• Dr. Mark C. Spellman

God is Good

God is good!

“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” Genesis 1:31

Have you ever stopped to think just what the adjective “good” means? We use that word today to describe those things that are just mediocre. Those things that are just acceptable are “good.” We reserve words like “excellent,” “awesome,” “outstanding,” and “great” for those things that are better than good.

And yet, in the book of Genesis, we find everything God created is described with one simple word: “good.” It was only at the end of the sixth day that God looked at all He had made – the light, the sky, the plants, the animals, man and said, “They are very good.”

Does this mean that all creation is just acceptable in God's eyes? No, I don’t think so! You see, goodness is one of the attributes of God that refers to the absolute perfection of His nature. God is not only the greatest of all, he is the best of all. All the goodness there is in any creature has been placed there by the Creator, but God’s goodness is not derived from anyone or anything else. God IS good! He is GOOD all the time!

All that comes from God – His creation, His promises, His laws, His decrees, His judgments – cannot be anything other than good. “And God saw all that he had made, and it was very good" (Gen. 1:31).

The goodness of God is seen first in creation. Everything about the structure of man and the intricacies of this created world attest to the goodness of our Maker! It never ceases to amaze me when I ponder the wonders of human birth - how cells join and divide, multiply and grow, developing into a living, breathing, sentient human being created in the image of God.

The goodness of our Creator is not just confined to those created in His image. When God had created the birds of the air, the beasts of the field and the fish in the sea, He pronounced them good. There are those who would have us believe that each animal upon this earth is in the process of developing into a higher life form. God created all things just the way He wanted them, each species after “its own kind” (Gen. 1:11,12, 21, 24, 25; 6:20; 7:14). With infinite wisdom and perfect planning He created all things "by the word of his power" (WCF SC #9). God saw all that He had made and it was very good.

The goodness of God is seen also in the many natural pleasures which He has provided for His creatures. He could have very easily created food with no taste or flavor, flowers with no color or scent, birds with no melody or song. Instead, we see "The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made" (Psalm 145:9).

The goodness of God is seen most visibly in His Son, "born of woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons" (Galatians 4:4). It is through the Gospel of the Good News of Christ Jesus that salvation has appeared to all men (Titus 2:11), changing hearts of stone to hearts of flesh so those He calls might be called ‘sons of God’ (Gal. 3:26) through the gracious gift of faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9).

The goodness of God ought to be the life breath of the believer's trust.

Because His goodness endures forever, we ought never to be discouraged. "The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him" (Nahum 1:7).

Charles Haddon Spurgeon once wrote: "When others behave badly to us, it should only stir us up the more heartily to give thanks unto the Lord, because He is good; and when we ourselves are conscious that we are far from being good, we should only the more reverently bless Him that ‘He is good.’ We must never tolerate an instant’s unbelief in the goodness of the Lord; whatever else may be questioned, this is absolutely certain, that God is good" (The Treasury of David, Psalm 118, C.H. Spurgeon, 1885).

In God's vocabulary "good" describes the very best anything can be and "very good" would be equivalent to our "excellent," "awesome," "outstanding," or "great."

May we be thankful that we have a God who is "good."

He doesn't expect anything from us that He is not. No matter how we describe things well done - whether they are "excellent," or "awesome," or "outstanding," God only expects us to reflect His goodness in a world of depravity, darkness and despair.