He loves righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.
I. FOLLOW OUT SOME THOUGHTS WHICH THIS STATEMENT SUGGESTS.
1. Think of the general arrangements of the natural system around us. We may well be impressed by that beauty which God has spread as a mantle over the face of Nature; the loveliness of fields, and trees, and flowers; the dark blue of the sky, as contrasted with the soft greenness of the objects more immediately around us, and which it solaces the eye to gaze upon. But there is also utility. Everything has its use, and is in subserviency to the ends of the system to which it belongs. Then, the productiveness of the earth. What a storehouse it is for all the necessities of the creatures. And the more we come to know in detail of the manner in which the provision is made, the more wondrous do creating wisdom, and providential goodness appear.
2. All this especially appears in what respects the human family. Each land and each district has its resources for sustenance in the different products of the earth, and the various tribes of animals created for the food of man. The vast diversity is a marvellous display of the wisdom and goodness of God. Fuel also is provided; and provided, in part, by processes which have been going on for ages and ages, apparently before man dwelt upon the earth. Mighty convulsions were all overruled as the means of furnishing us with the coal that warms us, and which maintains those schemes of manufacturing industry on which the prosperity of many lands, and emphatically of our own, so much depends. And where this is deficient, or altogether wanting, great accumulations of wood subserve the same end, the trees of the forest furnishing a perpetually renewed and probably inexhaustible supply. Where again this is too scarce or too costly, the mountaineer on the lofty hill-side, or on the upland moor, may be seen gathering in the peat or turf which warms his cottage home during winter's cold. Thus is provision made for the sustenance and, to a great extent, the comfort of men wherever their lot is cast. Over the face of the earth you see men loving their native land. Yet what a blessing, on the other hand, is the law of change! What vast benefit springs from it! When mind and body are wearied, what unspeakable refreshment comes from new scenes and associations, and the invigorating air of the hills or of the seal Thus the body rests, nervous energy is repaired, and the mind is re-invigorated for new effort or toil. Then, in God's institutions respecting domestic life, with the beautiful charities which arise out of them and adorn them, how Divine goodness further appears! Doubtless there is much of sorrow in the earth. It entered in the train of sin. Thorns and briars, storms and tempests, disease, bereavement etc. But the triumphs of Divine goodness are seen amidst these sources of sadness. It regulates and apportions them as to the measure in which they appear. It mitigates them, too, by compensating arrangements such as the compassion which it has implanted in the human bosom, and which teaches us to sympathize with and help one another, and markedly that law by whose operation time exerts a healing influence. Above all, it does so by making pain and grief subservient to moral improvement, so that "by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better."
II. HOW ANXIOUS WE SHOULD BE THAT THE WORLD, WHICH IS SO FULL OF GOD'S GOODNESS, SHOULD ALSO BE THE REGION OF HIS PRAISE! We see the material creation everywhere teeming with the manifestations of His care for us. What displays of this, too, have all had in their own personal history. If, then, God has made the world, which is the scene of our probation, so bright and beautiful, and if His interpositions in delivering from danger and from death have been so many and so gracious, shall not all our hearts be responsive to such goodness? All reason surely is with the psalmist (Psalm 119:64). And whilst this applies to the individual, how it applies also to the world generally, and to universal man! Away in many of the most beautiful parts of that earth which is "full of the goodness of the Lord," men wander in ignorance, superstition and sin. What a sphere for our sympathies and prayers!
(E. T. Prust.)
Parallel VersesKJV: He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.