God’s goodness is much more than a fleeting feeling or a comfortable moment. God’s goodness exceeds any desire we could dream.
Once upon a time, during the 1960s and ’70s, a television commercial for an antacid gave us the phrase “Try it, you’ll like it.” The commercial’s catchphrase was so famous it transcended the advertisement and ended up being used to entice us to try other things. I used the phrase to urge my boys to eat a green vegetable. Friends use the phrase to encourage me to try an exercise class.
The phrase intends to encourage us to take a taste, try it, enjoy the experience because when you do, you will want more.
And so it is with the goodness of God. Psalm 34:8 urges us to “Taste and see…” The writer is saying, “Take one look, know and experience.” Because when you do, you will know how good God is.
When we understand God’s goodness, we learn that we need more than a taste. “Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!" (Psalm 34:8 NLT) But what does it mean that God is good? And why do we say He is good all the time?
What Does 'God Is Good' Mean?
The goodness of God is not equivalent to any earthly description. For us, good means the opposite of bad. We say many things are good: a steak, a vacation, a friendly person. These things are satisfying to our appetites, enjoyable for a time, and encouraging. But God’s goodness is much more than a fleeting feeling or a comfortable moment. God’s goodness exceeds any desire we could dream.
God’s goodness is His character. Goodness is one of God’s many attributes. Good is who God is, and good is what God does. Psalm 119:68 says it best, “You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees.”
God’s character as good means that He is morally excellent, exceptionally beautiful, always joy-filled, and gives lavish gifts. Good began with God. We try to be good; it’s a quality we attempt to attain, but for God, good is who He is. God’s goodness is indescribable and above human understanding.
God’s goodness is more than who He is, but also what He does.
God gives good gifts. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)
God created us. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you…” (Jeremiah 1:5)
God saves us from death. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
God is the definition of good and the only One who is truly good. “‘Why do you call me good?’Jesus answered. ‘No one is good—except God alone.’” (Mark 10:18)
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Good Began with God
The good God does begins in Genesis as Creator. He breathed into existence everything, and when He looked out across what He made from nothing, God was pleased. What he created was perfect. The Garden of Eden was perfect. Everything on the earth was perfect. The universe spun with precision. And He made us to reflect His goodness. All He created, in the beginning, is a result of His goodness.
“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31a). God saw that everything He made was exceedingly favorable and pleasant and the best. Therefore, everything God creates—including you and me—is perfect. God saw that all He made is good.
God Is Good (All the Time)
When Moses led the Israelites through the wilderness, he needed assurance that God would be present. He needed to see God. Moses begged, “Please show me your glory” (Exodus 33:18). And God in his goodness answered Moses’ request, “And he said, ‘I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name “The LORD.’”” (Exodus 33:19)
What Moses saw after God passed by was God in all his splendid, glorious goodness.
The goodness Moses witnessed and the continued generosity God lavished on His people, even when they grumbled and complained and built idols out of gold, flowed from His lovingkindness, His loyal love.
The Hebrew word for this kind of love is “khesed.” The Bible Project says that there is no word in our language that compares. God’s loyal love is a combination of love, generosity, and commitment. God’s goodness comes from His eternal compassionate, faithful love.
In Psalm 136:1, the psalmist praises God because of His goodness and abiding “khesed” love. “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.” For 26 verses, the writer reminds us that God’s loyal love never ends. God is good and loving all the time.
God’s loyal love for us is displayed in His goodness. For Moses, it was His presence and provision as the Israelites wandered for decades across the desert. For Joseph, it was a plan to save his family even after they sold him as a slave. For us, it is the saving sacrifice of His Son, Jesus.
Even when we grumble and complain as the Israelites did, God is good. Even when we turn away and go our own way, God is good. And for all the sin we commit, God remains good.
God’s goodness does not depend on who we are. God is good because of who He is, and He cannot deny himself. God is good all the time.
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What Is God's Goodness Like?
God’s goodness and loyal love are also generous. Paul writes, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). Whatever we need, God supplies. The Israelites wandered the desert for decades, yet their clothes and sandals never wore thin, and each day there was food from heaven. Our generous and good God met their needs.
And God goes beyond practical needs. When we are afraid, He gives us courage. When we are weak, He provides the strength we need. If we need wisdom, all we have to do is ask. When we are sinners, He forgives. He provides everything we need every time we have needs.
And his generosity never runs out. God created all things, and all things belong to him, and he shares His wealth with us. We are rich because God is rich with all that we need. Our job is to share those gifts with others. When we are generous, it is because God was generous first.
Paul writes in 2 Corinthians that we will reap what we sow. If we sow generously, as God does, then we reap generously (2 Corinthians 9:6). In other words, if we stockpile God’s good and generous gifts, our reward will be small. But if we share what we have been given unselfishly, the rewards are great, both now and in eternity. “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).
We can be good because God has already been good to us.
Tasting God’s Goodness
There are days, especially in the current world situation, we may feel God has abandoned us or withdrawn His goodness. Not so. We continue to see God’s goodness everywhere all the time.
We experience God’s goodness when we look at the blue skies and the emergence of spring from beneath the cold winter. We know God’s goodness each time we hug a loved one or hear a baby laugh. We see God’s goodness and glory with every word of Scripture. God’s goodness swirls around us, waiting for us to notice, and then, when we do, we can share it with someone who needs a taste of God’s goodness.
Today, try and see God’s goodness. Know that He is good. You’ll like it.
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Tamela Turbeville wants every woman to know God loves them, no matter what their past looks like. She lives in Arkansas and while writing she is surrounded by her six rescue dogs who are usually sleeping. She began her website and blog, Living One Word, to share how God redeems even the most broken lives. You can read more from Tamela at www.livingoneword.com, on Facebook, and Instagram. Her new book, A Rescued Life, is now available on Amazon.
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