When David brought the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem, he established men to play instruments and sing and pray before it 24/7 as described in 1 Chronicles 25. Because singing around the clock could become monotonous and the men may run out of things to sing and pray, he commanded them to sing this:

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!

For His mercy endures forever.

1 Chronicles 16:34

This was part of the song David sang at the dedication of the ark in Jerusalem, and we find it over and over again in scripture after this. It is one of the most important themes in scripture and one of the most important aspects of God for us to understand.

The Good Judge

We looked last time as God as judge, and we cannot understand God properly as judge without understanding Him as good. They go hand in hand. In fact, in the verses directly before proclaiming God’s goodness, David points this out:

 31Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;

And let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.”

32Let the sea roar, and all its fullness;

Let the field rejoice, and all that is in it.

33Then the trees of the woods shall rejoice before the Lord,

For He is coming to judge the earth.

1 Chronicles 16:31-33

God is good and we can trust Him as our judge. The fact that His mercy endures forever should be of great comfort to all of us who have sinned, those of us who have fallen short of the glory of God.

The Privilege of His Goodness

This became a prominent passage repeated time and again, and it is one that we should continually remind ourselves of today. It is human nature to fall into sin, and then out of fear and shame, run away from God. It is because of God’s goodness that when we stumble and fall in sin, we have the privilege to run straight back to Him and be reconciled. His mercy will endure over us and our sin forever.

There is no greater good than for God to overlook our sin because of the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, on the cross. Because Jesus has died for us, there is mercy that will cover over all our sins and wipe them clean. What can we say, what could we sing that could embody such a great salvation, such a great gift?

Oh sing to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercies endure forever!

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