Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.
WE SHOULD STAND AMAZED AT GOD’S PATIENCE WITH US. In Malachi’s day, for example, the people complained about the scarcity of God’s blessings, but God invited them to take Him seriously and then see what would happen: “ ‘Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it’ ” (Malachi 3:10).
One of our difficulties is that we fail to recognize the depth of goodness that is available to us in God. “Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness!” Marvelous satisfactions are waiting for us, but we don’t have the eyes to see how truly satisfying these things can be. Nor do we have the character to be grateful for what is available to us. We are like a complacent people who live just a few miles from the shore of a vast ocean. Others have told us what great things await us there, but if we’ve even bothered to go see what lies so near us, we’ve done little more than dip our toes into the most convenient edges of the water. We’ve come back complaining: “The water was cold. It was too far to travel. And we had to miss our favorite television program.”
The thing we are lacking is a hunger for what God has to offer: goodness. If our taste runs in other directions, we shouldn’t be surprised that what God offers is unimpressive. But for those who “hunger and thirst for righteousness” (Matthew 5:6), there simply are no words to describe the depth of our fulfillment. In fact, while it is obviously true that God “satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness,” there is another sense in which God’s satisfaction of our needs only enlarges our capacity to enjoy Him even more. For those who’ve progressed a little way down the path of spiritual growth, one of the most intense delights of life in God is that just when we think He has filled our cup to the brim, He gives us a bigger cup.
That they are never satisfied makes all the saints rejoice.
Oh, what a happy hunger! Oh, what a blessed thirst!