God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal and unchangeable in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth.
We can be tempted to think that God is good because when we think about his character and his works, we find that they meet our approval. God is good because we judge him to be good.
The problem with this is that it makes our opinion the standard of truth.
Instead, the fact that God is good means that God is the very standard of good. God is good regardless of what you and I think about him.
David put it this way in Psalm 119:68: “You are good, and do good; Teach me your statutes.”
Everything that God is, is good. All of his attributes, his character, all that he is and everything about him is good. He defines good.
Good power looks like what God looks like. We don’t get to come up with our own ideas of what good authority and strength is. God defines that.
Good wisdom looks like God’s wisdom. There is a wisdom of the world, but it isn’t good because it doesn’t align with God’s wisdom.
Good truth looks like the truth that God says. Reframing a biblical truth because we want to take the sharp edges off is not good truth.
“You are good” the psalmist says.
Everything that God does is also good. All his works of creation, providence and redemption are good. They are good in the grand storyline, and they are good in the minute detail.
We do not get to decide whether or not we think something God has done is good.
A children’s book called The Moon is Always Round expresses this truth by teaching that even when we cannot see God’s goodness clearly, we must still affirm that God is good. When difficult and sad things happen, we can be tempted to doubt God’s goodness. But we must realise that the problem lies with us, not with God. Just because we can’t see how something in creation, providence or redemption is good does not mean that it isn’t good. It just means we cannot see the full picture.
Even during a lunar eclipse, the moon is always round.
“You do good” says David.
So, we need to have our view aligned with God’s view. We need our character, our morals, our goodness, our view of the world aligned with God’s.
In short, we need to ask God to “teach me your statutes” (Ps 119:68).
- Tom Eglinton