Good to the Bone

Good to the Bone from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo.

Today I want to talk about the goodness of God. He is good through and through. It is His very nature to be good to us, and no one has to help Him. God is eternally and unchangeably good. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all good through and through. God is good to the bone, and nothing that we do will ever change that.

(Nahum 1:7 NASB) The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble, And He knows those who take refuge in Him.

To build on that, God is good, and He “knows” His people. The word translated “know” here means “loving communion, to know experientially.” He knows all about you, even the hairs on your head are all numbered (Luke 12:7). He knows our struggles in life. He knows our prayers, our tears, and our wishes. He can see the hidden things in our heart. He knows that we are not what we want to be, but he knows what we do desire to be. He hears our groans and sighs when we fail, and He is there to pick us back up.

There is no fooling God with mere words for He has been with us when we thought we were alone. He knows us thoroughly from the inside out, so get real and let’s be honest with Him in our prayers. There is hardly anything more of a stench to God than a hypocrite, an actor who pretends to have it all together, to have need of nothing. Jesus said it like this:

(Luke 18:9–14 NASB)  And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. “The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. ‘I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ “But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ “I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

It’s ok to not have it all together, it’s ok to be a sinner praying for mercy, for God is the Good One and He knows us through and through. We are weak, but He is strong. It is ok to lean on Him, to depend on Him, to need His help, to need His advice, for He knows those who take refuge in Him. The word translated “refuge” here is “ha-sa” meaning:

Strongs: 2879 חָסָה (ḥā·sā(h)): “to take refuge in, to go to a place where one will find safety, rest, or comfort, implying the place of refuge is a place to be trusted to keep one safe” (Jdg 9:15; 2Sa 22:3).

The Lord Himself is our refuge, our fortress, our place of safety, and He is more than able to take care of us wherever we are. In the days coming, you are going to want to be near your refuge. Scripture is full of people who sought safety in the presence of the Lord during times of danger. David sought refuge in the Lord and he often wrote about it in his songs:

(2 Samuel 22:3 NASB) My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; My savior, You save me from violence.

(2 Samuel 22:31 NASB) “…He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.”

(Psalm 7:1 NASB) “O Lord my God, in You I have taken refuge; Save me from all those who pursue me, and deliver me”

(Psalm 18:2 NASB) “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”   

 (Psalm 31:19 NASB) “How great is Your goodness, Which You have stored up for those who fear You, Which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You, Before the sons of men!”

 (Psalm 57:1 NASB) “Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, For my soul takes refuge in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge Until destruction passes by.”

That is an interesting phrase: “I will take refuge in You until destruction passes by.” That is good for us, for God is good, loving, patient, kind, long suffering, slow to anger, to everyone, but He is not blind or deaf. He hears the cries of the oppressed, the victims, the hungry. Their prayers come up before Him, and in time they will be answered. Consider these two parables of Jesus about what is coming to the Earth:

(Matthew 13:24–30 NKJV)  Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ’ ”

 We are growing together until the harvest and there is every kind of evil on the Earth today, but it will not always be that way. The sheep will be separated from the goats. The day is coming when the wicked will be suddenly gathered up, and burned in the fire.

(Matthew 13:47–50 NASB)  “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea, and gathering fish of every kind; and when it was filled, they drew it up on the beach; and they sat down and gathered the good fish into containers, but the bad they threw away. “So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

 A scary note in both of these parables is that the wicked were right in there, growing among the wheat and the good fish, until they were separated and picked out. The wheat and tares looked a lot alike, so did the fish. But God knows those who take refuge in Him, and He will protect them through anything that is coming until their time here is complete.

 There is a common misconception today that satan will rule in hell and have servants, or parties and such. That is nothing but a fairy tale. His party is here and now, and when it is over, he will be bound and cast into the bottomless pit to burn and be tormented for eternity. The wicked have nothing to look forward to but an eternity of burning. Consider these verses:

(Revelation 20:1–2 NKJV)  Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;

 (Revelation 20:10 NKJV)  The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

God is good, long suffering, and He is letting people choose their eternal home today. A tree is known by the fruit that it bears, and when the Lord sends His angels to harvest the Earth, your words will no longer matter. The fruit you have produced will tell them all that they need to know about the reservation you chose to make.

 Make God your go-to, your refuge, your fortress in times of trouble today, and you will be ready for what is coming. You don’t have to be perfect, you don’t have to have it all together, for He accepts the broken, and He puts them back together. You can pray this with me if you like:

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I pray that You forgive me of the things that I have done wrong. Wash me and I will be clean. Save me and I will be saved. Please set me free from the things that hold me back. You are my refuge, my fortress, and I choose to put my trust in You today. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen!

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