Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.—Psalm 33:12
Who is your God?
A god, every man must have. The only question is whether man’s God is Jehovah or whether his god is the vain idol. Knowing that God is and that he must be served, men, inexcusably mad, fashion for themselves idols from their vain imaginations and worship the creature rather than the Creator. And the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold the truth in unrighteousness. The God whom they refused to worship gives them over to their vile affections and to a reprobate mind. Cursed is that people whose god is the worthless idol.
Blessed nation whose God is Jehovah.
Jehovah, he is God. He is what he is in the instant and constant fullness of his divine being. From eternity to eternity he is the same in being and in all his perfections. I AM THAT I AM is his name. There is no god beside him. There is no blessedness outside of him.
Jehovah is the creator. By the word of Jehovah were the heavens made and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. Not evolution, not a big bang, not mutations or nature, but Jehovah made the world and all that is therein. He gave to every creature its being, shape, and offices to serve him. He made all the nations of the world and all the tribes and tongues from one man and his wife, Eve. To ascribe creation to any other is to deny that Jehovah is God.
Upon Jehovah as the perfectly self-sufficient one, all depends. The world that he made he did not forsake to fortune or chance, but he upholds and governs it as it were by his hand. He perfectly guides everything according to his counsel to his determined goal. He upholds man, so that the beating of his heart and all his native powers and gifts come from God. Jehovah brings to pass all his counsel and does all his pleasure. Nothing in heaven, the earth, or the sea—not the falling of a single hair of your head or of an insignificant sparrow to the ground—happens without his will.
Jehovah is especially revealed to be God because he brings the counsels of the heathen to nothing. Not only does he not need man or require his consent, but also Jehovah frustrates the designs of man. When the heathen gather themselves together and set themselves against the Lord and against his anointed to cast God’s yoke from them and to break his bands in sunder, Jehovah rules over them. In that gathering together they have all their wicked tricks and devices and plans. Jehovah makes them all of none effect. The heathen cannot accomplish their purposes or bring their desires to pass. Jehovah frustrates them and uses their wickedness, their evil, and their plans to carry out his plan. They think evil; God intends and purposes great good. The counsel of Jehovah stands forever and the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
The fall of man in the garden of Eden served for the revelation of his glorious purpose in Christ Jesus to put enmity between the Seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent and to crush the serpent’s head. At the cross, Jehovah laid that greatest wickedness, the crucifixion of his Son, as the foundation of redemption and of the accomplishment of his eternal purpose for the perfection of his covenant and the glorification of all things in Christ Jesus. At the cross, Jehovah revealed himself as the almighty, sovereign, self-sufficient, merciful, and just God and the overflowing fountain of all good.
Jehovah as God is judge. Jehovah looks from heaven and beholds with his penetrating gaze all the sons of men. From the least of the sons of Adam to the greatest, none escape God’s scrutiny in all their habitations, in their secret places, and in their public gatherings. He considers all their works. He does not see as man sees. God considers all their works with perfect vision: their designs, intentions, motives, and secrets of their hearts. So considering them, God judges. In his judgment he blesses the righteous and curses the wicked. The righteous Jehovah loves the righteous. He hates all the workers of iniquity.
This is all that matters in one’s life: what does Jehovah God say about a person? For Jehovah, he is God. If a man is right with Jehovah, that man’s life is right. Jehovah blesses that man with favor and wonderful grace. Jehovah is for that man, and all things are for him. But if a man is not right with Jehovah, Jehovah turns the way of the wicked upside down. God curses that man’s way, overturning and overthrowing all his designs and bringing everything in that wicked man’s life to vanity. That is why a horse is a vain thing for safety. Not even a king is saved by the multitude of his strength, because man ultimately has to do only with Jehovah.
The great revelation of the name of Jehovah is Jesus. man cannot know Jehovah rightly and savingly, and Jehovah is not one’s God, apart from Jesus Christ and faith in him. Jesus is Jehovah, and he reveals Jehovah. Jesus reveals Jehovah as a God who is faithful and unchanging in his covenant promise to be the God of his people. Jesus reveals that Jehovah in his goodness, love, and tender mercy toward his people spared not his own Son. Jesus reveals Jehovah as the God who is perfect in sovereignty and who has mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he wills he hardens.
Blessed is the nation whose God is Jehovah.
Your god is that in which you trust, that which makes you happy, and that, then, which you love and worship. In whatever man places his trust, that is his god. Man may trust in horses, that is, in some earthly strength. He may trust in his own strength. He may trust, as the heathen, in Baal, Ashtoreth, or Dagon. Or, as the modern, sophisticated idolater, he may worship mammon and so place his trust in money, man, science, medicine, or technology. Man always trusts in something. Because he is man and is dependent, man must trust in something.
Whatever is man’s god determines that man’s life. One’s life shows his god. Because Jehovah is God alone, man either trusts in Jehovah, or he trusts in some idol.
Blessed is that nation whose God is Jehovah. That people confess him to be their God. They know him. They know him rightly as Jehovah gives himself to be known. He is the God of revelation. He speaks. He speaks of himself, and that speech is his name. They know Jehovah as he is revealed in Jesus Christ in the sacred scriptures. The people whose God is Jehovah know Jehovah their God and know him as he gives himself to be known by them in truth.
Knowing Jehovah, that people trust in his holy name. With humility and patience they submit to him, for he is sovereign and not they. He knows what is wise and good for them. They expect from him all good things, for all things are his, and he is the overflowing fountain of all good. They love, fear, and glorify him with their whole hearts, so that they renounce and forsake all creatures rather than commit the least thing contrary to his will. They wait upon him as the servant on his master and the maid on her mistress. They cleave to this one God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and when they through weakness fall into sin, they do not despair of his mercy nor continue in sin, but turn from that sin and seek his grace, mercy, forgiveness, and help in time of need. Their souls wait on Jehovah because he is their help and shield.
Blessed nation! In the Old Testament the nation was of the sons of Jacob, the true Israelite, the seed of Abraham, whose God was Jehovah. That nation is not an earthly nation any longer. That nation is the church. She is a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, to show forth the praises of him who called her out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Blessed nation whose God is Jehovah.
That people are blessed because Jehovah chose them for his own inheritance. The thoughts of his heart from eternity to eternity are for them, to have them for his own peculiar people.
Jehovah is their God not because they chose him and made him their God. He is their God not because they cleaved unto him, loved him, submitted to him, or feared him. He is their God not because of anything—any act of righteousness—they have done. Oh, the god that must be chosen by men is not Jehovah but is an idol! HE IS NOT I AM THAT I AM, BUT I WILL BE WHAT MAN MAKES ME. He is an idol like Baal was an idol. Such a god is the construction of the vain imaginations of men, who made idols of silver and gold for the heathen nations in ancient times and to this day fashion new ones by their elaborate, sophisticated, and false theology in order to deceive the simple and to cause them to fall down to kiss and worship an idol.
The god who must be chosen of men is not Jehovah, for the simple reason that Jehovah reveals that he chooses his people. The same kind of false god is the god who does not choose a people at all. He loves everyone, desires the salvation of all, and blesses all. He is not Jehovah. He is not God, for the very simple reason that Psalm 33:12 says that Jehovah has a nation and a people that he chose as his inheritance, who are his peculiar treasure above all nations and every people, and who are blessed as his people.
Blessed is that people whose God is Jehovah, the nation whom he has chosen. They were chosen as a nation as one whole, united under a single head. He did not pick that nation first. He chose the head of that nation first, even our Lord, Jesus Christ. And Jehovah did not pick one particular nation out of the world. It seemed that way for many years when that nation and people were confined among one people. But he chose his people out of all the nations to be a holy nation to him. They are his elect. His elect as they were chosen by him from all eternity and that in distinction from those whom Jehovah rejected and appointed to destruction. They are his elect as they manifest themselves in the world in true churches of Jesus Christ where this God is confessed, believed, and known as he speaks of himself in the gospel. In a church where the people speak what God speaks about himself, there are the people of God, and there is that nation whose God is Jehovah. There are his chosen, who are precious and dear to him.
He chose this blessed people as his inheritance. That choice is gracious, for an inheritance is simply a gracious gift. And when Jehovah calls them his inheritance, the graciousness of his choice is further pointed out because an inheritance comes to the heirs only by death. God chose his people as his inheritance, and that inheritance came to him and was reconciled to him only by the death of the Son of God. And Jehovah calls them his inheritance because among them, in you and with you, he dwells, blessed people whose God is Jehovah.
God dwells among them as surely as he dwelt with Israel of old. As Israel of old dwelt each man in his inheritance, so God dwells with his people. By the Spirit of Christ, he comes to us, takes his abode with us, and dwells in us. By that same Spirit, Jehovah takes the fullness of Christ and pours out upon us his heavenly graces to fill us with his fullness—grace for grace.
That Jehovah dwells with them means, first, that he forgives their sins, for the righteous Lord cannot dwell with sinners and the unrighteous. Be glad in the Lord, ye righteous! That he dwells with them means, second, that he makes them holy, for the holy God is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity. If Jehovah dwells in them, he also makes them fruitful, as a very skillful farmer makes his land blossom, grow, and produce fruit. Christ is the vine. He is the husbandman. He sends the rain of his grace upon his people and his Spirit into them, and they bear fruit—some thirty-, some sixty-, and some one hundredfold. This inheritance of Jehovah drinks up the dew of heaven and is as a watered garden.
When the enemies come against them, Jehovah defends his inheritance because it is his and no man can trespass upon it. He preserves his inheritance, so that none can diminish it or cause any part of it to fail.
Oh, blessed is that people whose God is Jehovah, the nation that he chose as his own inheritance.
If Jehovah is their God, he is for them with all his might, sovereignty, and grace; and, indeed, the whole creation and all of history are for them. If Jehovah, God of all, lord of all, sovereign of all, is their God, that is their whole blessedness. They do not need anything more than that.
Jehovah cares for you, loves you, and gives to you from the inexhaustible richness of his perfect goodness. That blessed people need not worry or fear what they shall eat or what they shall drink or wherewithal they shall be clothed. After these things do those who serve mammon seek. About these things the people whose god is the dollar worry. From the bounties of the world, which God made, he gives them their daily bread, and often he gives much more besides. He can keep his people alive in famine.
From the overflowing fountain of his perfectly good being, he bestows the riches and treasures of salvation that he stored up in Christ Jesus. He delivers his people from death! Perfectly blessed is the nation whose God is Jehovah.
That nation is blessed in everything. That people are blessed when he gives them joys in this life. They are blessed when, according to his infinite sovereignty and perfect wisdom, they suffer afflictions and sorrows. They are blessed in their falls, too, for they do not always trust him. They do not always rely upon him and call upon him. They wander, and they stray, and sometimes they fall deeply. Jehovah does not forsake them. He seeks them. He calls them to himself. He turns them, and they are turned. He grants unto them faith and repentance and knowledge of his fatherly goodness once again.
That nation alone is blessed. Only that people whom he has chosen and whom he has made his people are blessed. They are not blessed at all who worship Allah, Buddha, the Great World Spirit, mammon, the world, pleasure, or themselves. A man cannot serve God and mammon. Cursed is that people whose God is not Jehovah. Cursed in this life and cursed in the next. Cursed is that people whose God is not Jehovah, those whom he has not chosen but rejected. Blessed are they—only they are blessed—whose God is Jehovah.
If your God is Jehovah, he chose you to that, and you are a blessed people. Rejoice in him, blessed people.
O Jehovah, let thy mercy be upon us, according as we hope in thee. —NJL
Sword and Shield/ OCTOBER 2020 | VOLUME 1 | NUMBER 6