Just when I think I have a grasp on who God is, I lose it.
When I rest in what I think I know of Him, I become weary.
If I depend on words that I have learned of His kingdom and glory, I soon realize that like Peter, on the mount of transfiguration, there is nothing I can do for Him.
In a staggering momentum I try to keep up with His thoughts and ways, until the years of providence show me there is no holding, resting, or keeping up with Jehovah, the God who created and maintains the heavens and the earth. Words cannot convey the magnitude of His being and working. Knowledge is only the beckoning that draws us to Him, so that we can live in wonder and awe of His magnificent glory as God, the Creator and Redeemer of mankind.
Even with all that His Word says, we can never get our hearts and minds around His inexhaustible goodness.
His Goodness in the Old Testament
Strong’s concordance for goodness in Hebrew translates:
2617a chased ~ lovingkindness
2896b tob ~ a good thing, benefit, welfare
2898 tub ~ good things, goods
Think of a tub overflowing with all that our heavenly Father desires to give His children ~ better still, our languishing in His goodness.
When we study Psalm 107, we see that of the nation of Israel, God’s chosen people, not many knew Him, yet He continued to bless them and provide for them.
In His goodness, He gave instructions; through His law, He promised blessings and curses similar to those He gave Adam and Eve, but written so that there would be no doubt as to their meanings and consequences. In rebellion, without His counsel, they were afflicted; he therefore brought down their heart with labour; they fell and there was none to help (vs. 12).
Then, they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses (6,13,19,28).
Four times in this Psalm, we read of their rebellion, crying out to God, and His saving them. Each of these is followed by the same statement.
“Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” (8,15,21,31).
We must be grateful that His goodness does not depend on us, but only on Him. We do not know of His goodness except through our needs, and in those needs He pours out an abundance of His goodness to us, never-ending because He is always good.
His goodness is a facet of His glory; what we cannot see visibly, we see spiritually in His provisions to us as His children, both physical and spiritual.
In Exodus 34:6, Moses asked God to reveal His glory to him,
“And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,”
He promises His goodness to those who fear and trust in Him (Psalm 31:19).
“I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:13
“The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.” Psalm 33:5
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” Psalm 23:6
His Goodness in the New Testament
Goodness in Greek translates:
2570 kilos ~ beautiful, good
19 agathosune ~ virtue, beneficence
In Romans 2:4, we read that His goodness leads us to repentance.
“Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” Romans 2:4
Goodness is listed as a fruit of the Spirit, the nature and disposition of Christ, working in and through us by His Spirit.
Goodness is related to God’s love, the first of the fruit listed in Galatians 5:22.
His desire for us is that we bear His image, a work that only He can reveal through the power of His Holy Spirit in us. We can read and believe that we are His children through a spiritual birth, but we can never on our own bring this to pass. Read and try, as we might, we soon learn that all of life is a mystery that can never be explained here and now. In faith, we continue to seek His kingdom and His righteousness, while He is doing His Holy work in us.
“He is bountiful and gracious, ready to do them good, and He is the felicitating end, or the blessedness of the soul. The goodness of God to His creatures, according to different respects to them, has its different and various appellations. As it is freely bestowed, it is grace; as it respects them as needy, it is bounty; as it respects them in misery, it is mercy and compassion; as it respects them as provoking, so it is patience; as it intends their good, it is love; as it answers both their necessities and capacities, it is all-sufficiency. All these–His bounty, mercy, compassion, patience, love, and all- sufficiency–are, in a word, His goodness; and goodness calls for love.” HEAVEN OPENED ~ The Riches of God’s Covenant Richard Alleine
Our eternal God and heavenly Father; we thank you for this great goodness revealed to us and in us by your Holy Spirit. We praise you for the overwhelming love revealed in and through Jesus Christ, your Son. Let us not settle for less that the goodness you promise, even though it is more than we can comprehend, We long for, pray and wait for you to work it in us. Let us not lose our hope in Christ, nor grow weary, but keep us close and grow us in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. In His name we pray. Amen.
Psalm 25:4-5 Show Me Thy Ways Scripture Tunes