Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations. [The Lord is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works.] The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works. – Psalm 145:13-17 ESV
When a king reigns, he does so over everyone in his kingdom. Even over those who reject him as their king. A good king provides protection for all. He is to enforce the laws of the kingdom over all, regardless of their status or economic standing. As a king, David knew these things well. He realized that his role as king, while accompanied by wonderful benefits, also came with formidable responsibilities. He couldn’t help but compare his own reign with that of God; and when he did, he realized that God’s Kingdom was far greater in scope and size. His responsibilities were far more extensive. David’s kingdom was tiny and insignificant in comparison. And yet, God was faithful in all His words and king in all His works. Everyone looked to Him to provide their food and fulfill their desires, whether they acknowledged Him as King or not. David recognized that it was God who opened His hand and satisfied the desires of every living thing. Speaking of His own heavenly Father, Jesus said, “For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45 ESV). God is gracious and merciful to all. His grace is the favor He shows to those who don’t deserve it, which would include ALL mankind. His mercy is the incredible patience He shows to those who deserve His wrath. In spite of the fact that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Roman 3:23 ESV), God has shown mercy. He has patiently put up with the sins of men over the centuries and even sacrificed His own Son in order to provide a way for men to be restored to a right relationship with Himself.
The Lord is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His works. Unlike human kings, God always does what is right. He always keeps His word. He doesn’t lie, deceive, renege on a promise, or act unjustly. We may not always understand His actions, but we can never question His integrity. He is righteous in all His ways. Sometimes is appears otherwise. Based on what we see happening around us, we can easily conclude that God is either indifferent or incapable of doing what needs to be done. It can appear as if the wicked are winning. The psalmist felt that way and cried out, “Rise up, O judge of the earth; repay to the proud what they deserve! O Lord, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked exult?” (Psalm 94:2-3 ESV). Ethan the Ezrahite wrote, “How long, O Lord? Will you hide yourself forever? How long will your wrath burn like fire? Remember how short my time is! For what vanity you have created all the children of man!” (Psalm 89:46-47 ESV). There are times when it feels like God is either out of control or out of ear shot. It seems as if He is not listening to our pleas for help or seeing the gravity of our situation. But God is a righteous King. He is in complete control of the circumstances – all the time. Yes, it may appear as if the wicked are prospering and the unrighteous are getting all the breaks, but God knows exactly what He is doing. He is not fooled or duped by the ways of men. He knows men’s hearts. He knows that “there is none righteous, no not one” (Romans 3:10 ESV). No one deserves the benefits of rain or crops. No one has earned God’s favor through their acts of righteousness. The fact that any of us exist at all is a testimony to the enduring patience of God.
Paul makes a compelling argument concerning God’s righteous rule and gracious dealings with mankind. “But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, ‘Why have you made me like this?’ Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?” (Romans 9:20-24 ESV). Who are we to question God? What right do we have to doubt the actions of the Creator of the universe? The very fact that God allows the wicked to continue to exist is a reminder of His patience and remarkable love. The fact is, God has shown all of us mercy – He has not given us what we so richly deserve – condemnation and eternal separation from Him. Instead, He has graciously allowed some to enjoy the wonders of His grace and the benefits of His Son’s sacrificial death on the cross. “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8 NLT).
Our King is a righteous, loving, gracious and merciful King. His ways are always just and right. His actions are unquestionably good and His decision are always proper and appropriate. We may not understand what He is doing. We may not even like what He is doing, but we can rest assured that it is always for the best. The Lord is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works.