When I am getting dressed in the morning I enjoy listening to Christian music. Like morning devotionals, it gets my day going in the right direction. And it is SO much better than non-stop news. This morning I was struck by the lyrics to The Goodness of God by Bethel Music and Jenn Johnson. If you are not familiar with this beautiful song, I invite you to click on the link and listen. Even though I have heard (and sung) this song many times, it captivated my heart this morning. The Lord filled me with a sense of His goodness and I wanted to praise Him for who He is, not just for what He does. I wanted to sing of His goodness.
God is good. It is an essential quality of His character. He is the very essence of goodness. Exodus 34:6 tells us that God is abundant in goodness. There is so much packed into that verse about the nature of God and His goodness. In this passage the Lord is revealing himself to Moses, revealing so much of His glory that Moses, hidden and protected by God’s hand, could only look at the back part of God’s glory. The verse tells us only a little about God’s goodness; it cannot be completely illustrated by mere words.
God is merciful, compassionate, and gracious, forgiving our sins. He is longsuffering, slow to anger. How blessed we are that God gives us time to come to Him in repentance instead of giving us the immediate punishment we deserve. And He is filled with goodness, abundant, overflowing, and abounding. His goodness is absolute. God is goodness. I don’t have adequate words to capture His goodness. It is a goodness that overflows our deserts, fills our empty places, and calms our fears, a goodness that binds our wounds and a goodness that pours the oil of gladness on our grief.
His goodness is enough. It is a goodness that comes from a place of love and compassion. Mercy. It is enough for me in this life and the life to come. But I am a mother. I have concerns for my children, my grandchildren, my great-grandchildren and those who will come later that I will never know. God’s goodness is sufficient for all of them. The next verse goes on to tell us that His goodness and mercy go on to a thousand generations!
The song tells us that God’s goodness is “running after me.” How grateful I am, because there are times I run away from God. He will not let me go; His mercy and goodness pursue me, run after me. And that same goodness will run after those I love, my future generations. I often wonder who among my ancestors prayed for me, who set his goodness in motion. Thank you Lord for running after me!
And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, maintaining loving devotion to a thousand generations, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin. Ex. 34:6-7a