An Egyptian princess bathed at a river where she encountered a tiny babe in a tar-pitched basket. She furnished a home for the infant and named him Moses. There, in the royal palace halls, Moses most likely learned the skills of writing and reading. He would later write the history and laws of a nation, the first five books of the Old Testament. Some of our current laws are based upon those civil laws from so long ago.
The Bible reveals many such instances where the goodness of God is revealed as he moves ahead of a single life or nation to steer them in a specific direction. This week, we’ll finish up the series on the fruit of the Spirit. From the Galatians 5:22 list, we’ll consider the term “goodness” and how God’s goodness works in us and through us.
First, reflect on a list of synonyms which help to define the abstract word “goodness”: integrity (right thinking), righteous, moral, blameless, virtuous, and honest.
The picture of God’s goodness is like a set of parentheses – and that set of parentheses surrounds us. His daily provisions and goodness encompasses each person on earth. And through those God speaks every man’s language. Every time a bean plant sprouts and produces one hundred beans, God’s goodness speaks. Every time, microbes eat spilled oil in a gulf of water, God’s goodness speaks.
“The heavens declare the glory [wonder] of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands….there is no speech or language where their voice is not heard” (Psalm 19:1-4). General blessings drench the entire earth such as God’s rain falling on the just and the unjust, but God’s goodness also falls upon individuals. The beauty and order of the earth are spoken in God's native tongue. He creates. We enjoy. He also provides individualized care.
A wealthy Shunammite woman, a contemporary of Elisha the prophet, lived in the town of Shunem. When the prophet traveled through Shunem, he took his meals with her and her husband. Eventually, the couple built a room and furnished it for the prophet.
Elisha wanted to repay her and asked what he could do? Her contentment caused her not to make a suggestion, but Elisha’s servant Gehazi observed that her husband was old and she had no son.
Through God, Elisha promised an heir. The son was born, but when still a young lad, he died. The scene where Elisha appealed to God and the young lad’s life was restored is certainly a memorable Bible text.
Later, the Shunammite’s story continues in 2 Kings 8. God’s goodness, arranging, and timing are stamped on this event. Elisha had warned this Shunammite’s family to flee to Philistine because a severe famine was coming to her native land. So, her family lived in another country for seven years, and then returned to their homeland.
Back in her country, she and her son were on their way to see the king. Meanwhile, the king said to Gehazi, Elisha’s servant, “Tell me about all the great things Elisha has done.”
Gehazi had plenty of stories about God’s mighty arm of rescue, especially the time Elisha raised the dead. “Just as Gehazi was telling the king how Elisha had restored the dead to life,” in walked the woman and her son to “beg the king for her house and land” (2 Kings 8:5). The “just as” moment so inspired the king that he returned her home, land, and seven-years of earnings.
When you take your next breath, recall the goodness of God who orchestrated it. The next time you notice a pinkish sky, and the sun arising or bowing to nightfall, praise God who created the scene. The next time you experience the happy parentheses where God has cocooned you, bless his name. The next time you see the fruit of his Spirit in your life, give thanks.
(Photo borrowed from http://summitpost.org/ )