" O How . . . "
These two little words seem to point our attention toward some impressive thoughts worth remembering, and some important facts worthy of receptive consideration. It seems to me as we read the Scripture, that there are times when the inspired writer just falls prostrate on his face overwhelmed, gasping and grasping for words to express the vastness of things Divine, which he senses in his enlarged heart.
“O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! Who hast set thy glory above the heavens” – Ps. 8:1. Do we not get a sense of excitement here? He is speaking of our Father’s name. In Scripture, one’s name is given to define their personality or character. The names given of our Father not only tell who He is, but also what He wants to be to us. “HOW EXCELLENT” – considering synonyms to help us appreciate what is being said, we think of majestic, glorious, awe-in-spiring, to be admired,” as the majesty and glory of our God and Father fills all the earth. In Malachi 3:16, we realize that the Lord takes note of those that think upon His name.
Oh how great is the goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!” – Ps. 31:19. Who is able to measure the greatness of His goodness? How could we express it? “LAID UP” – shall we not understand that there is kept in store for us an inexhaustible supply of our God’s great goodness? “WROUGHT” – Oh yes, not only in store, but also operative, active on our behalf. In Philippians, we read that God has begun a good work in us – 1:16. Then in 2:13, we see that He is working in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure. In 3:20, we understand that when He has completed the work of His goodness, we will have a body fashioned like unto His glorious body
Jesus said, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” He said this when the Jews had persecuted Him and tried to kill Him, because He had healed a man on the sabbath day saying, “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk” – Jn. 5:8,16-17. Earlier Jesus said, “My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work” – Jn. 4:34. Jesus is indeed the Lord of the sabbath – Mk. 2:28. He came to bring both God and man together in eternal rest. We many clearly understand that the triune God is involved in the working of all things for the highest benefit of trusting humanity.
We are often amazed at the materials that God has chosen to work in and on (I Cor. 1:27; 25-31). He can and does make something for His glory out of nothing. He has CALLED unto Himself needy beneficiaries of His work (Rom. 8:28). In the working of His goodness, He CLEANSES (I Cor. 6:11); CHASTENS (Heb. 12:6); COUNSELS (Rev.3:18); COMFORTS (II Cor. 1:4) and CROWNS (Ps. 103:4). This is for His people, “them that fear thee.”
“BEFORE THE SONS OF MEN” – God’s great goodness is at work on behalf of them whose trust is not a secret thing, hidden, active only when no one is watching. Some tend to trust the Lord when no one else can see, or tell that we are such weaklings, or such a needy person that we cannot depend upon ourselves. It seems that we naturally want everyone to think we are independent, self-sufficient. Why are we prone to look around when we trip to see who has seen us fall? When we walk in pride and put on such an air, we seem to miss some of the enjoyment of God’s great goodness. May we ever be mindful.
“How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light” – Ps. 36:7-9.
Happy are all who come to know the value of our God’s loving kindness. Thus known, a wonderful place is afforded under the shadow of His wings. Oh, to know the abundant satisfaction in the fatness (prosperity) of His house, for it is so richly supplied. His lovingkindness allows us to enjoy endless refreshing. I thank Him for bringing us unto the waters, and causing us to drink of the river of His pleasures. Do you enjoy the Lord? If not, it is certainly not His fault. In His lovingkindness, we are made to see and realize that He is the only true source of light and life. Having come to know Him, and appreciating the shadow of His wings, His abundant satisfaction, endless refreshing, eternal life, and absolute light, we want more and more of Him! We thus cry “O continue thy loving kindness” – V. 10.
“How amiable (dear, enjoyable, pleasant) are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even faineth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God” – Ps. 84:1-2. Only His lovingkindness could make His “courts and tabernacles” amiable unto us, without which we would wisely be afraid to approach Him.
“How sweet are thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” – Ps. 119:103. His words telling of the afore-mentioned facts constrain us, calling to the heights, giving courage, and caresses those that will taste and see that the Lord is good and gracious. Job said, “I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” – Job 23:12. Jeremiah said, “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD GOD of hosts” – Jer. 15:16. These men knew some things by experience; they had tasted.
“How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them!” Ps. 139:17. Oh, who can evaluate accurately the Word God has spoken unto us? What esteem are we giving to His Word? It should be important to us, what God thinks, and how He thinks (Isa. 55:8-11). What lovingkindness God has made available to all. He has done this not just so we could hear, ponder and forget. He has not done this just so we could know why He thinks like He does, but especially that His thoughts, attitude, mind or purpose may become ours. God delights to write by His Spirit, His will and Word on our hearts and minds – I Cor. 2:9-10; II Cor. 2:2-3; Heb. 89:10; 10:16.