Calling on God in “Truth”

Psalm 145:18 says, “The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth” (ESV).

If we read the Psalms in light of Christ as, e.g., Augustine tells us too, we might think of John 14:6: “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'”

By substitution, then, we can reread Psalm 145:18 as, “The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in Christ.” Which is, of course, true, and in fact is the meaning of the Bible.

Indeed, one might have expected Augustine to say something similar in the Enarrationes in Psalmos, though in this instance, as it happens, he doesn’t. Still, he says something apt, and something quite in keeping with many of the #Gerhardphorisms (aphorisms from Johann Gerhard) I try to tweet out most days. Here’s Augustine:

Therefore if God is good, who has given you what you have, how much more blessed will you be when He has given you Himself! You have desired all these things of Him: I beseech you desire of Him Himself also. For these things are not truly sweeter than He is, nor in any way are they to be compared to Him. He then who prefers God Himself to all the things which he has received, whereat he rejoices, to the things he has received, he “calls upon God in truth.

Compare the following from Gerhard:

Quando cor desiderio et amore mundi vacuatum est, tunc coelestis Elisaeus in vacuum illud vasculum oleum coelestis gaudii infundit. 2. Reg. 4. 

“When the heart has been emptied of desire and love for the world, then the heavenly Elisha pours into the empty vessel the oil of heavenly joy.” (2 Kings 4)

Quamprimum gustamus suavitatem coelestis gaudii, diminuitur amor mundi, quia perfectius tollit imperfectum. 

“As soon as we taste the sweetness of heavenly joy, our love for the world is diminished, because the more perfect does away with the imperfect.”

Gustato Spiritu desipit caro.

“When we have tasted the Spirit, the flesh loses its savor.”


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