My gracious friend:
I have Purposefully underlined the verb is, because often when we wish to express how God does good things, we miss the true meaning. It is true He does good, but He is more, He is good! Just as the Lord is love, and is just, faithful, merciful, gracious, and several other moral attributes. He is all this and certainly good. This is not something new, but as old as His revelation to Abram. Nathan the prophet will write 600 years before the birth of Jesus, that “the LORD is good,” as will the Chronicler, and Psalmist (Nah.1:7; 1 Chr.16;34; Psa.100.5;106.1).
We are aware by now that when scripture capitalizes the word LORD, it is the expression in Hebrew for the name of God (אנשנ). These letters are most often translated as “I AM.” However, this is only a meager effort to relate what this means. And this is less a name than a revelation of His nature. This is, like so much of what we as humans do in relation to God, it is too little, and never enough. God is ineffable! That is quite the word isn’t it, ineffable? It means too great or sacred to be expressed in words. Despite that, we keep trying. He is Love! He is Good, and so many other things! And we could search for days for the words to describe just one of these attribute.
It was early in my introduction to what is called philosophy that I encountered the question of God and goodness. As it was put to the class, ‘are things good because they are good, or because God (or as we were discussing Greek philosophers), gods?’ The quandary was ‘if it is good not because God, or the gods say so, but because it is good. Then good is “separate from,” or “superior to” God.’ My response then as now is, there is no quandary “God is good.” This is certainly His very nature, as are so many other things. And He is good! And He wants to share His goodness. If we at times question this, seem puzzled by events, problems, or issues that arise. This may or may not be because of poor choices on our part, and just as likely because we exist in a fallen and corrupt world. Still there is no doubt God wants only goodness for us.
It is true, if difficult, but at times He may require of us patience and always trust, but “God’s timing is always perfect.” God is good, but we cannot dictate our desires to Him. Ultimately we will see His “good” for us. This reminds me of a popular entertainer who shared how once he prayed earnestly that a particular woman would accept his proposal. She didn’t. Years later he realized what an error it would have been for him to have married her. Not answering that prayer was God being good!
We are often in too much of a hurry. Blind to what God is doing in and around us, or deaf to His voice, that small voice urging us in another direction. I know it’s tough at times to remain patient, suffering unjustified slings and arrows, and what seems at times divine neglect. And some of us will go through “fire” or “tribulation,” maybe both. This is not what any would wish! But our Lord warned us; “If they called your master Beelzebub, how much more will they malign those of the house” (Mt.10:25).
There is a current song I enjoy, “Oh I love you Lord, for your mercy never fails me, All my days, I’ve been held in your hands, from the moment I wake up until I lay my head. Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God (chorus). You have led me through the fire in the darkest night. You are close like no other. I’ve known you as a Father. I’ve known you as a friend. Oh I will sing of the goodness of God (chorus again).” This is so true! He does lead us through the “fires,” the “dark nights,” and always He is closer than any one other, and His mercy never fails.
In this all He desires to make us stronger, pushing us to walk upright, lead us to lift up others. He would have us add to our local Christian gatherings, aid in the efforts of our faith, perhaps with this ministry. Efforts perhaps near (disaster close at hand) or far away (like Ukraine or India), but we all have a part in His great and good effort. Remember, “be of good cheer, (He) has overcome the world“(Jn.16:33). And we will overcome as well, usually because of our patience and trust in His mercy.
Blessed are we all, for our Lord is good,
Thomas Randolf Wyatt
hen you write.