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Goodness, what is it?

What is the "goodness" of God?

 

 

Thanks for your question about the Goodness of God.
In the Old Testament

The goodness of God is declared to Moses at Sinai.

Exodus 33:19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.

Exodus 34:6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,

7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation (of them that hate me Exodus 20:5;Deuteronomy 5:9).

David’s hope of resurrection to see the future goodness of God is said to in Psalm 27 to be the hope that kept him going.

Psalms 27:13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

He speaks of it being laid up for this future time in Psalm 31.

Psalms 31:19 Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!

He speaks of the happiness of those chosen who will see it.

Psalms 65:4 Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.

Jeremiah prophesies of the goodness associated with the future restoration of Jerusalem.

Jeremiah 31:12 Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all.

14 And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the LORD.

Zechariah prophesies of the same time with God’s goodness shown to the mortal population of Israel in bread and wine.

Zechariah 9:17 For how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty! corn shall make the young men cheerful, and new wine the maids.

In the New Testament

Two Greek words are translated as goodness

1.    Agathosune which comes from agathos (good)

In the ultimate sense of perfect good none are good except God.

Matthew 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good ? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

In a relatively less perfect sense a ‘good’ man will do that which is good to his fellow man.

Matthew 12:35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things : and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

Men who know the goodness of God will be judged at the resurrection on the good they have done to others.

John 5:29 And shall come forth; they that have done good , unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

Agathosune is used in the following passages: it is a fruit of walking in the spirit as opposed to pleasing ourselves:

Romans 15:14 And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness , filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness , faith,

Ephesians 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

2 Thessalonians 1:11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness , and the work of faith with power:

2.    Chrestotes (general meaning kindness, benevolence) used in the following passages:

Romans 11:22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness , if thou continue in his goodness : otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

2 Corinthians 6:6 By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness , by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness , goodness, faith,

Ephesians 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness , humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

We see that the hope of David to see the future goodness of God is also the hope of the New Testament writers. It is this hope of being the recipients of God’s goodness in the life to come which enables us to endure the trials of this life.

I hope this helps

Glenn Smith

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