Riverside Community Church

The Goodness of God

Psalm 16:1-11

Is anyone truly good? We often say, “He or she is really a good person.” Or “they have a good heart.”

Perhaps you heard the story. Two college students returned a lost purse to its owner, not knowing the handbag contained her life savings.

Derek Hepner and Adam Simanton spotted the purse lying in the gutter of a street as they drove past it. Stopping to examine the bag, they pulled out a wallet and an Arizona driver’s license and immediately took the purse to police.

What they didn’t see was an envelope containing $43,000 in cash that was the owner’s life savings, police Sgt. Larry Baker said. The owner had been traveling through Casper and apparently misplaced her purse during a stop, police said.

The woman phoned Hepner to inform him of a $200 reward for the two Casper College students. Hepner is studying criminal justice, and Simanton plans to be a lawyer.

“I can’t believe we had that much money in our possession and didn’t even know it,” Simanton said.

Friends, I would say those boys did very well. They did a good thing and were acting from a good heart. Hopefully, we all would do the same good thing.

Now on the other hand, there is a man named Chai Vang from St. Paul, Minn, a deer hunter, who shot and killed six other deer hunters over a dispute of him using their deer stand in Wisconsin. When I read about that incident I could hardly believe it, thinking, “How could a person go that crazy over a deer stand?”

His younger brother said of him, “I still don’t believe it. He is one of the nicest persons. Maybe something provoked him. He is a reasonable person.”

Reasonable? And you shoot and kill six people? That doesn’t sound very reasonable to me. You don’t go around shooting people if there is good on the inside of you!

What did Jesus say about good and evil inside a person?

Matthew 12:33-35 (NIV)

33 “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. 35 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.

Both evil and good come from within. If it’s on the outside, it came from within.

One time Burt Reynolds made some comment about God, saying, “You blew it, God. You’re wrong.” REALLY!!

He certainly doesn’t have any business accusing God of evil! No one does, and yet some people do question the goodness of God. When some people see the conflict with Iran or Korea or starving and homeless people or famine in the world and violence, etc. they tend to say, “Where is God?” Or “How could God be good?”

REALLY. God is to blame?

Even though we may not understand everything that goes on in this world (the good and the evil), there is one thing that we must understand. GOD IS GOOD!

We shouldn’t go around blaming God for all the evil in the world or even in your own life (and there is stuff where we are tempted to blame God for). Blame Satan. Blame sinful man, but don’t blame God. God created a perfect world but mankind has corrupted it. And now we’re paying the piper.

People who truly know Him, know that God is good.

Our text in Ps. 16 focuses on the goodness of God in the sense of how good God is to us. Here are 4 thoughts on God’s goodness to each of us.

I. GOOD FELLOWSHIP

Ps. 16:3 “As for the saints who are in the land, they are the glorious ones in whom is all my delight.”

God has given us good fellowship with one another and with Him and for this, we should be thankful.

A little girl once cried out in the night and woke her mother. She asked if she could get in bed with her mother.

“What’s the matter?” the mother inquired. “It was dark in my room,” said the child. “Yes,” replied the mother, “but it’s just as dark in here.” “I know, Mother,” the little girl said, “but you’re here.”

Everybody needs someone in the dark and in the light. Night and day we need one another. Few people want to live alone. And we need to recognize God’s presence and His fellowship is always with us, night and day

David said, “They are the glorious ones in whom is all my delight.” David considered God’s people as glorious.

As I look at you I wouldn’t exactly say that you are “glorious,” but neither would you consider me as being “glorious.” God’s people were glorious enough to David, however, that he delighted in them.

And where can you find a more delightful bunch of people than in the church? (that’s how it should be.)

Thank God that we don’t have to live in isolation! Thank God for the church! For the people! For the fellowship that we enjoy on the Lord’s Day and on other days!

God is good. He has given us a great fellowship with one another and with Himself.

  

II. GOOD HERITAGE

Ps. 16:5-6 “LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.”

Notice the words that David uses: my portion, my cup, my lot. And the words: secure, pleasant, and delightful. It sounds like David was satisfied with his lot in life. Some people certainly have reason to be delighted with their lot in life.

My portion, my cup, my lot is secure, pleasant and delightful. My heritage is even more than these and yours is too.

III. GOOD COUNSEL

Ps. 16:7-8 “I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”

David speaks of the Lord who counsels him. He is, no doubt, happy with God’s counsel and instruction.

I love God’s good counsel, He guides us and leads us. God is good.

He has given us many treasures in His Word, and it doesn’t take much searching to find them.

IV. GOOD HOPE

Ps. 16:9-11 “Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”

God has given a good hope, no, a great hope in the gospel.

We must have hope when it comes to life. Without hope we whither inside.

Without hope we only exist. We don’t live the richer, fuller life. The same principle not only applies to sports but also to work, to all of life in general and certainly to our faith!

OUR HOPE IN CHRIST IS LIFE AND THAT MORE ABUNDANTLY!

In the catacombs of Rome, it’s said that the contrast between the inscriptions of Christians and unbelievers in other burying places is most striking and different. The non-Christian epitaphs rarely express a belief in immortality, but often describe death as an eternal sleep, the grave as a final home, and are permeated by a tone of great sadness.

However, the Christian catacomb inscriptions abound in hope. Again and again we find the words, “In peace,” “Live forever,” “He rests well,” “Weep not, my child, death is not eternal,” and “Alexander is not dead but lives above the stars, and his body rests in the tomb.”

God is good! He has given hope beyond this life and beyond the grave! WE MUST BELIEVE! We must take Jesus at His word! We must cling to this eternal hope! God is good!

 

One of God’s faithful missionaries, Allen Gardiner, experienced many physical difficulties and hardships throughout his service to the Savior. Despite his troubles, he said, "While God gives me strength, failure will not daunt me." In 1851, at the age of 57, he died of disease and starvation while serving on Picton Island at the southern tip of South America. When his body was found, his diary lay nearby. It bore the record of hunger, thirst, wounds, and loneliness. The last entry in his little book showed the struggle of his shaking hand as he tried to write legibly. It read, "I am overwhelmed with a sense of the goodness of God."

Regardless of our hardships in life we must be aware of the goodness of God and give Him thanks and praise continually.

I Thess. 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.                       
GOD IS GOOD, AMEN

 

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