The Word of God, in Matthew 19:17b, says, “There is only One Who is good [perfectly and essentially]—God.”. By faith, as believers, we hold onto the Word of God and all it says, as absolute truth. It’s what we base our lives on. We have made the choice, that no matter what our circumstances shout, or what opinions are raging on around us, to believe God’s Word above all else.
Having said that, we can believe that our God is good, just on the basis of what His Word says about Him. But you and I know that there is more than enough evidence in our own lives to back this truth don’t we? We have come to personally know Him in a way where we simply can’t separate Him from His goodness, in spite of the trouble we face, or the challenges we encounter in this life. Just like the psalmist, we can wholeheartedly say, “Oh taste and see that the Lord [our God] is good! Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who trusts and takes refuge in Him.” (Psalm 34:8 AMPC).
Today, I would like to take you to a passage of scripture that describes the goodness of God to us in a way that influences us spirit, soul and body. It’s actually from the Old Testament. I’m so grateful that the whole of God’s Word, Old Testament And New. It has all been inspired by the Holy Spirit, and is as relevant for our instruction and encouragement today as it was the day it was written. Romans 15:4 says, “For whatever was thus written in former days was written for our instruction, that by [our steadfast and patient] endurance and the encouragement [drawn] from the Scriptures we might hold fast to and cherish hope.”
The more time we spend expectantly searching for God and His good character in His Word, the more we will find Him. Jeremiah 29:13 assures us of this. “Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord,...”
Now, although the particular piece of scripture we are going to look at was written for the Israelites, according to the covenant God made with Abraham, it’s just as relevant for every born-again believer today. Galatians 3:29 pretty much sums that truth up for us, “And if you belong to Christ [are in Him Who is Abraham’s Seed], then you are Abraham’s offspring and [spiritual] heirs according to the promise.”
So let’s go straight to Jeremiah 31:10-14, and with expectant, open hearts, choose to see God’s good character and intentions towards us. As we let the truth we find here soak and sink into our hearts and minds, we will become even more convinced of God’s goodness, regardless of what our present or immediate circumstances may appear to be. And that truth will cause the peace of God to radiate through us and fill us with joy. That joy becomes our strength to ride out whatever we go through in this life, with a full confidence that God is with us. Like a good shepherd, He will always lead us through to victory. That’s what 2 Corinthians 2:14 says, “But thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumph [as trophies of Christ’s victory] and through us spreads and makes evident the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere,..”
Jeremiah 31:10-12;14, “Hear the word of the Lord, O you nations, and declare it in the isles and coastlands far away, and say, He Who scattered Israel will gather him and will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock. For the Lord has ransomed Jacob and has redeemed him from the hand of him who was too strong for him. They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion and shall flow together and be radiant with joy over the goodness of the Lord—for the corn, for the juice [of the grape], for the oil, and for the young of the flock and the herd. And their life shall be like a watered garden, and they shall not sorrow or languish any more at all...I will satisfy fully the life of the priests with abundance [of offerings shared with them], and My people will be satisfied with My goodness, says the Lord.“
One morning I decided to listen to a message on this particular passage of scripture, by Jeremy Pearsons. It stirred my heart and grew my faith and expectancy concerning the goodness of God in my life. It inspired me to make a point of really opening my eyes to see the evidence of the goodness of God in every portion of scripture, and use it as a basis for my belief in the truth that He really is a Good God!
“He ... will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.”
In verse 10, we see that God is described as a shepherd. That’s something we can bank as our point of reference towards Him. He is diligent, protective and careful concerning us, and as we look through the Word, we find Him to be an extremely good shepherd. John 10:11, calls Him the Good Shepherd Who risks and lays His own life for His sheep. In verse 14, He is called a Good Shepherd because He recognises and knows His sheep and they recognise and know Him. Can anything or anyone compare to this kind of goodness? The Creator of the universe, so lovingly and willingly giving of Himself to His own creation? He wants to be intimately, and completely known by us and holds nothing back from us concerning His good character.
“For the Lord has ransomed Jacob and has redeemed him from the hand of him who was too strong for him.”
Verse 11 of Jeremiah 31, tells us of God’s goodness towards us with regards to our spirits being redeemed and ransomed from, “... the hand of him who was too strong for (us).”. It’s always important for us to remember that without Christ in our lives, we are weaker than the devil and at the mercy of our circumstances, or anything that comes against us. However, with Christ in us, where we are weak, He is strong and He is greater than anyone or anything that comes against us. (1 John 4:4, “He Who lives in you is greater (mightier) than he who is in the world.”)
“They shall...be radiant with joy over the goodness of the Lord—for the corn, for the juice [of the grape], for the oil, and for the young of the flock and the herd.”
Here we see God’s goodness manifest in the physical well being of His children. He provides every need to the point where we become radiant with joy because of His blessing! I know you can probably think of several scriptures, just off the top of your head, concerning God’s goodness to us, specifically when it comes to His generous provision.
“And their life shall be like a watered garden, and they shall not sorrow or languish any more at all...”
One translation says, “...their souls shall be like a well watered garden...”. The goodness of God touches our intellect, our emotions and our wills. When we choose to meditate on His promises and believe He is as good as His Word says He is, we will grow an expectation and faith to see that goodness demonstrated in our lives. Sorrow and the fear of lack or failure no longer dominate our souls, when our minds are full of hope. We have been given the mind of Christ, we see with His eyes and think His thoughts when we keep our attention on His Word. Remember, we have not been given a spirit of fear, but love, power and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
“...I will satisfy fully the life of the priests with abundance..., and My people will be satisfied with My goodness, says the Lord.“
The NKJ version says the Lord will satiate the life of the priests with abundance. To satiate is to saturate something to the point that it simply isn’t possible to absorb any more than it already has. Can you imagine your life being so filled with the goodness of God, that you simply can’t absorb any more of it? Can you see yourself as being so completely satisfied with the abundant goodness of the Lord, that it just overflows out of your life, into the lives of others?
This may be an extravagant perspective of the goodness of God made available to us. I will remind us, however, that we can believe that our God is this good, just on the basis of what His Word says about Him.
The question is, are we willing to dare to believe and expect it for ourselves? I do, and my hope is that as you renew your mind to the truth of His Word, you will choose to believe it too.
All my love,