Good (Psalm 73: 1; 34: 8)

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Good (Psalm 73: 1; 34: 8). “Good” seems like such a commonplace word. And how often do we use the phrase “good God” to swear rather than to acknowledge the goodness of God.

But Scripture tells us God is good. Psalm 73: 1 says, “Surely God is good to Israel.” Psalm 145:9 says, “The Lord good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.” Psalm 34:8 says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”

In 1 Chronicles 16:34, we read, “O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and lovingkindness endure forever.” Psalm 86:5 says, “For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.”

In Matthew 19: 16-17, we read of the man who asked Jesus, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” To which Jesus replied, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only One (God) who is good…”

Sometimes it’s hard to look at the world around us- or the hurts in our lives or the evil done to us- and immediately recognize the goodness of God. But let’s not make the mistake of using darkness to discount the existence of light instead of recognizing darkness for what it is: the absence of light.

Likewise, too many of us have been taught that God is out to get us, just waiting to pounce at our first misstep, but this wrong teaching directly contradicts God’s nature as the One Who is truly, fully, and intrinsically/essentially good.

“What would have become of me” David writes in Psalm 27: 13, “had I not believed that I would see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living!”

One of the reasons for studying the names and attributes of God is to better understand the character of God. And central to that character is His goodness.

Jesus reveals himself in Scripture as the “good shepherd” who gives his life for the sheep (John 10: 11). Both Matthew (7:11) and Luke (11:13), talk about God as a Father who gives us what is good. And in one of Scripture’s most beautiful stories, we see Jesus tell of the wayward son who squandered his inheritance-yet, when he returned home, broken and repentant, his father saw him while he was still far away. Luke 15:20 says the father was “moved with pity and tenderness for him and he ran and embraced him and kissed him.”

This is the nature of God, our good Father, who is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3: 9)

It is a seemingly simple phrase to use – saying we have a “good God”. Yet, in this simplicity is the incomparable tenderness and compassion of a loving Father who is only and eternally-good.

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