Look at God’s goodness toward you
By Don Ruhl
What do you do when you lose heart?
Psalm 27 shows what David did when he lost heart. For him, everything in life was about the Lord. Therefore, when faced with a situation where he was tempted to lose heart, what do you think he did, or what do you think entered his mind?
He wrote down Psalm 27 to show us his thoughts, especially verse 13,
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the LORD
In the land of the living.
Belief alone did not help him, but he believed something specifically, believing that he would see the goodness of God.
David faced grievous trials in his life, but through all of them he thought on our Lord God, and those thoughts sustained David, even as they will sustain you.
The Goodness of God Versus the Goodness of Man
The Bible acknowledges the existence of good people. Luke by the Spirit wrote that Barnabas was a good man (Acts 11.22–24). Jesus spoke of a good man who brings good things out of his good heart (Matt 12.35).
However, how long does anyone’s goodness last? It does not last forever, because sooner or later we all sin. Sin denies goodness. Goodness denies sin.
However, Psalm 52 declares that the goodness of God remains. While the mighty boast in their evil, their evil makes them short-lived,
Why do you boast in evil, O mighty man?
The goodness of God endures continually.
God’s goodness lasts forever, because goodness is what God is. God is good and in Him is no evil at all.
Exodus 33 & 34 The Goodness of God Displayed
Exodus 33 records the request of Moses to see God’s glory (Exo 33.18). Listen to God grant that request, but pay attention to how God referred to His glory, “I will make all My goodness pass before you…” (Exo 33.19).
The appearance of God’s goodness would be so great that Moses would not be able to survive the experience, unless God intervened, “But He said, ‘You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.’ And the LORD said, ‘Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen’” (Exo 33.20–23).
For Moses to survive this amazing experience, He needed the protection of rock on three sides, and God’s hand on the exposed side. Imagine that! The glory of God’s goodness is so magnificent that it would take a man’s life just to see it.
However, God promised Moses that he would see God’s backside, a way of letting Moses know that he would not see the full, unveiled goodness of God, it would be somewhat hidden. Then it happened, “Now the LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed before him…” (Exo 34.5, 6).
And what did Moses do? “So Moses made haste and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped” (Exo 34.8).
And what happened to Moses? “Now it was so, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai…that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him. So when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him” (Exo 34.29, 30).
Just a partial glimpse of the glory of God’s goodness made Moses shine, like the moon reflecting the sun. Would you find a moment to comprehend just who our God is, that you might see the greatness of the glory of His goodness?
Romans 11.13–22 The Goodness of God Displayed
God is good and He wants us to take part in His goodness. That is the message of the Bible, and that is the message of Romans 11. In Romans 11 Paul stated that Israelites are the natural branches, which belong in God’s spiritual olive tree.
However, a majority of them have been cut off from the tree and in their place God has invited the rest of the nations to join the tree. The nations are unnatural branches, but the God of heaven can graft us into His tree.
Paul explained further God can be just as severe with us as He has been with the Jews and cut us off through our unbelief.
He can also be just as good toward the Jews as He has been with us and graft them back into His tree again when they believe again.
Then Paul wants us to stand back and look at what he has presented to us, “Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off” (Rom 11.22).
Of course, the moment we commit our first sin, God could have cut us off forever, but He did not desire to do that.
Mark 10.17, 18 The God of Goodness Among Us
To understand the length to which He would go to include us in His goodness, consider something that Mark 10 shows us, “Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, ‘Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?’ So Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God’” (Mark 10.17, 18).
Jesus was not simply a good teacher as we might compliment someone on his teaching ability. Jesus wanted this man to know that God is the embodiment of good and that God stood before the man.
The God of goodness lived among us that He might show us the goodness of God and that He might include us in that goodness.
We confess that Jesus is Lord because He was the Lord who showed the glory of His goodness to Moses, and that means when we start to lose heart we can believe that we will see His goodness in the land of the living, and be revived.
Psalm 145 states what we ought to do with the goodness of God,
They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness,
And shall sing of Your righteousness.
We should do that because as verse 9 declares,
The LORD is good to all,
And His tender mercies are over all His works.
Psalm 107 shows what a psalmist thought of remembering the goodness of God,
Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
Do you know how important this is? The psalmist repeated the same words in verse 15. That was not enough, so the psalmist said it again in verse 21. You would think expressing that wish three times would have been plenty that we would get the idea, but the psalmist had to say it again in verse 31.
Then go to the beginning of the psalm and you will see the theme of the psalm and you will understand why the psalmist kept repeating the idea,
Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Meditate upon the entire psalm and learn why the Holy Spirit wanted the psalmist to repeat the declaration that we thank the Lord for His goodness. Are you ready to share in the goodness of Jesus Christ?
- The Patience of God (thebiblemeditator.wordpress.com)