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What the Bible says about God's Benevolence
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Genesis 2:3

Genesis 2:3 says that God blessed the Sabbath day, something He did to no other day. This blessing falls on the heels of the obviously physical blessings God pronounced on animals (Genesis 1:22) and man (Genesis 1:28). The Bible shows a blessing to be something given or conferred to produce a fuller, more abundant life. The Sabbath blessing, conferred upon the whole creation, acts as the capstone of Creation week.

By blessing a recurring period of time, God promises to be man's benefactor through the whole course of human history! The blessing invokes God's favor, and its primary intent is that God will be our spiritual benefactor. It does, however, include the physical as well. Thus, Jesus clearly ties His ministry to the Sabbath concepts of blessing, deliverance, liberty, and redemption.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Fourth Commandment (Part Two): Christ's Attitude Toward the Sabbath

Numbers 23:19

Job remarks that, as God's creations and recipients of His benevolence, we have no right to complain when He allows us to endure afflictions or hardships. Even in these times, we still reap the benefits of His goodness because it is good for us to be afflicted, to receive correction, because these trials will eventually benefit us. The result will always show God's goodness.

Martin G. Collins
Goodness

Job 2:10

Should a Christian allow himself to bemoan God's goodness even during a trial? When Job's wife wanted him to curse God for bringing trials upon him, Job expressed the right principle of God's universal goodness and fairness when he rebuked her for grumbling.

There are times when we may feel like God is not treating us fairly. Job points out that, as God's creations and recipients of His generosity and benevolence, we have no right to complain when He allows us to be afflicted or tests us through hardship.

Martin G. Collins
Fear the Lord's Goodness!

Psalm 23:1

Because our God is our Shepherd—and He is the most powerful, wise, balanced, loving, and caring Being ever—we are never going to want, that is, lack for proper management. It does not mean that we will never lack things. David himself lacked things. There were times when David did not have a home to hang his hat in, and he had to run from cave to cave to escape Saul. There were times when he was hungry and thirsty and times when he thought his life was hanging in the balance, but he always understood that what was being worked out in his life was part of the will of God.

He knew God's attention was focused on him, and he was receiving the management that he needed in his life at that time. He understood that all the events of his life were pointed toward the goal of his being in the Kingdom of God.

We may lack things, but we will never lack the best in care and management. We will have the very best in guidance and spiritual provision at any given moment. As a result of this, we have to ask ourselves several questions: Do we recognize His right to us? He died for us. He paid for us. We belong to Him. He has every right to manage our lives in the way He sees fit.

This next question is part of the first question: Do we belong to Him? It is pretty hard to belong to Him if we do not recognize His right to us. Our answer to this question will determine how we will react under His management. If we do not react in the proper way, it is probably because we do not see ourselves as really belonging to Him or recognize that He has a right to allow these things to occur in our lives.

Do we respond to His authority? Do we find freedom and fulfillment in this arrangement? Do we have a deep sense of purpose, mission, and direction as a result of the Lord being our Shepherd?

Those are things we can respond to, meditate on, and find application for in our lives. It begins with an acknowledgment that we really do belong to Him and that we really are the recipients of the very best in management and care. We sing that "He's got the whole world in His hands," but then we act as though everybody else has the best care, but not us.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Psalm 23 (Part Two)

John 3:16-17

None of God's beneficence in any way means He approves of the conduct of sinful men, but rather it is a revelation of His nature that, despite men's wickedness, He has benevolent feelings toward them. He earnestly desires their happiness and is sincerely devoted to helping them make a success of life.

The whole world lies in wickedness (I John 5:19), and mankind is unable to extricate itself from it. Part of God's solution is to give a blessing, a gift, by which all the sins of humanity can be met and paid. Think of how much good fruit will be produced because of it! Can any kindness be greater than this? Absolutely not! But it does set a clear standard and pattern of conduct for us to exemplify in our lives so we too can be seen as children of God.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness


 




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