Enjoying the goodness of God – Part 1
For long, the inquiry about God’s goodness has preoccupied man’s attention. While some debate about the fairness of God’s goodness, others confess and savour His goodness. The inquiry into this subject will be our focus in the next few weeks. What is the goodness of God? Dr. David Jeremiah writes, “His goodness means far more than His generosity, but it certainly includes His infinitely generous attitude toward us. By nature, He longs to bring joy and blessing to all His creatures.”
The Psalmist in chapter 119:68 reveals to us that God is the source and giver of all goodness. He writes, “You are good, and do good; Teach me Your statutes” (Psalms 119:68 NKJV). How do you know the true character of a person? By his actions. So we can say that God’s goodness concentrates on what He does. And the Bible is full of examples of his actions, his kindness, his mercy, his steadfast love, his generosity.
Charles H. Spurgeon comments thus on Psalm 119:68, “God is good by nature, and essence, and proven to be good in all the acts of his eternity. Compared with him there is none good, no, not one: but he is essentially, perpetually, superlatively, infinitely good. We are the perpetual partakers of his goodness, and therefore ought above all his creatures to magnify his name.”
At creation, we see the outworking of God’s goodness. Every stage of creation bore His approval. The good God admired His works and declared them to be good. And when He had finished Creation, He declared it to be very good, with no lingering traces of disorder. “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day” (Genesis 1:31 NKJV). It was sin that threw the Creator’s world into chaos.
God displayed His goodness to the children of Israel all through their journey in the wilderness. In Deuteronomy 8:7, He said He was taking them to a good land. In verse 10, He urged them to remember to bless the Lord after they would have eaten of the fruit of the good land. Then in verse 16, He stated that the purpose of taking them through the wilderness was, “to do you good in the end.” So, God’s acts to the children of Israel was for their good.
When Moses pleaded with God to show him His glory, He responded by promising to make all His goodness pass before him.
“Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” (Exodus 33:19 NKJV).
Later in Exodus 34:6, God passed before Moses and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.” (Exodus 34:6-7 NKJV).
God intimates here that He regards His goodness to be one with His glory, which includes His mercy, His grace, His long-suffering and His truth. Moses quickly bowed down in worship after God passed by Him and proclaimed His goodness. Perhaps, bowing down before God was Moses’ way of acknowledging and enjoying the goodness of God.
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