Many of us are familiar with the biblical truth that God is good, or benevolent, to all. “He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Mt. 5:45 NASB). “The Lord is good to all, and His mercies are over all His works” (Ps. 145:9 NASB). In his comments on Psalm 86 Augustine reflected on this truth and used it to remind Christians of the greater gift of God to his people:
Think, brethren, and reflect what good things God giveth unto sinners: and learn hence what He keepeth for His own servants. To sinners who blaspheme Him every day He giveth the sky and the earth, He giveth springs, fruits, health, children, wealth, abundance: all these good things none giveth but God.
He who giveth such things to sinners, what thinkest thou He keeps for His faithful ones? Is this to be believed of Him, that He who giveth such things to the bad, keepeth nothing for the good? Nay verily He doth keep, not earth, but heaven for them. Too common a thing perhaps I say when I say heaven; Himself rather, who made the heaven. Fair is heaven, but fairer is the Maker of heaven
The above quote is found in Augustine of Hippo, vol. 8, A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, First Series (New York: Christian Literature Company, 1888), 412.
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015