“And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for their own good and the good of their children after them. I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul” (Jeremiah 32:38–41, ESV).
I love this passage! I love this passage because it reminds me of something that is remarkable. God says "With all My heart and all My soul, I will rejoice in doing them good." Imagine! God's design for our lives is doing us good, not half-heartedly but with a full heart! It is easy for me to read the first reference to good "for their own good and the good of their children after them," and to consider it like being given a bitter pill accompanied with the words, "This is for your own good." We can take this as if God interacts with us with a form of stoicism, presuming He is an emotionless God calculating what will be good and acting accordingly. But the truth is quite different from that. He rejoices in doing us good. It pleases Him to do good to His creatures. It is not a half-hearted action required by God's moral obligations; it is extravagant grace, displayed through His benevolent perfections.
God not only acts toward my good and the good of my children after me—this is His delight!
What is man that you are mindful of him (Psalm 8:4)?! How can the Creator of the universe have pleasure in doing good to a sinful creature? I should expect that since God is just, His rejoicing here would be in pouring His wrath (which I deserve) upon me. How can He rejoice with all His heart and soul to do good to me? Is it not true that as a just God, He rejoices in justice? Is it not true that the judgment of sin is the delight of a holy God? Is it not true that the removal of sin is a glorious thing? Yes, yes and yes! So how do we square this circle? How can a God who is just and rejoices in righteousness and truth, also rejoice in doing good to those whose very nature stands in opposition to God's righteousness and truth (see Jeremiah 17:9-10)? We find the answer to this in the cross of His only begotten Son, our Savior.
Here, righteousness and peace kiss (Psalm 85:10). God has satisfied His justice on His Son so that we can know His favor. In Christ, God truly does rejoice to do us good because He rejoices to do His own Son good. In Christ, we not only have what is good for us, but we have a Father who rejoices with all His heart and all His soul to do us good. I am so thankful for a God who, although I deserve His wrath and judgment, takes great pleasure in doing me good.
Father of all that is good. Thank you that Your goodness toward me is not merely a sense of moral duty; it is something that brings You pleasure. My mind cannot understand why You take pleasure in doing good to someone who must repent daily. Although my understanding is lost in wonder, my heart thrills at this reality. When I do not think that I can be more in awe of who You are, I see Your character displayed in Your Word and am again humbled by Your undeserved favor. Your Son bore my judgment that I might now bear His favor. Help me today, when I am tempted to forget that even the challenging moments of my day are incidents of You doing me good. For this is an occasion of Your pleasure, to do good to Your redeemed. Help me today to rejoice in You, just as You rejoice to do me good, for such rejoicing is good for me. Amen.