind and faithful. It is also pure and sacred. God’s holy works reflect His kindness and His holy name demands our reverence and praise. The hymn writer wrote, “His name above all names shall stand, exalted more and more, at God the Father’s own right hand, where angels hosts adore. Blessed be the name, blessed be the name, Blessed be the name of the Lord! Blessed be the name, blessed be the name, Blessed be the name of the Lord!”
Song: Blessed Be the Name, 32