Why Do Good Things Happen to Bad People – 2

1. The Point of Faith. “Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart” (Ps. 73:1, ESV). A Pastor shouted one Sunday morning, “Let the church walk.” The deacons shouted back, “Amen, Pastor, let it walk!”  Then he said, “Let the church run.” They replied, “Amen, Pastor, let it run.”  Then he said, “It takes money to let it run.”  The deacons shouted back, “Let it walk, Pastor. Let it walk.”

The Conclusion of Faith. “Truly” is from the Hebrew, ‘ak, which is a word of affirmation. It means, “certainly,” and “not otherwise.”[1] Asaph begins with a conclusion here, not an introduction. He begins with the end in mind. He declares that this is really true; that this is really certain; and not otherwise. What is Asaph declaring here?

The Character of God. Asaph declares that God is good. The adjective, “good,” is from the Heb. tov, which in this context, means, “kind, correct, righteous.” It refers to God’s “moral goodness, as contrasted with moral evil (1 Kgs. 8:36; 2 Chr. 14:2; 31:20; Ps. 34:14).”[2]

Asaph looks around and he sees moral badness. He sees people suffering in their trials while trusting God. He sees people prospering in their riches while disobeying God. Isn’t this a kind of moral injustice?

But despite that, Asaph says, “God is morally good.” He speaks about the character of God. The character of God is constant, regardless of circumstances. Whether we believe God to be good (or not) does not change His character—that He is good. Whether you suffer today (or not) does not change His goodness. God is still good, even when we suffer or even when we don’t understand, like Job and his friends, why we suffer.

This is Asaph’s conclusion. This is the answer to his problem. He saw that the righteous were suffering, while the unrighteous were prospering. He couldn’t understand it at first. But then he looked up to God. He saw the character of God. He trusted the sovereignty of God. God is on the throne. God is in control. Then he said, “God is good.”

We ask, “To whom is God good?


[1] C. F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament, Vol. 10, trans. James Martin (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1996), PC Study Bible CD-Rom, version 5.0., ed. Jim Gilbertson (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft, Inc., 1988-2007).

[2] Warren Baker, gen. ed., The Complete Word Study Old Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1994).

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