I listened to a speaker on Sunday talking about the subject of God being good. The following is the gist of what he was saying. I liked the progression of his reasoning and how he explained it.
Though followers of Jesus will probably say God is good, despite personal pains griefs and tragedies, it is worth asking how they can come to that conclusion.
If we look at the poem of creation in Genesis chapter 1 we see the repeated use of the word ‘good’.
3 And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good…
10 God called the dry ground ‘land’, and the gathered waters he called ‘seas’. And God saw that it was good.
12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
13 And there was evening, and there was morning – the third day.
16 God made two great lights – the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good.
19 And there was evening, and there was morning – the fourth day.
21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
To describe these results of creation as good can not mean they were good in an ethical or moral sense. Neither could it be a case of God giving himself marks out of ten as though he has done his best and is relieved to see that the results turned out to be good.
The omnipotent God is seen to be declaring that the creation is good in the sense that it is complete, perfect, as intended. The creation is from him and as a result of his creating, it shares something of what he is, his very nature.
Later in the narrative we see that the declaration has changed to ‘very good’. What changed to bring about this ‘very good’? For the answer we must note that this description comes about after the creation of humans. It is this creation of people that is the crowning conclusion of creating that brings the declaration of ‘very good’. This is ‘very good’ because of the previous decision, “Let us make man in our image.” Now there is something in creation that is in the very image of God, and so is declared ‘very good’.
26 Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image…
31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning – the sixth day.
The creation is ‘good’ because it is of Him. Mankind is declared ‘very good’ because humans are of Him and, even more, are his image.
So is God good? It is a bad question, a proud question. How can the creature judge or declare whether The Creator is good?
It is not that God is good, as a standard of what he is, but that true Good is God. We are not the measure of all things. The Creator of all things is the measure and standard of all things.
So I think God is good all the time and all the time God is good.