“Taste and See the Lord is Good”- 3 Points on God’s Heavenly Goodness

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Below is the outline of the Bible study in the video/audio above on God’s goodness:

A few weeks ago I did a video bible study on Wednesday night I talked about God’s providence, which is His ordering and governing all of creation according to his power and wisdom, to the ends that he ordains. He is in control of all things, even the most minute detail.

I taught on God’s providence because when we go through a trial, any trial, but especially a pandemic, we can be tempted to doubt that God is really in control, we can doubt his providence.

Well, today I’d like to talk about another thing that we are tempted to doubt when we go through trials: and that is God’s goodness. We might be able to convince people that God is in control, but that fact alone is of no comfort if God is not also Good. And the God of the bible most certainly is good, and we need to be reminded of that.

So to that end, I’d like to read Psalm 34:1-10, but we will focus on verse 8, particularly on the goodness of God.

I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together!

I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack!
10 The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

  1. God’s Goodness defined

    1. Grudem defines it as saying that “The goodness of God means that God is the final standard of good, and that all that God is and does is worthy of approval.”[1]
    2. Wilhelmus a Brakel says, “Goodness is the very opposite of harshness, cruelty, gruffness, severity, mercilessness—all of which are far removed from God…The goodness of God, on the contrary, is the loveliness, benign character, sweetness, friendliness, kindness, and generosity of God.”[2]
    3. Stephen Charnock calls God’s goodness “The captain attribute that leads the rest to act; this attends them, and spirits them all in his ways of acting. This is the complement and perfection of all his works; had it not been for this, which set all the rest on work, nothing of his wonders had been seen in creation, nothing of his compassions had been seen in redemption.”[3]
  1. God’s Goodness Expressed- God is good

    1. Scripture teaches us a few things about God’s goodness:
      1. God is good in his very essence.
        1. The psalms frequently exclaim that the “Lord is good” (100:5), or “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good (106:1).
        2. God is good in His very essence, even before and apart from any action with his creation.
      2. God is good and only does good.
        1. God’s goodness then inclines him to and requires him to only do good. Our good God can do nothing other than good.
        2. Psalm 119:68- “You are good and you do good; teach me your statues.”
      3. God is the source of all good.
          1. If he was the only being before creation, and he brought all things into existence, then all good that does exist exists because it came from Him as the first cause.
          2. James 1 reminds us of this: “Every good and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow of change” (1:17).
          3. Moreover, God only does good things for his children. No good thing does the Lord withhold form those who walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11). We could spend a lifetime reflecting on the grace in that single verse alone, but how often are we prone to forget and to doubt that NO GOOD THING does the Lord withhold from His people.
          4. Paul says similar things in Romans 8, when he reminds us that “in everything God works for our GOOD”, the good of those who love him. He goes even further and reminds us that, “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him?” (Rom 8:32).
          5. Much more than an earthly father, our heavenly father will give “good things to those who as him” (Matt 7:11).
          6. And significantly, we need to remember that it is because God is good that he will not let us wander down the deadly path of sin. Hebrews 12 reminds us that because he is a good father, he will discipline us, not because he is wrathful toward us, but because fatherly goodness manifests itself in faithful discipline of his children.
          7. He loves us enough to show us our sin, which puts distance between us and God, who is our only source of Good, and because he is working benevolently for OUR good, he disciplines us to bring us out of sin and back to HIM, that we might know more of HIS goodness.
      4. He is only and ever Good, He is the SOURCE of our good, and He has Promised to only and ever work FOR our good. These are bedrock biblical truths upon which we can rest our head, even through the darkest trials and times of this life.
      5. God’s goodness in creation, redemption
        1. Creation- Goodness was his motive for creating
          1. “The whole world is a map to represent, and a herald to proclaim, this perfection [goodness].”[4]
          2. Creation of man- crowned him with glory and honor among all the other creatures, made him “a little lower than angels” (Ps 8:5). Formed him from the dust
          3. Created man in his image
          4. All of this was free goodness
      6. Redemption (See here for more on God’s good plan of redemption)
          1. “The whole gospel is nothing but one entire mirror of divine goodness.”[5]
          2. Goodness of redemption exceeds the goodness seen in creation
            1. Exceeding goodness seen in the difficulty of effecting it
            2. Exceeding goodness seen in the cost of redemption
  1. The Lord’s Goodness applied

    1. James 1:17 reminds us that every “good and perfect gift” is from God. How often do you reflect upon God’s good gifts to you? And how often do you express thankfulness for them?
      1. Helpful exercise would be to take a few minutes and write down all the good gifts that God has given to you. Things like:
        1. Life itself. It is a manifestation of his goodness that you exist, rather than not-exist at all.
        2. Your health. The fact that you are alive, rather than dead, is a testament to His goodness.
        3. Your salvation. If you are united to God by faith in Jesus Christ, that is because of His goodness. The fact that you have forgiveness of your sins, justification, atonement, reconciliation with God, redemption from slavery to sin, adoption into God’s very own household, the indwelling of His Holy Spirit, the promise of life eternal, an inheritance in His eternal kingdom, communion with the Saints in the local body of Christ, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, communion with God through his ministry of the word and sacraments, and many others are all manifestations of God’s goodness, particularly his mercy, because Apart from His goodness we deserve none of these things. We deserve his goodness manifested as just judgement, but instead we have received good mercy and grace.
      2. So make a list of these good gifts from God and spend time in thankful contemplation of them. Remember often these gifts, and remember they are tokens of God’s goodness manifested to us.
    2. When you face a bitter trial or terrible affliction, and you are tempted to doubt God’s goodness, what do you do?
      1. Remember that God remains Good, even when we go through trials. Just as the Sun doesn’t stop shining because it is covered by the clouds, so too remember that God remains ever-good and ever-the same, even when we might not have the clearest of sight of it. Remember that because God is pure goodness, he can’t do anything that doesn’t tend toward good, and for those of us in Christ, anything we are suffering in this life is just God’s good preparation of us.
      2. Remember also what Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:17 that God is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory that is so great, so grand, that it is not even worth comparing to our current trial, and that in light of such a grand eternal glory, our present sufferings will appear but light and momentary. God’s permitting us to walk through a trial or affliction doesn’t so much negate his goodness, as it actually manifests His goodness and becomes the occasion for the manifestation of His goodness in the end.
    3. Remember the goodness of God manifested in the redemption of sinners.
      1. We were created good.
      2. We chose to be not-good, to be evil.
      3. We were brought out of our evil, by the perfect goodness lived and died in our place.
      4. Because we have been saved by the ever-good Christ, and filled with His Spirit, we too can grow in the spiritual fruit of goodness, listed in Galatians 5. We can grow in moral goodness, or holiness. We can grow in kindness. We can grow in goodness towards those that don’t deserve it, that is, grow in graciousness. We can grow in goodness shown toward those that deserve the contrary, that is, we can grow in mercy. In short, we can become more and more like our good God.
    4. Concluding exhortation: Psalm 34:8: “Taste and see that the Lord your God is good.”
        1. If you are a believer, come and taste again the goodness of the Lord. Think often of Christ, and the goodness of God manifested in the glorious redemption orchestrated through his death in your place. What further goodness could be shown, than for us to taste of mercy, forgiveness, reconciliation, adoption, and eternal life, all through the benevolent and unmerited plan of God to sacrifice His son in our place. Taste again of that Goodness, and know that God is good.
        2. If you are not a believer, then I encourage you to come and taste of God’s goodness. Hear of God’s mercy proclaimed in His word. Hear the message of Forgiveness proclaimed in it’s pages. Hear of God’s goodness displayed in his justice toward evil, and his condemnation of all sin. Hear of his goodness displayed through his righteousness and holiness. Hear of these things, and taste of them, by trusting in the good gospel of this good God, and know of his salvation.


[1] Wayne A. Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Leicester, England : Grand Rapids, Mich: Inter-Varsity Press ; Zondervan Pub. House, 1994), 197.

[2] Wilhelmus à Brakel, The Christian’s Reasonable Service: In Which Divine Truths Concerning the Covenant of Grace Are Expounded, Defended against Opposing Parties, and Their Practice Advocated, as Well as the Administration of This Covenant in the Old and New Testaments, vol. 2 (Ligonier, PA: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1992), 122.

[3] Stephen Charnock, “The Existence and Attributes of God,” in The Works of Stephen Charnock., vol. 2 (Edinburgh; Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 2010), 285.

[4] Charnock, 307.

[5] Charnock, 317.


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