God is great and God is good. He is not one without the other. God’s goodness is His character, the very fiber of His being.
2 A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart [according to His unchanging standard of righteousness].
3 To do what is right and just [according to His unchanging standard of righteousness and justice] is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
God is good. Jesus tells us as much in Mark 10:18. But, how can we know? By His constancy. God never changes nor do the rules of the universe change. He is immutable and so are His laws.
“God has set eternity in the hearts of men. “ Ecclesiastes 3:11. What does this mean? Man knows there is more beyond this world, this life, because God is beyond this world, this life. Everything He does is natural to God—even miracles. When Jesus healed the lame man’s hand in Matthew 12:13, what did He do but reach into the man’s body and activate the stem-cells that were already there; they produced the correct cells to make the arm, but in an instant, on command, as it were. Why not just create a new hand for him by speaking it into existence like Jesus did the universe*? Because of the first Law of Thermodynamics, which says that nothing can be added or subtracted from the physical universe. God acts within His own Laws. By the way, every miracle in the Bible can be explained in this same fashion: the burning bush, the ten plagues, the parting of the Red Sea**, Jonah and the big fish, and even the three Israelites in the fiery furnace***. These miracles speak of God’s greatness.
If you’re wondering how God’s immutability speaks of His goodness, we look at His laws for righteousness and holiness. The breaking of these laws brings death—but He had already prepared the Sacrifice for all mankind: Jesus! In creating mankind in His own image, He gave us free Will, the right to choose obedience or rebellion. In His omniscience, He knew we would rebel, so He provided the remedy Himself with Himself. In His omnipotence, He gave His life for us and then took up life again. Now, He offers eternal life to all who will trust in Him.
God is not capricious, nor vindictive; He is not unfair, nor mean. He doesn’t play favorites, nor does He send anyone to hell. He loves everyone with His great love and desires all people to come to Him willingly.
Peter said, “The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
As Moses put it, “Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him. For the LORD is your life…”
Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” Deuteronomy 30:19-20
The fairness in life is in the fact that all things happen naturally. Sin causes bad consequences with which we all must live, from the Fall in the Garden of Eden, which brought death, to the Great Flood, which brought catastrophic destruction to the earth and all life on it, to wars and droughts and floods and hurricanes and tornadoes, cancer and all calamities. In it all, God abides by His own natural laws, yet He works for the good of all who trust Him (Romans 8:28). I believe it breaks His heart to watch people suffer because of all that sin has wrought, but I believe that He hurts even more over people who won’t turn to Him for life. Even so, He gives each person the CHOICE,
“He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him. Yet to all who did [do] receive Him, to those who believed [believe] in His name, He gave [gives] the right [and privilege] to become children of God.” John 1:11-12
The very fact that He has in store for us something far greater than this life is enough to convince me of His goodness. I not only believe it, I’m counting on it!
Abba, I believe You when You say that You are good and that You have good things in store for me. Regardless of what happens here on this earth, I know that You have my soul in Your capable hands. May I praise You in the good times and the bad times, Lord, until I am with You. I can hardly wait to worship You at Your throne! Even so, come, Lord Jesus! Amen.
**The parting of the Red Sea was genius. God increased the magnetic attraction of certain water molecules so that they stuck together in such a way that they created an alley through the Gulf of Aqaba that was nearly a half mile deep. Then, He sent an east wind to dry the exposed sea floor overnight. Pretty cool, huh?
***The fiery furnace from Daniel 3 is interesting in that it is as if God opened a curtain and placed the three Israelites into His dimension. “They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.” Daniel 3:27. The presence of Jesus (v. 25) cinches it for me that they were on the outskirts of heaven.