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God's Glory and Goodness, Part 1

September 29, 2017

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

2 Peter 1:3-4NIV

 

What is God’s goodness?

 

There are three ways we can look at the goodness of God.

Saying, "God is good" is:

  1. describing a characteristic (or property) of Him;

  2. a definition of Him; and,

  3. describing an experience of Him.

The eighth verse of Psalm 34 tells us that God is good.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!

 

Psalm 34 (included at bottom of blog) penned by King David during one of the lowest moments of his life, reflects all 3 of these versions of God's goodness.

 

A Characteristic of God:

God does good things –

Doesn’t do bad things, or mediocre things,

or things which don’t work out.


As a characteristic of God, saying, "God is good" is like saying, "water is wet."  That doesn't define it, but describes one of its properties.  However it does not distinguish water from oil, gasoline or vinegar, or juice or other liquids.

 

“God is good” used as a single characteristic of God, distinguishes Him from being bad, or evil or rotten. Therefore, The psalmist is identifying a property of God, so we know that (among other things) he is good, which means he does good things and doesn’t do bad things or mediocre things or things which don’t quite work out.

 

Now imagine, instead of saying “water is wet,” I said, “water is the liquid that descends from the clouds as rain, forms streams, lakes, and seas, and is a major constituent of all living matter and that when pure is an odorless, tasteless, very slightly compressible liquid oxide of hydrogen H2O which appears bluish in thick layers, freezes at 0° C and boils at 100° C, has a maximum density at 4° C and a high specific heat, is feebly ionized to hydrogen and hydroxyl ions, and is a poor conductor of electricity and a good solvent [merriam-webster.com]”

 

Suddenly my statement has become larger.

 

This is not just a description, but a definition: anywhere you find this type of substance, you will, by definition, have water, and vice versa.  

 

In the same way, God is good by definition.

 

Anywhere you find goodness you will, by definition, have God, and vice versa. You can’t have God without goodness, and you can’t have goodness without God.

 

This is the teaching of the whole of Scripture. Everything God made was very good (Genesis 1:31). No one is good except God (Mark 10:18). All things work together for good for those who love God (Romans 8:28). Those who seek Yahweh lack no good thing (Psalm 34:10). And so on.

 

God is Good by definition.

You can’t have goodness without God.


I believe that David is actually challenging us to see "God is good"  as an experience in verse 8: 

 

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! 

 

On our worst days, during our darkest moments, when all sense of hope and joy has vanished, we can perhaps see that God is good as a characteristic of Him or as a definition of God in a theoretical, abstract kind of way.  But our dire circumstances on these bad days blind us from knowing God as good on a personal level.

 

However here, David, in his suffering, cries out for us to join him, to come experience (taste) and observe (see) for ourselves the goodness of God.  

 

It is no longer an objective statement about God.  David is now saying something subjective, based on his own experience. 

 

God’s goodness is something which you can only verify by trying it yourself.

David has included a list of examples of God’s goodness to him — like deliverance (verse 4), provision (verse 10), being heard (verse 15), and so on — and he is urging us to experience this goodness ourselves. 

 

Experiencing God’s goodness:

God’s goodness is something you can only verify by trying it yourself.


Do you know the goodness of God?

Have you tasted and seen the goodness of God?

 

Perhaps your circumstances are preventing you from knowing that God is good.

Perhaps your past has convinced you that a good God would not have allowed it.

 

We can help you know that God is good and He loves you.

We can help you see that Jesus has never left you and never will forsake you.

Two of Twelve Ministries is here to help lead you to that divine revelation to set you free.

2of12ministries.org


 

Psalm 34 (ESV)

Of David, when he changed his behavior before Abimelech, so that he drove him out, and he went away.

   I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad.
   Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!

I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.
   Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.

 

This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.
   The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! 

   Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!
   The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

Come, O children, listen to me;I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
   What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good?
Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.
   Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry.
   The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.
   The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
   He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.
Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
   The Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

 

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