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"Handfuls of Purpose"
For All Gleaners
"The goodness of God endureth continually." Psa 52:1
The Psalmist is here addressing a tyrannical spirit "Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man?" That "mighty man" may represent either a personal tyrant, a national enemy, or the spirit of all evil. The literal translation might be "hero," used in a sarcastic sense. The meaning is that he is a mighty one at mischief. We read in Isaiah 5:22 , of men who are heroes at drinking. We have therefore to deal with a mighty and overwhelming spirit. The Psalmist opposes to this awful force the consolatory and ever-sustaining thought that the goodness of God endureth continually. We are not called upon to oppose might with weakness, or to counteract the solemn and horrible fact by some merely pious sentiment or irrational ejaculation. We meet might with superior might. We encounter fact with still larger fact. The Lord must ever be infinitely greater than his enemies. If we look at them alone they appear to us to be overwhelming and irresistible; but we are not to look at them alone, but to the heavens which are smiling upon our souls, to the whole resources of Omnipotence, to the boundless stores of divine wisdom; so long as we fix our hearts upon the goodness of God, and assure ourselves of its continuousness, the mighty man or wicked hero can have no power against us. The goodness of God is not intermittent It does not depend upon changeful moods. Even the best of our friends may be occasionally depressed or consciously weak or uncertain in the application of his love; but in the case of our Father in heaven we have to rely upon the historically continuous, the unchanging, the permanent. Let us beware lest we break up the goodness of God into mere fits and spasms, and content ourselves with citing special instances in which we have seen unique and comforting providences. The Lord's goodness is not to be marked off as in a diary, now very high, now rather low, now somewhat doubtful. Whether we can see the direct and emphatic line of goodness or not, we can believe in its existence and in its influence. God is always equally good. His denials to our prayers are as gracious as his fulfilments. We do not see all this now, and it is not our business to see it; our one business is to have faith in God, and to be quite sure that he is good "Good when he gives, supremely good; nor less when he denies." The same doctrine is taught in the frequent expression, "his mercy endureth for ever." The fact is that the goodness of God is God himself, and as he endureth continually so his goodness knows no time or change. God is not loving; the statement goes infinitely beyond and gives us as the foundation fact of our practical theology the assurance that God is Love. So God is goodness. Because God himself is good ness there can be no change in his mercy, there can be no limit to his love. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him. Why should we disquiet ourselves with vain thoughts, and with events that mock our vision, and our hope, when we might live in the inviolable sanctuary of real union with God?
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Parker, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 52". Parker's The People's Bible. https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20