By Sunny Kundhi
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Psalm 34:8
Although the goodness of God is one of God’s attributes, it is also evidence in every aspect of his nature and character – God is Good in every way. You cannot separate what is good from God – You cannot have goodness without God, just as you cannot have God without goodness.
God alone is good:
And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. Mark 10:18
No man is good:
The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good Psalm 14:1; as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; Romans 3:10.
God is the source of everything that is good:
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17
God does not withhold any good thing from His children.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favour and honour. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly Psalm 84:11
So we know that God is good – and we say it prayers and sing it in songs but the psalmist goes deeper and says Gods goodness is not just something we should learn about and know but it has it’s full affect when it is experienced.
I want us to look at 2 (of the many) aspects of God’s goodness:
- The goodness of God in salvation
- The goodness of God is suffering
The goodness of God in salvation
God is good to all men in His common grace, blessings the wicked and the righteous, the rich and poor. But God is particularly good to those who believe in the gospel.
The goodness of God is arguable most evident in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel means “good news” and how good it is!
The bad news is that man is a sinner, deserving God’s eternal wrath and can do nothing in and of himself to be saved.
But the good news is that God in His goodness has provided a way to escape his judgment by forgiving our sins, declaring us righteous and promising us eternity with Him.
He did this by sending Jesus to live a perfect life (one we could not live), to die on the cross (a death we deserved), but to rise from the dead on the third day and ascend into heaven.
Nowhere is the goodness of God more evident than in the person of our Lord.
O taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
In the verse psalmist speaks about the blessing that will be ours if we take refuge in him – the greatest blessing we have is to be in his care.
However, with this offer of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ, there is also a warning and a responsibility.
The warning is for who reject the goodness of God in Christ. If you reject the gospel, then you bring upon yourselves the divine wrath of God.
The responsibility is for those who believe the Gospel. If you know the pleasures of the salvation and the danger of rejection, there is a responsibility to share the good news with all men, so God will save them.
The goodness of God is suffering
Some people only speak about the goodness of God when things are going well and all is good with the world – but I believe this psalm teaches us something about God’s goodness in the midst of suffering.
In our darkest and most suffering moment, we can say “God is good” but we can say it and believe it, without really meaning it.
But once you have tasted, you can experience true joy in the midst of suffering, and say with full assurance and full confidence that I have tasted and seen that God is good.
Rather than making objective statement you now say something subjective, an opinion based on your experience.
This is the clearest meaning of the cry, “O, taste and see that the Lord is good!”
The psalmist has got 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 as readers to experience this goodness ourselves.
Knowing God is good but experiencing his goodness is far better.
Yet the psalmist affirms his experience of God’s goodness from a place of suffering. In verse 19, he says “Many are the afflictions of the righteous.”
Even with a good God, who is sovereign over everything and has the power to do whatever he likes, good people still suffer.
However the psalmist say: “but God delivers him out of them all.” Evil happens, but “none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned” (34:22).
Therefore, when we’re suffering, if God has done something, it is good. We should rest in him and trust him.
We may well not understand why God has done it, of course. Job didn’t either. But we can be confident, based on Scripture and on our experience, that God is good.
We may not like it or we may deny it but the truth is that God uses suffering as a means to accomplish his will, and when we go through this suffering, I pray you cry like the psalmist did “I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good”