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The Scriptorium

God Does What He Is

And aren't we glad? Psalm 119.137, 138

Psalm 119.137-144 (1)

Pray Psalm 119.137, 138.

Righteous are You, O LORD,
And upright are Your judgments.
Your testimonies, which You have commanded,
Are righteous and very faithful.

Psalm 119.137, 138.
(Divinum Mysterium: Of the Father’s Love Begotten)
Righteous are You, O my Lord! Upright are Your judgments, too!
All the words You have commanded us we will surely keep and do!
For Your testimonies all are righteous, Lord;
all Your faithful Word is true:
We rejoice, O Lord, in You!

Read Psalm 119.137-144; meditate on verses 137, 138.

1. How does the psalmist describe God?

2. How does he describe His judgments and testimonies?

We would expect the צ (tsadhe) stanza to have lots of “righteous” and “righteousness” in it, since צ begins these Hebrew words. And we won’t be disappointed. The psalmist says that God is righteous, and it naturally follows that His judgments are righteousness. God does what God is. Ditto with His testimonies and commandments: They, because they are from Him, are righteous and very faithful.

Our psalmist will again employ a parallelism in these two verses, beginning with one idea, then another, then adding to and extending each of those:

“Righteous are You, O LORD…”

A “upright”
B “judgments”
B “testimonies” B1 “which you have commanded”
A “righteous” A1 “very faithful”

You’ll also notice that the psalmist “rhymes” this idea at the end of this stanza, with yet another extension to stretch out the meaning, and in verse 142, a double dose of righteousness (for emphasis, of course).

God is righteous. God’s judgments, testimonies, and commandments are righteous. God does what God is. The more Jesus the Righteous One is formed in us by the Law and Spirit of God, the more it will be true of us as well that He will show Himself through us in all our words and deeds (2 Cor. 3.12-18).

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162.
God is righteous; therefore, everything He does is good, noble, pure, and worthy.
God is upright so everything He does is honest and honorable.
God’s judgments are perfect, and He judges us fairly and righteously.
God’s Word is faithful because He is dependable, honest, trustworthy—faithful.
God commanded all this to be; and Jesus, righteous, upright, and faithful, did it all for us.

Moses said, “For I proclaim the name of the LORD: Ascribe greatness to our God. He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is He” (Deut. 32.3, 4). Moses understood the qualities of God.

Nehemiah recorded that the Levites, during a time of worship and confession, cried out with a loud voice to the LORD their God. And said, “Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and awesome God, who keeps covenant and mercy: Do not let all the trouble seem small before You that has come upon us, our kings and our princes, our priests and our prophets, our fathers and on all Your people, from the days of the kings of Assyria until this day. However You are just in all that has befallen us; for You have dealt faithfully, but we have done wickedly” (Neh. 9.32, 33). The people understood the qualities of God.

Elihu said to Job: “Surely God will never do wickedly, nor will the Almighty pervert justice” (Job 34.12). Elihu understood the qualities of God.

David wrote: “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul;
the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
the statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether” (Ps. 19.7-9).
David understood the qualities of God.

God and His Word are “More to be desired…than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them [we] are warned, and in keeping them there is great reward” (Ps. 19.10, 11). Do we understand God and these qualities of His Word, and the importance of obedience to Him?

When we do, we are invited to sing along with all those who have overcome evil in this lifetime, by following God’s faithful Word faithfully. Trying, with the power given us through His Holy Spirit, to be pleasing to Him. Let’s sing along with Moses, Nehemiah, Elihu, David, and all the saints:
“Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty!
Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints!
Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name?
For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You,
For Your judgments have been manifested” (Rev. 15.3, 4).

“He does what He is”, and we are warned and blessed.

For reflection
1. How can we become more like what God is?

2. Why should we be both comforted and emboldened by the fact that God does what He is?

3. How can you know more of God at work within you, willing and doing of His good pleasure (Phil. 2.12, 13)?

All men indeed grant that God is righteous; but the Prophet has expressed more than the common sort of men, yea than the whole world, perceive in reference to this subject; for in designating God righteous, he means, that as soon as we depart from Him, we will not find a particle of righteousness anywhere else. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Psalm 119.137, 138

Pray Psalm 119.136.
Be sure to pray for the lost people in your Personal Mission Field, especially those you expect to see today. Ask the Lord to give you an opportunity to share something of His Word and love with them.

Psalm 119.143, 144.
(Divinum Mysterium: Of the Father’s Love Begotten)
All Your statutes, all Your judgments, Lord, have become my great delight,
and Your testimonies, ever sure, ever true, and ever right!
Help me understand that I may live, O Lord,
in Your strength and by Your sight,
for Your Word is my delight.

T. M. and Susie Moore

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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