When all goes well as far as our flesh is concerned, it is easy to say that God is good. When things go against our flesh, however, we find it difficult to thank and praise God for what has happened. There is a virtue of God which means that He is good, that we find very difficult to confess, even when things go well with our flesh.
What the psalmist wrote in Psalm 119:137-138 reveals this truth. We read: "Righteous art Thou, O Lord, and upright are Thy judgments. Thy testimonies that Thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful."
That God is righteous means that He is good. He is ethically, morally good. There is no sin in Him. And there is no sin either in His law. In fact, that law reveals how righteous He is and how faithful He is to Himself. Our calling is to say by walking in His law that He is good. The minute we sin we say that God has not given us a good law, and thus there is evil in Him. When we sin we disagree with God as to what is good for us. Then we cannot honestly sing:
O Lord, Thy perfect righteousness
Is in Thy judgments shown;
In Thy unchanging faithfulness
Thy truth Thou hast made known.
It is true that God's law is good for our neighbor. It keeps him from hurting or killing us, from stealing what is ours, and from putting us to shame. But that is not the whole picture. Our calling is to say that God's law is good for us to keep, and that it serves our spiritual good.
In verse 140 the psalmist rightly called himself God's servant. That we are, and the good thing for a servant to do is to obey his master fully and always.. And if the life of Christ is in us we will see the good of God's law.
Jesus said that to the devil when He said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." That is a good reply, and serving God is a good work.
Be careful then today so that you do not by sins say that God is not good and that you have a better idea of what is good.
Read: Psalm 119:137-152
Psalter versification: 338:1
(Words and Music of the Psalter)
Meditations on the Heidelberg Catechism
Song for Meditation: Psalter number 380
Why not sing along??
Through the Bible in One Year
Jeremiah 48 ; Jeremiah 49:1-22
2 Timothy 4:1-22
Psalm 95 ; Psalm 96:1-13
Quote for Reflection:
… yet a universal doctrine may be understood as taught here, — that if we desire to form our life aright, we must especially strive to restrain the tongue, for no part of man does more harm. – John Calvin