Whatever the LORD Pleases

Hovering over a verse in Psalm 135 this morning. Actually, not so much hovering as I am using it as a springboard. Noodling on a truth well known, but thinking of some its implications that may too easily be taken for granted.

Psalm 135 is a call to praise the LORD. A song beckoning its singers to sing to the LORD. And, as is common in such songs, the fuel for the fire of worship is a blend of who our God is and what our God has done. He is good; He is great; He is above all gods. He is the God in their midst who sent signs and wonders against Pharaoh; who struck down the firstborn of Egypt; who gave them the land of Canaan as a heritage; who promises to vindicate His people. In light of who He is, recalling all that He has done, how can you not but praise the LORD!?!

But here’s the attribute of God that, in particular, I’m chewing on this morning:

Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.

(Psalm 135:6 ESV)

Whatever the LORD pleases, He does. All that Yahweh delights in, He determines to make so. If He takes pleasure in it, He performs it. Perhaps not surprising. Probably what you’d expect from an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, sovereign God. That whatever He pleases, He does.

But my meditation this morning is not so much focused on the fact that He does what He pleases, but more centered on some of the things He pleases that He does.

Balaam, the rogue prophet for hire, learned quickly “that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel” (Num. 24:1). What others might intend for their destruction, God was delighted to turn for their blessing. So Balaam, hired to curse Israel, blesses them three times. For whatever the LORD pleases, He does.

Samuel was confident that, though Israel had forsaken God’s direct rule over them and instead wanted a king like the other nations, the LORD would not forsake Israel. How come? “It has pleased the LORD to make you a people for Himself.” (1Sam. 12:22). God would work with His people’s propensity to “lean unto their own understanding” and would not only give them a king, but would promise them a kingly line through which a King of Kings would come to redeem them. Because God delighted in the thought of such an inheritance. And, whatever the LORD pleases, He does.

But God’s pleasures extend beyond nations. It focuses too on individuals. Paul would testify that the great God of Israel had determined to set him apart before he was born, calling him by grace, because the LORD “was pleased to reveal His Son to me” (Gal. 1:15-16). Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus because God, in plans determined before the foundation of the world, desired it. And guess what? Whatever the LORD pleases, He does.

And, just as it pleased God to make the way of eternal redemption known to the faithful apostle, He continues to make it known to individuals today. And that, through the apparent folly of the story of a Man of Galilee who died on a Roman cross 2,000 years ago. “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe” (1Cor. 1:21). And rescue and redeem people for eternity, through the gospel, He has. For whatever the LORD pleases, He does.

And what pleasure of the LORD secured such a wondrous salvation? What delight was necessary for the redeeming of souls for His glory?

Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush Him; He has put Him to grief; when His soul makes an offering for guilt, He shall see His offspring; He shall prolong His days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.

(Isaiah 53:10 ESV)

It was the will of the LORD. Same original word as pleases in Psalm 135. It “pleased the LORD to bruise Him” (NKJV). It was God’s pleasure to make His Son who knew no sin to be sin for us. It was God’s delight to demand through Him the wages for our sin. Not that the Father was pleased to forsake His Son, but that He was pleased to redeem, even at great cost, a people. And whatever the LORD pleases, He does.

Oh, how He loves you and me,
Oh how He loves you and me.
He gave his life, what more could He give?
Oh, how He loves you; Oh, how He loves me; Oh, how He loves you and me.

Jesus to Calvary did go,
His love for sinners to show.
What He did there brought hope from despair.
Oh, how He loves you; Oh, how He loves me; Oh, how He loves you and me.

Copyright: 1975 Word Music, LLC (a div. of Word Music Group, Inc.)

Whatever the LORD pleases, He does. Oh yes, He does!

By His abundant grace. For His eternal glory.

Amen?

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