God is Good

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.” 1 Chronicles 16:34a
“The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.” Psalm 145:9

“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.” Psalm 34:8

Let’s begin with a definition, which isn’t as easy as it might appear. The theologians tell us that God’s goodness is “his benevolence to his creation” or “his kindness exhibited toward all he has made.” That seems a bit vague so perhaps we might state the matter this way. God’s goodness is the answer to the question: Is this a friendly universe? The answer is yes; when we come to the end of our thinking we find that behind the vastness of this universe stands a God who cares about what he has made. He is not indifferent (as in stoicism) or undecided (as in dualism) or absent (as in atheism), but he is fully involved for the good of the universe because he himself is a good God.

In studying the matter this week I have been impressed with the vast amount of material that bears on this subject. God’s goodness is a vast subject that occupies a huge portion of the Old and New Testaments. In preparing a sermon such as this, the expositor has two choices. He can provide a survey of the entire biblical doctrine or he can focus on just one part and hope it points toward the whole. It is the latter course I have chosen to take in this message. Rather than cover God’s goodness systematically, I would like to focus our thinking a bit.

We often sing “God is So Good. He’s so good to me.” That’s true of course, but to say it that way limits our thinking to us. We know that from God’s point of view the human race is divided into two broad categories: