The unidentified author of the 115th Psalm contrasts the true God with the helpless, powerless, lifeless idols of the heathen: “But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased” (115:3). Our reaction to this declaration reveals much about our spiritual state.
Disbelief. If our basic reaction is one of disbelief, then we neither believe the Bible nor recognize the God who the Bible reveals. God is neither stymied by circumstances nor deterred by His creation. He is sovereign. A god who cannot do whatever he pleases is no god at all.
Discomfort. Some level of discomfort with the truth of this verse may be the result of several things: (1) Questions about the existence of sin; (2) Questions about the existence of suffering; (3) Questions about unanswered prayer; etc. But rather than raising such questions, this verse answers them. Without explaining to our human satisfaction all these things, the psalmist declares that God does what pleases Him. It is sufficient for us to know that God is holy, and righteous, and just, and good, and merciful, and gracious. All that God pleases to do (or not to do) perfectly accords with His nature and character. Nothing He does violates any aspect of His Being. When we see situations that would seem to contradict that truth, we are seeing in part and understanding imperfectly.
Fear. A fearful reaction to the truth of our text suggests a sinful heart. Only a lost sinner or a sinning saint fears a holy God who does exactly what He is pleased to do. There is no other reason to fear the God who is revealed in the Bible. Sin and rebellion breed fear whereas faith builds confidence, trust, peace, and rest.
Resentment. Some might even find themselves responding with resentment or anger at the truth conveyed in this verse. Such a response reveals a proud, haughty, rebellious heart, one that refuses to submit to a sovereign God who in great mercy provided salvation at the cost of the suffering and death of His Eternal Son.
Belief. The true child of God reads this verse and says, “Yes, that is the very God whom I trust. That is the One in whom I have put my whole confidence. That verse describes the God who has saved me and whom I know personally.”
Comfort. What comfort there is in this statement for believers! The fact that the God we know does what He pleases lends order to the universe and harmony to our lives. It provides peace before the undecipherable, assurance for the difficult, and rest in every trouble.
Love. If some would respond with fear, then those who know the Lord respond with love, affirming the truth that “perfect love casteth out fear” (I John 4:18). To realize that an infinite, holy God was pleased, not only to create us, but then to redeem us from our sin at the cost of His Son’s death provokes us to love Him.
Rejoicing. Though some might resent such a God, the believer must rejoice. His heart is filled with praise when His Savior God is glorified. Recognition that God does whatsoever He pleases exalts the Lord, and so His redeemed and beloved children rejoice that He is glorified. Nothing pleases us more than that the One who loved us, the One we love in return, is lifted up.
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