O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for His mercy endureth for ever. (Psalms 107:1)
God is good. Period. End of sentence. Everything that we know about God and everything that God is grows out of His goodness. If God is not good, God is not God.
When Scripture tells us God is good, it is not just in the moral sense. Of course, He is morally good because He is holy. He cannot be anything other than morally good. The “good” the psalmist speaks of goes beyond God’s moral goodness. God is good in terms of His overall character. He is good to His creatures. He is good in everything that He does. He is good at being God in every way. Now, some would question that goodness: “If God is so good, why does He allow so much evil?” That question is founded in ignorance (either willful or uninformed). Those who ask that question forget to factor in that the evil in this world came to us as a result of our sin, not from any neglect of goodness on God’s part. When God finished with His creation, He declared it very good. Why? Because His unfallen creation reflected Himself. So, everything was perfectly suited to its purpose and good in every aspect, even morally because man was created in His sinless image, and Creation was free of the curse. In His goodness, God made man a creature with a free will. Man could choose to worship the good God of heaven, or rebel against Him. Man chose to rebel, and God in His goodness allowed for the consequences of sin to fall but also offered a way of redemption.
It is in God’s redemptive goodness that the psalmist chooses to rejoice because there is nothing to be added to the fact that God is good, other than to rejoice in the many aspects of it, and for the sinner, the greatest aspect of God’s goodness is His mercy. It endures forever!
Let the redeemed of the LORD say so
“Let the redeemed of the LORD say so…” (Psalm 107:2a), not just because it is true, but also because it is necessary. The unredeemed need to hear of the redemptive goodness of God because they live in ignorance and darkness. Why else would they ask questions that challenge God’s goodness? The redeemed need to rehearse the redemptive goodness of God because we are forgetful by nature and we live in a sin-cursed world that does not by nature remind us of God’s goodness.
How has He redeemed us?
He has redeemed us from the hand of the enemy – Satan, and He has been relentless in doing so because He has extended His goodness, not just to a select few but to every corner of the world (vv. 2a-3).
Whom has He redeemed?
The desperately lost (vv. 4-9)
He has redeemed those lost through ignorance, wanderers who did not even know to look for God. Verses 4 and 5 say they were alone with no place to rest, hungry and thirsty, ready to faint. His goodness led them to repentance and to cry out to Him, and God delivered them out of their distress by leading them in the right way. These lost ones were empty of purpose and without direction. God filled that void with His presence.
The rebellious (vv. 10-16)
These are people who knew God and His Word but rejected it. Because of their rebellion they found themselves in distress (vv. 10-11). The consequences of their actions bowed down their heart (v. 11). It specifically says that God brought down their heart with labor (v. 12), but even this was good because it put the rebellious ones in a position to cry out to God in their trouble, and the good and merciful God brought them out of their darkness and broke them free of their bondage. God does not rejoice in bringing His children through hardship, but sometimes hardship is the only way we learn. Thank God He is always ready to forgive when we are ready to repent.
The foolish (vv. 17-22)
He saves the foolish whose own actions have brought them trouble. Personally, I have found that most of my troubles have been my own doing. Foolish choices come with consequences all their own and they can burden us to the point where we can despair of life itself (v. 18). We can also convince ourselves that because our troubles are of our own making that God will not help us. Yet He does! Fools though we are, we can cry to the LORD in our trouble and He saves us out of our distresses (v. 19). What he sends to our rescue is His Word (v. 20). What better cure is there for foolishness? His Word rebukes, it corrects, it guides into truth and righteousness and it protects from foolishness in the future. Only God’s Word could be so life changing.
Those who put their lives on the line (vv. 23-31)
The psalmist singles out those that “go down to the sea in ships,” but this could be applied to anyone who makes their living in high-risk occupations. We like to think we are in control of our own destinies when really, we are not. Life can turn on us without warning. Even in the midst of chaos, God is there for us.
Who should praise God? (vv. 32-43)
Everyone and without exception. He is to be praised for His power and His might; His justice and His mercy; His chastisement and His blessing because through all of it, God is good. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!