Ps 100 - “A Psalm of praise. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” This week we will bring to a close our four part series on Keys to Overcoming based on Ps 100. We have previously looked at the power of a shout, serving the Lord gladly, and knowing who we are in Christ. This week, we will focus on vs. 5 - knowing Who God is.
Knowing someone is more than just knowing they exist. It is knowing their character and nature. I have found that many people, even Christians, do not really know Who God is. They may believe He exist, and may even trust in Jesus for salvation - but they do not truly know God’s character and nature. This is fundamental to living the overcoming life.
We must know that God is good. We make it a point to confess that God is good every Sunday. Why? So that it will become a reality to us. Ps 100:5 says “The Lord is good”. How many people really believe that? I know many people that attribute every evil, disaster, and calamity to God, and then say, “God is good”. Is it not the thief (satan) who comes to steal, kill, and destroy (Jn 10:10)? Is it not satan who goes about seeking whom he may devour (1Pt 5:8)? Do we know Who God is? Do we know His nature?
God is good, and His mercy endures forever (Ps 106:1). God is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works (Ps 145:9). The earth is full of the goodness of God (Ps 33:5). He causes it to rain on both the just and the unjust. Even the atheist can sit on his front porch and breath the Hill Country air and hear the birds sing and watch the sun rise over the hills. God is good, even to him. Because God is good, he longs to teach sinners His way (Ps 25:8). The goodness of God endures continuously (Ps 52:1)
God is especially good to His children who put faith in Him. He is good to those that wait for Him and seek Him and trust in Him (Lam 3:25, Nah 1:7, Ps 31:19). He fills the hungry soul with goodness, and will withhold no good thing from him (Ps 107:9, 84:11). Can you confess with King David, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life”?
Goodness is a fruit of the spirit, because the Spirit of God is good (Gal 5:22). God’s goodness leads men to repentance (Rom 2:4). God fulfills all of the good pleasure of His goodness in His children (2Thess 1:11). But we must continue in His goodness (Rom 11:22).
The Hebrew word for good used in Ps 100:5 means: beautiful, bountiful, cheerful, favorable, glad, gracious, joyful, kind, loving, merry, pleasant, precious, sweet. That is a description of The God of The Bible. True, God is just, holy, and pure. God executes justice. He judges nations and individuals in the OT; He judged sin on the cross; He will judge the unrighteous and wicked during the tribulation; and He will finally eternally judge all of the unrighteous and wicked at the Great White Throne judgment. Yet, there is a fundamental truth found through out the Bible - God delays judgment, and gives ample opportunity for people or nations to repent.
You see, judgment is God’s last resort – not His first. He extends mercy and grace as much as possible. His nature is to give chance after chance after chance to repent. Where sin abounds, grace does much more abound. God is so good, He doesn’t want any to perish (2Pt 3:9). God is slow to anger (Neh 9:17, Ps 103:8, 145:8, Joel 2:13, Jon 4:2, Nah 1:3), merciful, kind, gracious, and ready to pardon. We must know God. This is Who He is.
This should cause the righteous to rejoice, and to have confidence in the day of judgment (1Jn 2:28, 4:17). Don’t lose hope, but rather believe to see God’s goodness in your life (Ps 27:13). Oh taste and see that the Lord is good (Ps 34:8)! Praise the Lord for His goodness (Ps 107:15)! I pray this has started to give you understanding of God’s nature and character, and that we His children will have a proper view of God. God is good! Until next time, rejoice in The Lord!