(Psalms 31:19) Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!
In this Psalm David was excited about God’s goodness in delivering him. The context is probably 1Samuel, chapters 23 and following, where Saul was pursuing David. God delivered him from Saul and David could not help but praise God for His goodness.
According to the verse God’s providential goodness is great. This Hebrew word for “goodness” is defined as “welfare,” “favor,” “pleasantness,” “graciousness,” “practical benefit.” The word “great” in Hebrew expresses abundance in quantity and quality. God’s goodness is like a well that never runs dry. It is infinite enough for all. It is of the highest quality. It cannot be matched.
Notice also, God’s goodness “is laid up for them that fear Thee.” The Hebrew Word for “laid up” means “to hide”, “hoard”, “reserve”, “conceal something with a definite purpose”, “to treasure up” where no one can take it away. God’s goodness is stored up for the times that He sees fit to disperse it to His children. It is plenteous and no one can keep God from showering it upon us.
Not only is this great goodness treasured up for us in a secure place, but David says it is wrought for them… The Hebrew word means “to make,” or to be “prepared for.” At the proper time, when we need God’s goodness the most, He manifests it to us. Adam Clarke wrote; “It is proportioned and provided for the necessities of men when they need it most.”
Now, in our verse there are conditions for receiving this goodness. First of all, it is laid up for them that fear God. For those who stand in awe of God’s greatness and realize that God is holy. For those who know who God is and also know who they are-weak, frail, and always in need of His assistance. Secondly, God’s goodness is provided to them that “trust in Thee before the sons of men.” These are people who boldly confess and praise God before all people. Who proclaim confidence in God before all men. These kinds of people experience the joy of receiving God’s abundant goodness.
Who can measure God’s goodness? In His kindness He comforts His children. David can attest to this truth, but thankfully he is not alone in receiving God’s goodness and comfort. Consider some New Testament examples. The Apostle Paul was suffering from a “thorn in the flesh” (possibly eye problems?) and prayed three times for deliverance. Notice God’s answer and Paul’s response in 2 Corinthians 12:9; And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Notice that God does not always take away the difficulty, but in His goodness He does give us the grace to get through it. In Romans chapter 2 Paul is continuing his argument that all people are sinners. While rebuking people who judge sin in others Paul writes in v.4; “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” God’s purpose in His kindness and goodness is not to excuse sin, but to stimulate repentance. Then in Romans 6:23 Paul writes, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Our God did not have to save any of us, but in His infinite goodness He provided a way of salvation through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.
Are you grateful for God’s goodness? Folks, He is a good and wonderful God. Let us proclaim this to everyone who will listen to us. Let me leave you with a few more precious verses as you ponder God’s goodness.
(Psalms 27:13) I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
(Psalms 36:7-8) How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.