The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. The Lord watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. (NIV)
Many consumer groups urge us to insist that manufacturers of products live up to their warranties and claims. They have made promises to us about their products and ought to keep them. Sadly, some don’t do this. They resort to obscure exclusion clauses in the fine print. Or they simply go out of business. Or they properly remind us that they don’t guarantee their products forever: there is a limit to their support.
No such issues with the God described in the Bible. The Psalmist reminds us that God will be true to his character. And since that character is good or righteous, it is another way of saying God will be good or righteous. If he promises something, he will stick to it. And so when we call on him, we can expect him to hear us and respond in a good and righteous way. Sure, we scratch our heads at times at a seeming lack of response. Sure, we wonder at times how his goodness is working itself out in apparently adverse circumstances. But the Psalmist himself is well aware of the ambiguities and hardships of life. And yet he insists that God will be faithful to us.
When we call on God we are not calling on some distant deity. He is near to us. He anticipates our calling to him. He can no more resist hearing and responding to our cries than a loving parent can resist responding to a plea for help from a child. In fact, we call on him because in a way he has already called to us. His is the first move. He invites us to call on him to be true to his promises and his character.
God will surely do good to us and for us. Our lifelong task in life is to discern again and again the shape of that goodness.