[This is the second post in a series on the attributes of God. Read the first.]
Exodus 34:6-7 — The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands,fn forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”
Psalm 25:8 — Good and upright is the LORD;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
James 1:17 — Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
You’ve heard the phrase plenty of times, I’m sure: “God is good.” He is good, indeed!
One of the most intrinsic attributes of God is His goodness. God is not good because it makes Him more attractive to be, nor is He good because He follows after some sort of standard or pattern for goodness. God is actually so good that He is the source of all goodness; He alone is the rule and measure of what we truly know to be good.
What does this mean for Christians?
To the Christian, the goodness of the Lord is a security. The Christian knows well that he has been bathed in the death and resurrection of Christ and now stands wholly righteous before God; and this being so, he also recognizes all that God will work in his life will be for his own good. A good God would never work circumstances to the peril of the righteous.
God’s goodness in both His mercy and justice
Romans 8:28 tells us that “for those who love God all things work together for good,for those who are called according to his purpose.” This is the believer’s rest and assurance. But not so for the unbeliever: the goodness of God demands all circumstances to work together for the bad of those rebellious and hateful toward God. God’s goodness will manifest itself in a wrathful justice against those who are defiled of holiness, for True goodness cannot abide evil.
This post is adapted from Blue Letter Bible’s Theological FAQs page.