[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.
JAM3 saysJuly 9, 2011 at 8:53 pm
God is good all the time and all the time God is good!!!
Marguerita saysSeptember 8, 2011 at 3:03 pm
The goodness of God enables us to live each day acknowledging and appreciating that everyday “in” Christ, regardless of the circumstances is better than any day without Him. I’m so grateful that He loves me and is a such very present and personal God to me. It is comforting to know that even before we were born, formed in the womb, or even before we knew Him, His goodness and faithfulness had already shaped our life and destiny which we can entrust back to Him.
Diana Love-Nelson saysSeptember 13, 2011 at 11:21 am
AMEN to that!!!
Janis saysOctober 9, 2011 at 8:25 pm
I hope that this reply will be received in the spirit in which it is written–not one to be contentious, but rather one to hopefully further expound upon the goodness of God. (Since there is not a way for me to use italics for emphasis, I have to use capitals. So, please know that I’m not yelling.)
This blog makes the following statement about the goodness of God in relation to unbelievers. “…the goodness of God demands all circumstances to work together for the bad of those rebellious and hateful toward God.” This conclusion (that the opposite of Romans 8:28 is true for the life experience of the unbeliever) doesn’t accurately represent the WHOLE of God’s interactions with man.
Matthew 5:43-48 states, “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, SO THAT YOU MAY BE SONS OF YOUR FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN; FOR HE CAUSES HIS SUN TO RISE ON THE EVIL AND THE GOOD, AND SENDS RAIN ON THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE UNRIGHTEOUS. FOR IF YOU LOVE THOSE WHO LOVE YOU, WHAT REWARD DO YOU HAVE? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? THEREFORE YOU ARE TO BE PERFECT, AS YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER IS PERFECT.”
This blog rightly states, “He alone is the rule and measure of what we truly know to be good.” God asks no less of us than what He is Himself, and HE IS GOOD EVEN TO THOSE WHO DON’T LOVE HIM.
Yitzhak saysOctober 28, 2011 at 10:59 am
I would probably look at what they said as being what goes around comes around. We are to love our enemies. And G-d so loved the world . . . But it also reads Gal 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. Gal 6:8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. So, when the rebellious and bad do what they do than all things work together for bad for them because of their sin and rebellion. shalom
Queen Charlie saysNovember 8, 2011 at 6:06 am
Hmmmm….something to really thing about! To God be the glory at all times! Amen!