He is God and He is Good

Psalm 100

By David W. Cunningham

 Psalm 100 is one of the most comforting and encouraging chapters in the Bible.  In this short psalm of thanksgiving we find two great truths that the Christian should joyfully celebrate each and every day. The Psalmist writes:

 

“Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing.  Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the Sheep of His pasture.  Enter His gates with Thanksgiving and His courts with praise.  Give thanks to Him, bless His name.  For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations.”

 

What are those two enriching truths? #1, He is God (verse 3) and #2, He is good (verse 5)! 

 

Anything less than that divine combination falls short.  As the people of God, we have great comfort, peace and hope because He is both God and good.

 

Think about it.  If God was something less than the omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God of the Bible—He would not have the ultimate power and authority to impose his goodness. He would be less than almighty God and then subject to external powers.

 

And then, if God was God but He wasn’t good—we would all be deservedly doomed for eternity to a Christ-less hell.

 

But the amazing thing is that He is both almighty God and He is inherently good.

 

HE IS GOD

 

“It is He who made us”, the Psalmist says, “not we ourselves.”  But amazingly, so many people live their lives as if they created themselves.  Oh, they may give some lip service about God but they ultimately do what they want, when they want and how they want. 

 

When I was a kid, I used to like to watch those mad scientist movies.  The scientist, who always had an evil agenda, would create a human being in the laboratory and then the person would be totally devoted to whatever the scientist told him to do. 

 

I have often thought that is the kind of devotion that the true Creator God is due—complete and utter devotion and obedience to Him. Why? Because He is God. He created us.

 

While I think we understand the intended illustration above, my analogy crumbles to pieces because the mad scientists in the movies were generally evil and up to no good.  But the reassuring message of Psalm 100 is that God is not only God but He is good.

 

HE IS GOOD

 

The Creator God not only does good, He is good.  He not only “causes all things to work together for good to those who love [Him]” as Romans 8:28 says, but he is the standard bearer for goodness. In fact, Jesus said in Luke 18:19, that “No one is good except God alone”.

 

Yet, perhaps the biggest problem man has is his ability to rationalize that he is somehow good too.  But compared to God, man is not inherently good—he is rotten and sinful to the core. 

 

Romans 3:10-12 clearly paints the bleakest of pictures for sinful mankind, “as it is written, ‘There is none righteous, not even one; There is none who understands, There is none who seeks after God; All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, there is not even one’.”

 

Psalm 14:1 echoes this, “The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”  They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds. There is no one who does good.”

 

You see, man is not inherently good, he is inherently bad.  He has a sin problem that he cannot remedy.  God says to man you do not measure up to my standard of holiness and righteousness.  Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  And, because of that Romans 6:23 says, all men deserve eternal death and separation from God.

 

But God is a good God.  Even though all men deserve eternal death and separation from Him, He has provided a way of salvation from the penalty, power an ultimate presence of man’s sin.  The last part of Romans 6:23, is unbelievable.  Paul says there that, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

God is a good God and we should be eternally grateful that He is…

 

All throughout the Scriptures we see the goodness of God displayed:

  • In Genesis 1:18, God took a look at His creation and He said “it was good”.

  • He is the author and provider of the gospel message—which means good news.

The Psalmist proclaims more about the goodness of God when he says in verse five, that “His loving kindness is everlasting and His faithfulness [extends] to all generations.”

 

This shows that there is no end to His goodness and it has been extended to every generation of man.  And that because He is faithful, we can trust Him to keep His Word. 

 

The question is…What is our response?

 

OUR RESPONSE

 

Because He is both God and good, the Psalmist lays out EIGHT RESPONSES for the child of God:

 

1.         We should shout joyfully to the Lord. (Verse 1a)

 

This is a shout of loyalty and homage.  Psalm 66:1 begins with the same exclamation.  Where does your loyalty lie? Are you loyal to God?  Are you wholly devoted to Him?  Does your life display your devotion to Him?  Or, does it display your devotion to something or someone else?

 

2.         We should serve the Lord with gladness. (Verse 2)

 

What a privilege it is to serve God.  But so many who call themselves Christians, are not involved in service at all.  Because God is our creator and because He is good, we ought to live a life of wholly devoted service to Him.  

 

Our churches should be made up of the most servant-hearted people in the world.  Who are you serving?  Who are you ministering to?  If you have to think about the answer, then you probably are not intentionally serving other people.  We serve God by serving others.

 

The gospel of Mark proclaims that we are to follow the model of servanthood that Jesus lived out.  Mark 10:45 says, “The son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many”.

 

People tend to like to shy away from the use of the word servant or slave—but that is exactly what the Bible calls for.  We are to be slaves of God and serve Him with gladness. 

 

·        Glad because He created us.

·        Glad because He has saved us

·        Glad because of His constant expression of goodness to us.

 

3.         We should come before Him with joyful singing. (Verse 2b)

 

We can very meaningfully display our worship of God through song.  But people in churches are singing out less and less.  Why?  Because they don’t grasp the aspect of worship that goes with joyfully singing out to God.

 

No one cares how good of a singer you are.  We should be much more concerned about what God thinks than the person standing next to us.  It’s not about how good of a voice we have but our heart-felt to desire to come before Him in worship.

 

4.         We should recognize Him as God. (Verse 3a)

 

So many are going through the motions of the Christian life and they never stop to recognize they are living there life before God.  As we recognize the majesty of who God is, it will change how we intentionally live for Him.

 

5.         We should follow Him as our Shepherd. (Verse 3c)

 

This shepherd image is often used to describe the role of the king of Israel, but it is also often used many places in the scripture of the Lord.  We are to follow Him as our shepherd.

 

A shepherd cares for his sheep.  In the Middle East, the shepherd was responsible to give his best care for every sheep.  He was responsible to make sure every sheep was safe and protected. 

 

His job was to see to it that none of the sheep were lost, killed, or injured.  We see the great love of our shepherd in the parable in Luke 15:3-7.

 

David said in Psalm 23, The Lord is my Shepherd.  David recognized that the Lord is his guide, his protector, and his constant companion.

 

6.         We should praise Him (Verse 4a)

 

This means that we are to extol Him, honor Him or glorify him. 

 

·        In Psalm 63:3 David says, “Because your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You.”  

 

·        In Matthew 11:25, Jesus praises the Father.     

 

·        In Luke 19:37, the whole crowd of disciples joyfully praised God with a loud voice.

 

There are so many passages we could go to that talk about the people of God joyfully praising Him.  I think we often miss the point though.  How many times in the Bible do we see the people of God praising him privately?  Some.  But the pattern is praising His name before people.  And the praise is verbal. It is audible.

 

We are to praise God publicly for His goodness.  Why? So that the world may hear of the greatness and goodness of God.

7.                  We should give thanks to Him. (Verse 4b)

 

We are to have undying gratitude for who God is and what He has done for us.  That’s what giving thanks means. 

 

·        I Chronicles 16:7 says, “give thanks to the Lord”.

 

·        Psalm 92:1 says, “It is good to give thanks…”

 

·        Even in tough times, we are not to be anxious, we are to be thankful.  Philippians 4:6 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with Thanksgiving let you requests be made known to God”.

 

8.                  We should bless His name. (Verse 4c)

 

To bless, means to bestow favor upon, or to bestow praise.  It is giving God what is due Him. Psalm 103 reminds us in detail of who He is and what He is due.

 

We respond in these ways because He is God and He is good. Amen?