Conflicts about the goodness of God – Part 5
God cannot give his children anything less than what reflects his character. Psalm 119:68 states that God is good and does good. Think of the goodness of God to man and all his creation. How vast and enormous! The Psalm 145:9 says, “The LORD is good to all, And His tender mercies are over all His works” (Psalms 145:9 NKJV)
Many are struggling with unresolved conflicts about the providence and benevolence of God. They ask such question as: why do the righteous suffer? Why do the righteous experience pain in life? Why does the unbeliever live longer in life, and some cases, enjoy life better than the believer? Why does the unbeliever prosper more than the believer?
A heartbroken widow once lamented over the death of her husband in these words, “Lord, my husband was a very good man. He served faithfully in your vineyard all the days of his life. Why would he die at 53 years, yet his father who was a non-believer died at 98 years?” She further asked God, “Lord, why is it I exercised faith while my husband was sick, I read and confessed all the promises relating to healing, yet you did not heal my servant?” This is the feeling of a heartbroken widow. Some doubt the goodness of God at one time or another. They wished God gave them something better or more of one thing or another.
Not even the prophets are exempted from such conflicting lamentation about the goodness of God. For instance, Jeremiah, 12:1-2; Job, 12:6; 21:6-16; Habakkuk 1:4; Malachi 3:15; and the Psalmist 73:12-17, all questioned why the unrighteous seem to enjoy the goodness of God more than the righteous.
Job asked, “The tents of robbers prosper, And those who provoke God are secure— In what God provides by His hand. “But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you; Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; And the fish of the sea will explain to you. Who among all these does not know That the hand of the LORD has done this, In whose hand is the life of every living thing, And the breath of all mankind?” (Job 12:6-10 NKJV)
Jeremiah in chapter 12:1-2 asked, “Righteous are You, O LORD, when I plead with You; Yet let me talk with You about Your judgments. Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why are those happy who deal so treacherously? You have planted them, yes, they have taken root; They grow, yes, they bear fruit. You are near in their mouth But far from their mind” (Jeremiah 12:1-2 nkjv)
Though these statements reflect the lingering questions by man through the ages, they are generalisations about the true fate of the righteous and the unrighteous. The Bible answers to some of these questions lie in the sovereignty of God. God has the sovereign freedom to act according to his own “good pleasure,” following the dictates of his delights (Psalm 135:5-6)
While we may not have answers to all the conflicts people have about the goodness of God, we are certain of this fact, God is good and like Charles Spurgeon wrote, “Even in affliction God is good, and does good. This is the confession of experience.” God can still turn our mourning into dancing. He turns our bitter experiences into a blessing of joy as he did for Hannah, Naomi, Elizabeth and others. He can do the same for us today. Contact:firstname.lastname@example.org
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