KEY THOT: The psalmist declares that "the Lord is good to all" (v.9). But what does that mean? The psalmist uses three words to describe God's goodness: grace, mercy and love (v.8). When we say God is good, we mean He is gracious (giving to us what we don't deserve), he is merciful (not giving to us what we deserve), and he is loving (giving to us only the "shalom" of God). Never for a moment should we doubt that God is good. If we have any doubt today, look to the Cross: for in the Cross, God has demonstrated how far He is willing to go in order to be good to us.
Just so that these three words (grace, mercy and love) don't remain abstract theological concepts, the psalmist enumerates what those three words imply in real life, from verses 14-21:
- He supports & strengthens us: "The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down" (v.14). God's power is perfectly manifested in our weak moments when we look to Him.
- He sustains us with food: "The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season" (v.15). He provides not just our "spiritual" needs but our physical needs as well.
- He satisfies our desires with open hand: "You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing" (v.16). When we are aligned with His will and purpose, He satisfies every desire we have that is godly.
- He is righteous & kind towards us: "The Lord is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works" (v.17). He treats us with righteousness and kindness, not with evil intent or harshness. The devil is contrary.
- He draws near to us when we pray: "The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth" (v.18). When we call upon him in our prayer, no matter how momentarily, He draws near. That is why Paul says, "Pray without ceasing" (1 Thess. 5:17) so that we may experience his abiding presence continually.
- He fulfills our dreams: "He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them" (v.19). When we fear God and live only to please Him, then we can have this assurance that he will fulfill our dreams because they would have come from His Spirit.
- He preserves us from evil: "The Lord preserves all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy" (v.20). He promises to lead us not into temptation and deliver from evil if our eyes are on Him.
Abba-Father, how great are You, for in drawing close to You when we are walking in the shadows of death, we know that You are also casting the shadows of Your presence over us for You are a good and gracious God. Amen.