#34 The Goodness of the Lord

15 April 1999

"I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living"-Psalm 27:13 Faintness of heart is a common infirmity. He who slew Goliath was subject to its attack. It is that time in which we are ready to give up. Everywhere we look, we see evil and fear has griped our hearts. The straw that broke the Camel's back is added to our affliction and we are inclined to say, "Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar!"-Psalm 120:5. Let us be honest. We all walk through the dark valley and have depressed spirits from time to time. This is nothing to be ashamed of. But let us not dwell there. Let us rise once again with renewed freshness, with hope in our hearts, believing that we shall "see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." This was David's hope. Let it be ours. God's goodness has always been a strength to His own. With a view of His goodness, Moses received strength to go on. Described as "the friend of God", Moses first knew God as the great "I am", the self sustaining, self existing, everlasting God who has no beginning or end. He witnessed God's power in their deliverance from Pharaoh as well as God's wrath in their disobedience. But that was not the end of his experience. Let it not be ours. For the journey before him, Moses must see God in more intimate terms. He must see God's glory: he MUST see God's "goodness". The only way that sinful man may gain a glimpse of this goodness is through Christ. In a figure, that is how God revealed His glory to Moses, for His goodness, His Holiness, is His glory. When Moses asked the Lord to "shew me thy glory", the Lord told Moses, "I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee"......"Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by." Has He revealed His goodness to you? In another psalm, we are reminded that "the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord". Yes, in the midst of the tragedies, the heartaches, the sufferings, the earth remains to be "Full of the goodness of the Lord". The showers from above sustain us; the earth brings forth the bountiful harvest for our food. Even the air we breath is a product of His grace. Must we go on? But why do we hear so little about it? Because man is not inclined to publish "the goodness of the Lord". The headlines are full of evil tidings and events. Surely, this is an evil in our day and is designed to turn our eye away from "the goodness of the Lord". Since we are told, "it is a shame even to speak of those things(works of darkness) which are done of them in secret"(Ephesians 5:12) we see the ultimate publisher of evil tidings. Oh, that the headlines would read, "NOTE TODAY, THE GOODNESS OF THE LORD"! Since man is not naturally inclined to see, or acknowledge, "the goodness of the Lord", His goodness is most commonly veiled in terms of "lucky" and "good break". This is a mark of our depravity. Credit should be given where it is due. Let us join our voices with the psalmist and say, "Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!"-Ps. 107. Without an eye to His goodness, man will naturally be inclined to misjudge God and the events which surround him. If they can, the wicked will hide His goodness from the eyes of His children. They will present Him in rough terms. Thus, the heart will become discouraged: we will faint in this wilderness. Fainting Christians are easily captured! Therefore, those who truly know Him must look for His goodness and acknowledge Him as good. Though there are evil workers in every society, God will outlive them for "the goodness of God endureth continually"-Ps. 52:1. An eye to His goodness will make the rough places smooth and the crooked straight. A blindness to His goodness causes us to groan: our faith is dead; our hope is stagnant; the future looks doubtful; and the present is disturbing. If HE never did another good thing for us in this life should we not continue to boast in "the goodness of the Lord"!! "Come thou fount of every blessing, teach my heart to sing thy praise." Come to worship with us at HARMONY PRIMITIVE BAPTIST CHURCH, at Donaldson, where God is sovereign and salvation is by His abundant and amazing grace. Services begin at 10:30 a.m. each Sunday morning. Phone 501-337-1115. by His Grace, Neil Phelan, Jr., Pastor.