“Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts, and I will declare Your greatness. They shall utter [marginal, eagerly utter] the memory of Your great goodness, and shall sing of Your righteousness. The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy. The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.” Psalm 145:6-9.
This is a description of God’s personality but it falls far short because God is infinite as mentioned in “The Horseman, Part 1” so His personality has to be infinite.
This means that God does not have a quality of goodness but that He is infinitely good. He is not just righteous but He is infinitely righteous.
According to the dictionary goodness is a quality of being good, moral excellence; virtue, kindness; generosity.
Try to imagine a goodness that is without end; one completely devoid of pettiness or favoritism, God’s goodness is not only, not tainted with sin but part of a character that abhors sin. A holiness of which it can be said, “…the stars are not pure in His sight” Job 25:5b.
In Psalm 145:8, the Lord is infinitely gracious, and full of compassion. Is it surprising to see that He is “slow to anger and great in mercy”?
“The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy.” Psalm 145:8.
The Bible tells us.
“Indeed these are the mere edges of His ways, and how small a whisper we hear of Him! But the thunder of His power who can understand?” Job 26:14.
“The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works” Psalm 145:9.
Notice in this verse, “The Lord is good to all”. Think of that, good to all. This shows us that God is not some prankster or mean spirited person who is good to His friends and an enemy to their enemies.
Would you say this is true? Look at the misery, the disease, the hunger, and chaos about you. Is verse nine true? “Well, no!”
Look again, and remember that God deals with individuals, over 7.5 billion of us. Each person, as if they were the only one.
Try to imagine yourself in a large dining hall or at a huge party. If you focus on nothing, it is pandemonium. If you eavesdrop on the couple next to you, you pick up quite a bit more. Yet unless you know them, at least a little, you cannot really understand all the dynamics of what is being said, if any.
Now maybe there will be two or three people on the far side of the room. All you can hear is that they are loud and using many arm and hand gestures. Are they angry, playing a game, or relating a story?
Someone walks over from that area and you ask them what is going on. The reliability of the answer is entirely dependent on the character of the person you are asking.
Rather than changing this into discussion on philosophy, I merely want to point out how difficult it is to make a broad statement like, God is not good to all, with such limited resources as our own faculties.
You can pursue this as far as you want to, but as long as you believe in real truth, you will soon come to the same conclusion shown here. In which case, I hope that you will, accept by faith the word of the God who cannot lie, and realize, “The Lord is good to all”.
“…[ love your enemies] that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:45-48.
“The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.” Psalm 145:9.
“His tender mercies are over all His works”. Have you ever dealt with a rebellious child, or perhaps a bitter adult? It is almost impossible to comfort or talk rationally with someone like this.
A rebellious child will not believe you are only looking after their well-being. So as a result, they fight you all the way. Never once seeing the good in your actions, or relaxing enough to enjoy the peace of ceasing from struggle.
The bitter person is that way from bad things that happened in their past and have built up over the years and have created such a debt that no one can pay. When this happens, no matter what you do, you cannot pay that debt. It is even possible that the more you try the more bitter they become.
God’s mercy is everywhere, in nature, in His love, in the friends He sends to help us. And not only do we miss this, but many people are so angry that they tear into everyone else’s blessings, and rend, trample and defile the things God has given to others.
Consider this, God’s grace covers the sins of men through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus on the cross, His mercy covers their miseries.
It is not enough that mercy is shown to you; you must recognize it when you receive it.
“Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures throughout all generations” Psalm 145:13.
“Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom”. Do you see the word “is”? That tells us that God’s kingdom exists now. In addition, not just now but eternally.
I am sure that you have noticed that the world is in chaos, insanity is the norm. There is only one hope; that God is in control, and He is, this is as true now as it was in David’s day about three thousand years ago.
There is an adversary you know, Satan. The devil lost all his hopes of defeating God at the foot of the cross; the shed blood of Christ has removed Satan’s power forever.
He is called the god of this world but that is just an illusion. It is a bit like a bad tenant being evicted from a house. He will stay in that house until the sheriff comes and removes him. Until then he is going to destroy as much of the house as he can.
The same is true of the Devil. He is going to cause as much chaos and destruction as he can. But be of good cheer the Sheriff is on His way.
“And your dominion endures throughout all generations. The lord upholds all who fall, and raises up all those who are bowed down. The eyes of all look expectantly to you, and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing” Psalm 145:13b-16.
God upholds the fallen and raises the ones bowed down. This is the righteous King caring for those who would come to Him.
There are the followers of false religions, the prideful, the arrogant, and the haters of God, who will not come to Him. They suffer because they will not turn to God, and then they complain and blaspheme His name.
Consider the last phrase, “…and satisfy the desire of every living thing”. Nothing escapes the notice of the omniscient God. His eye is on, “every living thing”.
Nothing is too difficult for the omnipotent God. He not only sees, “the desire of every living thing”, but He is capable of satisfying it.
Examine again some of these descriptive words of God’s character; Your greatness, great goodness, righteousness, gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy, good to all, tender mercies. This is summed up in verse 17 below.
“The Lord is righteous in all His ways, gracious in all His works.” Psalm 145:17.
The Scripture tells us in the book of Malachi chapter 3.
“For I am the Lord, I do not change”. Malachi 3:6a.
We need to take great comfort in all the various characteristics of God. Without them, we would be in real danger.
If God were not infinite in all these characteristics and immutable (unchanging) in all His ways we would never be able to feel really secure in heaven.
Could He ever tire of us somehow? Perhaps in a million years He would say, “You know I’m beginning to resent all that these humans have put Me through. I am just going to end it all right now”.
On the other hand, He might say, “I’ve got a better idea, let’s try this”. With a God like that, heaven would soon be little better than hell, perhaps worse. But He says, “I do not change”.
If we are going to accept that, we must accept everything that He says of Himself.
“The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.” Psalm 145:18.
Never, never, never, ever forget that!
This last illustration is one I read of in an article somewhere. Not having read the book I cannot recommend it one way or another but the picture put forth by Dr. Kenneth J. Foreman in his book “God’s Will and Ours”, is very insightful. He describes two horsemen approximately as follows.
The first one is seated upon a horse that will not make the least move forward or backward not even side to side, unless the rider initiates it.
The second rider is seated on a horse that may fidget or champ at the bit. He may snort and shake his head nervously. Yet he will not move until his master directs him.
When he is set into motion, he moves flawlessly, following the riders every command, no matter how small. A nudge at the side, a word, a tug on the reins, this horse, runs, jumps rears on his hind legs. He was well trained and he does all things eagerly desiring only to please his master.
This is God astride creation. All nature is directed and maintained by God. He commands it to do His will, yet He does not have to direct all the smallest details for He has given creation a nature (instructions, if you will), and at His command the instructions are carried out.
And the other horse? Well, you know, this is the one that the world sees God sitting on. Moreover, too many Christians see Him on this horse also. It is a hobbyhorse, a wooden horse.
Surely, it is a beautiful horse, after all God created it. Then too, I am sure it is not just a small one. Can you see God sitting on that wooden horse, wrestling it around to do His every whim?
What does God look like on this horse? Does He have a long white beard? Is He angry? Most people see Him as angry, and no surprise. Here He is fighting to make nature do His will at all times, angry because He has created a universe that is far too much for one God to handle.
Nevertheless, after all, He is God, so He will prevail. You know, with a God this busy you do not want to bother Him with your meager requests, so you will need to struggle through life without His help.
Unless you have a big problem, so perhaps He will help, if you do not come to Him when He is very busy. Somehow, I like the God seated on a live horse.
A God who can rule creation effortlessly, and still delight in listening to us prattle on like children. This is a loving God you cannot disappoint.
“Indeed these are the mere edges of His ways, and how small a whisper we hear of Him!” Job 26:14a.
The Horseman, Part 2 taken from godisrevealed.com posted on 10-21-18, updated on 7-9-20.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.