The goodness of God part 2
In Part 1 we defined an attribute of God as something of His own nature that He has revealed to us. We then looked at several ways by which God has revealed His goodness to us.
Once we recognise the goodness of God: what next? We can give one of two responses to the goodness of God, which are 1.the right response, and 2. the wrong response.
The wrong response: by the rich young ruler
Matthew 19:16 Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” 17 So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
The story of the rich young ruler (RYR): we only arrive at a composite description of the RYR by reading sections of Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
This story can be used to teach many different biblical truths. Today we want to recognise that the RYR called Jesus ‘Good’ and wanted to know which good works would give him salvation.
Jesus seems to meet him where he is and tells him to keep the commandments of the Law of Moses, but which ones the RYR replies. Jesus gives him a list.
The RYR replies that he has kept all these commandments since his early youth.
Jesus identifies the RYR real problem that he is caught up with his status and wealth and
bids him to sell his property, give to the poor and follow Jesus.
The RYR went away very sorrowful for he was not prepared to give up his wealth to follow Jesus.
The right response to the goodness of God: Zacchaeus
Luke 19:1 Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2 Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. 3 And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.”
Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector and whose business gave him lots of opportunity to cheat and defraud those from whom he collected taxes.
Jesus saw 'wee' Zacchaeus atop a sycamore tree. Jesus tells Zacchaeus to climb down the tree for Jesus wants to be his houseguest.
Luke 19: 6 So he made haste and came down and received Him joyfully. 7 But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”
8 Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”
9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
No good deed goes unpunished and when Zacchaeus slid joyfully down the tree the bystanders were complaining that Zacchaeus was a sinner implying that Jesus had made an unworthy choice in Zacchaeus.
When the goodness of God came to Zacchaeus he received Jesus joyfully, and unlike the RYR began to give away his fortune, giving half his wealth to the poor and offering to restore any financial misdeeds multiplied times four.
What a difference between the RYR and Zacchaeus, the former would not let go of his wealth and did not follow Jesus, whereas the latter made generous financial restitution to his customers and began to follow Jesus.
What is your response to the goodness of God today?
¨ Be joyful.
¨ Be thankful.
¨ Be willing to share what we have and put wrong our misdeeds.
We first encountered the goodness of God at the point of our salvation. But almost every day we can see the goodness of God at work in our own lives and those of others. We can see the goodness of God in his daily provision, protection and blessing etc.
Conclusion The main point is that our God, the God of the bible is good, He is friendly towards us because we are His people. Whenever we come to God in praise, worship, thanksgiving, or petition we must never forget that the goodness of God affects our every interaction with Him.
Taste and see that the Lord is good!
God shows His goodness to us in many ways as seen in this psalm;
Psalm 103 Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases.
4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction, who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies.
5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.