Read: Psalm 34:8 |
Bob was walking down the street one day when a man came out of his house onto the sidewalk and handed him a twenty-dollar bill. Bob thought, “Whoa, I cannot believe this!” The next day Bob came down the same street again testing his good fortune. The same person came out of his house, handed him another twenty-dollar bill. Bob was thrilled! For a total of ten days, Bob walked by the house and received twenty dollars each time. The eleventh day, Bob walked by the house but the homeowner did not come out. Feeling entitled and cheated, Bob ran up on the porch, and urgently knocked on the door. The homeowner came to the door, and Bob said, “Where is my twenty-dollar bill?”
While this is not a true story, it does characterize how we can callously treat the goodness of God. God gives and gives and gives like the homeowner in my story. We do not deserve any of it. Yet, as soon as we do not get what we expect, if not careful like Bob, we feel entitled and begin to question His goodness and motives.
What is “good” about God’s Goodness?
From our earth-bound vantage point, goodness exhibits right behavior, expresses itself in kindness and other praiseworthy qualities, and excludes evil or ill will.
The problem with this simplistic definition is that it is based on our simple understanding. Tim Temple in “The Goodness of God”, wrote the goodness of God is “the collective perfections of His nature and the benevolence of His acts.” Unpacking his deep definition, goodness points to the perfectness of His infinite and unchangeable attributes, which comprise His nature: mercy, grace, love, patience, forgiveness, etc. It also points to the benevolence of His actions both in the Bible and in our own lives. In fact Peter echoes that we should “Taste and see that the Lord is good” for ourselves. (I Peter 2:3)
Taste that God is Good
Thomas Manton provides us a fourfold distinction about the goodness of God.
God’s goodness is part of His nature and all that He does whether we understand or agree with it is good. Satan and his imps know about God’s goodness. In fact, the first thing that Satan attacked in the Garden of Eden through Eve was to question the goodness of God. He planted the thought in Eve to ponder why a good God would prevent them from eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Later, when Satan tempted Jesus in the desert, Satan questioned if God was good enough to keep His word and rescue Jesus if He jumped from the high temple. In fact, most of us question God when calamity overtakes our lives and we cannot make sense of the circumstances. But Romans 8:28 teaches us: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, … “.
See that God does Good
God does good by putting His goodness in motion. God does good when He reaches out to relieve the miserable and motherless, then his goodness becomes mercy; When He shows favor to the guilty and undeserving, it is grace. when His goodness gives of itself unconditionally and sacrificially, it is love. When He shows tolerance toward those who deserve punishment, it is patience. When it bears the offense of our sin and absolves us of our guilt, it is forgiveness. [God is So Good]
God is Good. God does Good all the time. The promises, provisions, and protection He provides for His children exhibits and expresses God’s goodness. He keeps all His promises, He provides for us day-by-day and He protects us from the wiles of Satan.
Good grief, God is so Good y’all. Say it with me!
A. It has been said that the first step away from God is to stop being thankful. Therefore, the first step toward God is to become thankful. How long has it been since you sat down and thanked God for one whole prayer. No requests, just thanking Him for His Goodness. Try it!
A. What must I do to understand God’s goodness? Psalm 86:5, 34:8
B. Who can expect to be the beneficiary of God’s goodness? Psalm 31:19;
C. How long can we expect to bask in His goodness? Psalm 23:6
D. When will the Lord’s goodness cease? Psalm 100:5
A. How can I demonstrate the goodness of God in my everyday walk and living testimony?