the Boston Marathon and Spurgeon

“The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.” – Ps 145:9

It’s interesting to note that the Psalmist, David, proclaims that God is good to all, and his mercy is over allGod’s goodness is not merely to His people (or His elect).

Charles Spurgeon, commenting on this verse in his Treasury of David, had this to say:

The Lord is good to all. No one, not even his fiercest enemy, can this; for the falsehood would be too barefaced, since the very existence lips which slander him is a proof that it is slander. He allows his live, he even supplies them with food, and smooths their way with many forts; for them the sun shines as brightly as if they were saints, and the rain waters their fields as plentifully as if they were perfect men. Is not this goodness to all?

[…]

Kindness is a law of God’s universe: the world was planned for happiness; even now that sin has so sadly marred God’s handiwork, and introduced elements which were not from the beginning, the Lord has so arranged matters that the fall is broken, the curse is met by an antidote, and the inevitable pain is softened with mitigations. Even in this sin stricken world, under its disordered economy, there are abundant traces of a hand skilful to soothe distress and heal disease. That which makes life bearable is the tenderness of the great Father.

This is seen in the creation of an insect as well as in the ruling of nations. The Creator is never rough, the Provider is never forgetful, the Ruler is never cruel. Nothing is done to create disease, no organs are arranged to promote misery; the incoming of sickness and pain is not according to the original design, but a result of our disordered state. Man’s body as it left the Maker’s hand was neither framed for disease, decay, nor death, neither was the purpose of it discomfort and anguish; far otherwise, it was framed for a joyful activity, and a peaceful enjoyment of God.

Jehovah has in great consideration laid up in the world cures for our ailments, and helps for our feebleness; and if many of these have been long in their discovery, it is because it was more for man’s benefit to find them out himself, than to have them labelled and placed in order before his eyes. We may be sure of this, that Jehovah has never taken delight in the ills of his creatures, but has sought their good, and laid himself out to alleviate the distresses into which they have guiltily plunged themselves.

As we reflect on the suffering in this world, not least at the tragedy at the Boston Marathon yesterday, it’s worth holding fast to this truth – behind it all is a God who is good and merciful to all.

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