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Singing Psalm 145 to be covered with mercy

Who needs to be covered with mercy?

Those who know they need it and those who don’t.

Like cloud cover on a scorchingly hot summer day when you are covered with mercy in shade, so does God keep covered in mercy those who trust and love him.

What if God turned you from a sneaky, lying, cheat and thief into someone like Joseph, who could be entrusted with an entire nation where the king need not concern himself with anything as long as matters are in Joseph’s hands?

What if God drew you from a recidivist lawbreaker who lives like a dog returning to its vomit into someone who is satisfied in the Lord and consistently blesses others?

What if God changed you from an insecure, miserable, self-destructive person to a confident, joyful person who lives life to the full?

What if God transformed you from a self-interested, hateful fornicator, to a humble, self-sacrificing servant like he did with Judah?

What if God took you from one whose god is his belly to one who lives not on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God?

This is God’s glory. This is who God is. This is what God does for his undeserving people.

Singing Psalm 145 you are covered with mercy and praise him for his glory and for the glory that he shares with you. 

You might tend to think of glory as pride inducing, sycophantic, excessive, undeserved pats on the back. But instead, it’s the remaking of a deceptive scoundrel into a true friend. With God, you are covered with mercy. This is why he commands us to gently restore someone who is caught in a transgression. He made you in his image and won’t give up until you look like him, until Christ is formed in you. He uses every ounce of suffering in your life as a tool. He chisels away whatever is not like Christ as your master sculptor. With this picture in view, you can see how it can be good when he takes some things or even people away from you.

“The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” And Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped.” ~ Exodus 34:6-8

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ~ Romans 8:37-39

“I’ll give You praise, my God, O King,    I will forever bless Your name;I will extol You every day,    And evermore Your praise proclaim.

“Great is the Lord deserving praise;    His greatness none can comprehend.One generation to the next    Will all Your mighty works commend.” ~ Psalm 145:1-4

Singing Psalm 145 to be covered with mercy by the gospel of Jesus and no other

“Full of compassion is the LORD,    And He with graciousness abounds;Moving to anger He is slow,    Great steadfast love in Him is found.

“His mercies cover all He’s made;    Good is the LORD to all who live.All of Your works will praise You, LORD;    Your saints to You will praises give.” ~ Psalm 145:8-10

Like a blanket that is woven stitch-by-stitch, so are you covered with mercy upon mercy as the Lord weaves them seamlessly over your life. Whether you recognize it and acknowledge it or not, no sooner does one mercy end than another begins.

This is such good news when you know how desperately you need to be covered with mercy as David knew. The danger with not knowing how much you need to be covered with mercy is the tendency to look for a different gospel outside of the Lord Jesus Christ. If the problem is not within you, you might think you can find the answers there. Or you will look for the answers to the problems out there while the issue inside you remains unaddressed.

You can escape these traps if you capture God’s clearly conveyed overarching theme in his word:

  1. God made the earth and created us on it to be dependent on him and reliant on his grace.

  2. We rebelled in the devil’s pride to do it all without needing God, but now we fear death.

  3. Jesus took our death penalty and taught us how to be humble, the only state of being that leads to life. 

This is the gospel of Jesus, the good news that makes you humble as you see your desperate need to be covered with mercy.

The relational sins of jealousy, envy, and lying either stem from or lead to pride which is the antithesis of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. “For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” These steal your hope of glory by displacing Christ in you with the pride of the devil which is itself a grand deception.

    “There are six things that the LORD hates,        seven that are an abomination to him:    haughty eyes, a lying tongue,        and hands that shed innocent blood,    a heart that devises wicked plans,        feet that make haste to run to evil,    a false witness who breathes out lies,        and one who sows discord among brothers.” ~ Proverbs 6:16-19

“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

“If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.

“Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” ~ Galatians 5:19-6:10

If someone asked what is the most important thing taught in the Bible, you might have thought, loving God, but it turns out it’s God loving you. In the gospel of Jesus, you are covered with mercy, and that changes everything!

First Corinthians 15 proclaims what is of most importance, first importance, and how it is foundational to everything that you think say, and do:

“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:1-4

“The eyes of all are turned to You;    Their food in season You will give;You satisfy with opened hand    Desires of everything that lives.

“The LORD is just in all His ways;    In all His works His love is shown;The LORD is near to all who call,    Who call in truth on Him alone.” ~ Psalm 145:15-18

The whole OT points forward to the gospel. The whole NT points back to it. It is of first importance because it only is what defeats the devil and pride and what undoes death.

Pride and the sins that feed it like envy and deception are so destructive because they undermine the gospel of Jesus, basically wanting to kick him out of living in you. There is a right sense that you are to acknowledge and understand your gifts, weak points, and preferences and those of others so as to be able to work well with and show genuine kindness to others. This is your glory to be able to be who you are and a blessing to others without masking. The hope of glory is Christ in you. But pride displaces him with the independent self–“you do you” which is being taught in schools and highlighted on TV and everywhere you turn in social media–it is this independent pride that kills you like a frog in a water pot so you don’t even notice Satan gradually turning up the heat. And when he thinks he’s got you cooked, when you think it might be too late for rescue, crying out to the Lord Jesus will drown out the devil’s diabolical laughter as he waits with bated breath for you to boil to your death. Cry out to Jesus who will hear and respond by scooping you out at just the right time. If you reject him who is full of compassion, you will have nothing left but to face him who is full of wrath.

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” ~ Ephesians 1:7-10

“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.” ~ Colossians 1:24-28

Each psalm touches on this theme from different angles. Singing Psalm 145 is to the praise of his glory that he shares who he is, his genuine care for you—he doesn’t leave you when you sin but bears your pride and leads you through it. He blesses you by keeping you covered with mercy rather than with shame. Jesus takes your shame and scorns it for your glory, for you, a part of his bride, whom he is making clean and beautiful. You are among those who are the joy set before him.

“I’ll contemplate Your wondrous works,    Your splendor and Your glory great.Men will declare your awesome acts;    Your pow’r and greatness I’ll relate.

“Calling to mind Your goodness great,    Its fame they eagerly express;And they sing praises joyfully,    Telling of all Your righteousness.” ~ Psalm 145:5-7

Singing Psalm 145 to be covered with mercy leads to gratitude and praise

Stripped and exposed to the harsh elements of the life of going it alone through the wind, rain, hail, snow, and sleet, you seek to be covered with mercy, to be sheltered from the storms that have left you emotionally battered, relationally war torn.

How do you determine where to go, your next steps? How does it work? Is there an equation to memorize where you can plug and chug? An impersonal process that gets you where you want to be without engaging anyone? Is there a computer program already written with a user interface that will solve your dilemmas? Is there a pill or injection that will heal you without having to understand your soul and body with their intricacies?

Instead you are overflowing with thanksgiving for the fullness of God’s compassion to reach down, grant you a connection with him, and lead you to repentance unto life. His compassion is catching as you desire those you know and love to be covered with mercy too.

If you found out that your stolen car was recovered on the other side of the country, wouldn’t you go get it and bring it back where it belongs? How much more does God go out of his way to bring his lost, wayward sheep back home? 

Jesus took on flesh to rescue you from the clutches of the thief who deceptively and stealthily came to steal, kill, and destroy. He weeps over death that destroys his beloved and dies to destroy death so that you would be covered with mercy and brought safely home.

Once you are covered with mercy, you can’t keep quiet about the source of that mercy. The merciful one freely gives to you and to all his people whom he gathers together to do what they would never do before but now would explode if they don’t do it, and that is, worship him.

“They of Your kingdom’s glories speak,    And of Your power they will tell.People may then His great works know,    His kingdom’s glories that excel.

“Your kingdom has no end at all,    Through all the ages You will reign.All those brought low the LORD lifts up,    And those who fall He will sustain.” ~ Psalm 145:11-14

Singing Psalm 145 to be covered with mercy that keeps on giving

Then you ask God for opportunities to go out of your way to tell of his steadfast love, his faithfulness, his lovingkindness, and his tender mercies that others would also be brought in from the elements of life that have left them stripped and exposed, beaten by the storms of rebellion, rejection, revenge, and revolution. Nothing would delight you more than to have them home and safe, happily covered with mercy. No alternative gospel but only the gospel of Jesus brings you there.

If there is such a thing as good gossip about God, singing Psalm 145 gives you plenty to work with. You can try to say good things about him behind his back, but he’ll know you’re doing it. Your hidden thoughts, of your marveling that Jesus saves those who were eternally condemned, are being broadcast before him and before the angels in the heavens—and the angels rejoice over it!

Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” ~ Luke 15:10

As you consider the “what if” scenarios above:

Does the Lord save you and let you go? Is it like that plug-in chug equation where once you have the answer, you’re done?

Gloriously, no! You get to live with God forever and experience his fellowship and the most amazing life that you cannot even imagine. You are so awed that you reflexively worship him in praises and in song. Singing Psalm 145 never sounded better!

You can trust the Lord for literally everything. And once you trust him, there is nothing that he won’t help you through. There is no need you could have that he will not meet in ways that might or might not seem good to you. But as long as it seems good to him, you can be sure that it truly is good.

Singing Psalm 145 you learn of God’s being slow to anger and full of compassion and are chomping at the bit to find a way to talk about the disease and its cure, the ingested poison and the antidote with people in ways they can take in, appreciate, and understand how being covered with mercy can change everything in their lives as it has in yours.

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.” ~ Romans 8:5-7

“Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.” ~ Philippians 3:19

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:19

“Those fearing Him He satisfies;    He’ll save them for He hears their cry.The LORD preserves those loving Him,    But by His wrath the wicked die.

“I’ll speak the praises of the LORD,    His praises from my mouth will pour;All flesh will bless His holy name    Forever and forevermore.” ~ Psalm 145:19-21

June 25, 2022 – January 26, 2024


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