And God saw all that he had made, and behold, it was very good. (Genesis 1:31). This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5).
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. (James 1:17).
The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made. (Psalm 145:8-9).
“God is great, God is good...” I remember praying this as a child... usually very rushed, because it was just before eating. But I don’t think I was so very unlike I am now—rushing past the goodness of God. Most of us simply assume that if God is there, he is surely good. But what does it mean to say that God is good, and how does that become good news for us?
First consider the fact that everything God makes is good. God has never made a bad product. He’s never created a human and done so poorly. Seven times we are told in Genesis 1 that what God made was good. That should give us pause to consider ourselves and our world. There is an innate “good” quality to us and the world around us. Eventually, that goodness became marred and tarnished by the fallenness of our first parents, but we must see that at first, everything was very good. Today, goodness is hard to see. So very often we are faced with the results of our sin. And yet, we still bear God’s good image as a race, and as individuals. God’s goodness means that we, even after our fall, can still experience some level of goodness here on the earth.
Also consider that everything God does is good. We have—as a result of our blindness caused by sin—a knee jerk reaction to blame God any time something really bad happens. “Where are you God?” ask the pundits and talk show hosts, never pausing to consider that God is good, not evil. “In him there is no darkness at all,” we are told. But we are blind to the fact that we should not be blaming God, but praising him. Anything God does is good, because God himself is good. Goodness is an essential part of his nature. God will never do anything evil, wrong, hurtful, or malevolent to us. This means that we can trust him above and beyond all others. It’s not just that God does good, he is good—goodness itself.
Today, let’s not hurry past the good news that our God is totally, completely good. Let’s pause and thank God, along with the psalmist, that the Lord’s grace covers all that he has made, and he treats all of his creatures with goodness.
God, thank you for your unstoppable goodness. Thank you that you are kind, gentle, gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in love for me.
Thank you God that because you made me, I am not beyond your redemption. I am not so messed up that your grace cannot save me. Thank you that in you, I can share in your goodness. Apart from you I can't do anything, but with you, Jesus, I can know real goodness.
Help me today to share the goodness of God with others. Just as there is no evil in you, let evil be far from me. Keep me pure, just like you. As I praise you for your goodness, make me better too.
For Jesus' glory, amen.