Goodness is Graciousness
Psalm 106:1
Praise you the LORD. O give thanks to the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endures for ever.…

For he is gracious (Prayer book Version). The term which the Authorized Version and Revised Version render "good," the Prayer book renders "gracious;" and so is suggested what is perfectly true when applied to God, that goodness is graciousness. The goodness of God dwelt on in this psalm is his patience and long suffering gentleness with his most trying and wilful people. Psalm 105 treated Israel chiefly as the passive recipient of Divine favour. Psalm 106 portrays Israel as continually set in opposition to Jehovah; faithful only when afflicted, and succoured only to apostatize again. Eight illustrative instances are given.

I. GOODNESS IN THE LIGHT OF MAN'S RELATION TO GOD. In that light goodness is rightness; it is accordance with an authoritative standard. A good man is a good creature who is right with his Creator, a good servant who is obedient to his master, a good son who does the will of his father. This being man's goodness, and man's idea of goodness, he tries to transfer it to God, who then becomes the eternally right One. The "Judge of all the earth does right." God is good in the sense of being right, in the sense of willing that which is right, and in the sense of approving those who do the right. "Righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works."

II. GOODNESS IN THE LIGHT OF GOD'S RELATIONS WITH MAN. In this psalm with man corporate. But the national relations do but illustrate the personal and individual. Here comes in a difficulty. God, the infinitely right One, dealing with creatures who were right in all purpose and endeavour, would not need to show the special characteristics that are gathered into the word "gracious." God had to deal with a nation that was wayward, wilful, and self-pleasing, with a stiff-necked generation, one that was troublesome as any spoiled child. Goodness in dealing with such a nation must show itself as patience, pitifulness, considerateness, gentleness, or, to sum up in one word, "graciousness." Illustrate it as

(1) goodness that can chastise;

(2) that can limit chastisement;

(3) that can restore, and give fresh opportunity;

(4) that cannot be wearied out;

(5) that gives the fullest influence to all qualifying considerations;

(6) that keeps on hoping for the best, and working for it.

It may also be shown that the gracious goodness of God makes necessary judgments inflicted on some educational and moral forces for the warning and guiding of all. - R.T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

WEB: Praise Yahweh! Give thanks to Yahweh, for he is good, for his loving kindness endures forever.

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