The Goodness of God

Old Testament Moses was no better than anyone else, yet Yahweh desired intimacy in their relationship which Moses didn’t qualify for. As is always the case, the Lord’s loving kindness overrode Moses’ disqualification, and God interacted with Moses in the most spectacular ways. Sinful Moses could not reveal anything about himself to God that God was not already familiar with, but God could reveal Himself to Moses in ways never thought possible.

Exodus chapter 33 records the amazing discussion between Yahweh and Moses, when the LORD said, you have found favour in my sight, and I know you by name. To which Moses replied, Please show me your glory? (Exodus 33:17-18). Theirs was to be a uniquely close relationship mutually enjoyed. But how was God to show Moses His glory in a way that Moses could survive?

As the Lord prepared Moses, He explained, I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The LORD’ (Yahweh). And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy (Exodus 33:19). Notice the sequence, everything of Yahweh would be encapsulated in His goodness. Out of goodness would flow every attribute of the Lord. As the name ‘The LORD’ (Yahweh) was to be proclaimed, Moses would witness brilliant attribute upon attribute of Yahweh’s multi-faceted goodness.

Equally important in the Lord’s revelation of Himself, was for Moses to know with absolute certainty that I will be gracious, and I will show mercy. The accumulative manifestation of God’s glorious goodness would be seen through the diverse expressions of His intentional grace and mercy. Moses needed this, as he was called to lead a rebellious and stiff-necked people (Exodus 33:3) who would never qualify to receive anything good from God apart from divine grace and mercy.

And so it happened. Yahweh preserved Moses’ life by placing him in a crack within a rock face and  covering him with His hand. Moses viewed Yahweh’s back as He passed by proclaiming His name. All of Yahweh’s goodness was revealed, all His grace and mercy were exposed.

As breathtaking as Moses’ experience was, the greatest manifestation of God’s goodness is seen in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. Paul explains in Titus 3:3-5, that Christians  were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Saviour (Jesus) appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.

The entirety of Yahweh’s goodness is experienced through salvation. The gospel is God’s loving conduit through which believing sinners are protected from judgement and transitioned from the state of being a dead enemy (Rom 5:10; Eph 2:1; Php 3:18) under the wrath of God to being forgiven (Col 2:13). They are cleansed (Ac 15:9), adopted into the beloved (Rom 8:15; Eph 1:6), gifted eternal life (Jn 3:16), indwelt by the sealing Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13), and gifted with Christ’s righteousness (1Co 1:30). Such is the extreme nature of God’s goodness in action for unqualified sinners.

May we today, give our heart’s attention to worshipping the Lord for His awe-inspiring goodness. May the Lord give us opportunities to share the gospel of our good God with someone ready to receive  the  mercy only found in the Lord Jesus Christ.

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