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The Lord is Good to His People

 

The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. (Lam 3:25-27)

 

Our God is good. If you are saved, you know Him to be good to you in your life, just as I know Him to be good to me in my life. It is a wonderful consideration for those who know the Lord, to acknowledge and confess the goodness of God. In fact, this seems to be a common theme in today’s Christianity, though, perhaps, widely misunderstood. The world of Christianity will outwardly acknowledge God as good, while they are inwardly expecting God to always bless them in a material and physical way, as they confess Him as God, and declare His goodness. They think of God as a God Who owes them only good things in this life, and any controversy or difficulty will cause them to question God’s goodness. However, whether men will acknowledge Him or not – God is now, has always been, and always will be, the Good God. Whether men enjoy goodness at His Hand, or whether evil come upon them in this life; God is still only and always good. In addition, He doesn’t need for any man to declare Him to be good – He is good all the time, because that is Who He is.Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? the goodness of God endureth continually. (Ps 52:1)

 

Today, I want us to consider our text verses, and a few other passages of Scripture, which declare God’s particular goodness towards His people. The next breath that I take, may be my last on this earth. If so, I know that God is still good, and has even been particularly good unto me. Today may be your last day on earth. And yet, if you are saved eternally by the grace of God, I know that you will forever declare that God is good. You and I might be persecuted; we may lose our possessions in this life; we may be frightened, assaulted, harmed, or even slain as we seek to serve the Lord in this life. And yet, this doesn’t change or alter the fact that God is good. He just is. But, in particular, He is good to His people. The flesh and the pleasures and blessing of this life are insignificant when compared to God’s goodness and His eternal favor which He has bestowed upon each of those who have been led to Him as their God and Saviour. Our lives have been changed forever in this mortal realm, and we are made alive and we are made to prosper in the spiritual realm. Oh, how good God is to each of us who are saved! The slave has been redeemed! The sinner has been forgiven! The rebel has been returned! The worthless and the vile has been made into a new creature, in Christ Jesus!

 

Let’s think about what our text verses have to say about God’s goodness, and the particular demonstrations of goodness we can see in the lives of those who are His people. 

 

Those Who Seek Him

 

 The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. (Lam 3:25) The Lord wants His people to follow after Him, and to seek Him for all of their needs. He is faithful to us, and He expects us to depend upon that faithfulness. The results will, undoubtedly, be good. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Rom 8:28)  As we seek the Lord, we necessarily wait upon Him to lead us, to provide for us, to instruct us. We need both His strength and His wisdom. A man or woman in such a case will find that the Lord will be good to Him!

 

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matt 6:31-33) All the world will fail us. We may depend upon, or follow after, or seek after some man or some mortal power; and yet, they will fail us. If nothing else, the strength of man which we seek after will fail us, due to age and the weakness of the flesh. Our determination may be strong; but the ability to retain strength in the face of age or physical weakness is not an ability which any man possesses – though Moses did for a long time.

 

Still, we can count on the One Who has both called us and saved us. We wait upon Him and seek unto Him, and He will be good unto us, and He will have good in store for us. Our strength may expire; evil in this life may come upon us; and yet, in the Lord, there is goodness, and our salvation is unto an ultimately good end. But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isa 40:31)

 

He is Good to Those Who are Hoping in Him

 

It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. (Lam 3:26) Those Who place their hope in the Lord God of Heaven, and Jesus Christ our Saviour, will certainly not be disappointed. In fact, there is no other hope that is as dependable as the hope in God and His goodness. Surely, He will respond unto our hope in Him with showers of blessings, and goodness for our souls! And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing. (Ezek 34:26)

 

The hope that we have is ours, because of the faith in God which is granted unto us in salvation. Surely, our God is faithful unto us, and we believe in Him, and trust Him as our only hope and our only salvation. His goodness unto us thus far, is worthy of our praise and worthy of our amazement. How much more, will He continue to be good unto us in the future, and even in eternity? Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. Blessed be the LORD: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city. For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee. O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.(Ps 31:19-24) We read, also, in the Book of Romans, What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? (Rom 8:31-32)

 

Our God is Great, and our God is Good. In the OT, He was the Hope of Israel. He was always there for them, to rescue then, and to save them. In fact, His goodness was (and is) so great, that He (and it) could fill the House of God. It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD; So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God. (2Chr 5:13-14) His goodness was (and is) so great, that Moses could only see and comprehend the back parts. And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. And the LORD said, 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: And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen. (Exod 33:18-23)

 

Moses saw the “back parts” of God and His glory and His goodness. And Moses believed in God, and placed all of his hope in Him. The same is true of us today. We have seen the evidences of God through His dealings with men. We have seen and known the goodness and the glory of God through His particular dealings with each of us. We know Him to be great and good and glorious. We know Him to be our Saviour and the salvation and hope of all men. We hope in Him, because of faith. We are inspired to wait upon Him, because of faith.

 

As our text verse reminds us, we wait on Him, in that we wait upon the call, the work, and the ministry given unto us – just as Moses and Aaron did, in the tabernacle of the Lord. Also, we wait for Him, in that we know we must abide our time and wait for the Lord to do His great work; wait for the Lord to lead us; wait for the Lord to make our path straight and known unto us. Surely, He can do these things better than we can! We have faith in Him – none know us so well, and none are so strong as our God – and so we wait upon Him. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. (1Thess 5:5-11)

 

He is Good to Those Who Serve in Their Youth

 

It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him. He putteth his mouth in the dust; if so be there may be hope. He giveth his cheek to him that smiteth him: he is filled full with reproach. For the Lord will not cast off for ever: But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men. (Lam 3:27-33) It is a marvelous privilege and a wonderful blessing of God, to serve the Lord from an early age – the Lord will be good to such. But Samuel ministered before the LORD, being a child, girded with a linen ephod…And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the LORD, and also with men. (1Sam 2:18, 26) It is a wonderful goodness of God, that He will save the souls of men, and will even save some when they are young, and then nurture them, and make them of use to Him, as they grow and mature both physically and spiritually. As far as those who are saved – it is the mercy and goodness of God which has prevailed upon them in their youth, and it is good for them to respond with diligent service and faithful obedience to the Word of God, and in the Cause of Christ.

 

A man or a woman cannot grow in experience in the service of God, except that the Lord will allow them some measure of time and some degree of faithfulness in kingdom of God. I suppose that we can say that the service of God is such that youth, vigor, and strength are sometimes necessary, in order for the Lord to accomplish His purpose, and in order for Him to use men in the fulfillment of the Will and Decrees of God. A man or a woman is tempered and trained in the Word of God and in His service. These were the sons of Levi after the house of their fathers; even the chief of the fathers, as they were counted by number of names by their polls, that did the work for the service of the house of the LORD, from the age of twenty years and upward. For David said, The LORD God of Israel hath given rest unto his people, that they may dwell in Jerusalem for ever: And also unto the Levites; they shall no more carry the tabernacle, nor any vessels of it for the service thereof. For by the last words of David the Levites were numbered from twenty years old and above: Because their office was to wait on the sons of Aaron for the service of the house of the LORD, in the courts, and in the chambers, and in the purifying of all holy things, and the work of the service of the house of God; Both for the shewbread, and for the fine flour for meat offering, and for the unleavened cakes, and for that which is baked in the pan, and for that which is fried, and for all manner of measure and size; And to stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD, and likewise at even; And to offer all burnt sacrifices unto the LORD in the sabbaths, in the new moons, and on the set feasts, by number, according to the order commanded unto them, continually before the LORD: And that they should keep the charge of the tabernacle of the congregation, and the charge of the holy place, and the charge of the sons of Aaron their brethren, in the service of the house of the LORD. (1Chr 23:24-32) Did you ever stop and thank the Lord for saving many sons of men in their youth? What would His kingdom be like, if it were only populated with the old and the physically frail? Surely, we have no wisdom in our youth – sometimes, not even much common sense! And yet, God saves some when they are young, because He requires them to grow up in the faith – both physically and spiritually – so that they can be the strength of others, and so that they can be used in ways that the old may not be able. This is the goodness of God! The young and foolish are often far from God, but He will bring them near, as He sees fit.

 

When one is saved while his strength and vigor remains, this makes him able to persevere against what might seem to be more difficult physical or temporal trials and tribulations. As a result, the Christian becomes more of a veteran in the warfare against the powers of darkness. These veterans are then able to be the soldiers at the forefront of the Cause of Christ.

 

These youths turned veterans are thus able to resist the worldly charms and powers, and are enabled by God to soldier on. Many men and women amongst the children of God are in this way hardened against the attacks and troubles of the world, so that they are later, better able to serve the Lord in difficult times. If you are saved as a young man or woman – or, if you were saved when you were young – be sure to give God the glory, and be sure to praise the goodness of God. Humanly speaking, it appears that you have an opportunity to give more years to the service of the Lord. You also have an opportunity to give more strength and vigor to the cause of Christ. Don’t waste those years on yourself and your desires! Don’t waste that strength in the pursuit of earthly pleasures! I think this was David’s idea, when he changed the laws of service for the Levites, to include those who were 20 years old, instead of only those who were 30 years old. It may have been thought that the 20-30 year old male Levites weren’t yet able to carry the parts of the Tabernacle of the Lord in the wilderness. It may have been thought that the 20-30 year old young men were not responsible enough to take up the duties of the Tabernacle of the Lord – even in the times since the Exodus, when the Tabernacle of the Lord was mostly stationary. However, David thought to use these young men, and he thought to give them more responsibilities in the service of the Lord in the Temple of God. And, I think this should be our desire for the youths of our day, as well. Not to set age guidelines upon the service of the Lord in the Church of God. But, rather, to encourage the newly saved – really, young and old alike – to be engaged in the service of God.

 

And, in regard to those who are young and strong, we should encourage them to employ their very youth, and the qualities and strength of the young in the service of the Lord! Just as the Levites were given to the work and the ministry of the Tabernacle and the Temple of God, even so, you and I should commit the strength that we possess to the service of God in the Churches of Jesus Christ. Someone must do the things that require strength, vigor, and the stamina of the young. Don’t stand back and allow the old and the physically weak to carry the burdens of the Church. Step forward, while your youth and strength remains, and do the work and the service required to carry the Gospel forth, and to declare the Word of God to the world of men. Let the world see you and know you as a diligent, faithful, and dedicated child of God.

 

Really, the youth spoken of in our text passage, could apply to any man or woman who is brought unto the Lord Jesus Christ in salvation. He is good to us in this life! Whatever days or years may be left to us, we are still only “youths” when compared to eternity!

 

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