The Goodness of God

“No one is good but One, that is, God” Matthew 19:17

When reading the Bible it soon becomes obvious that God is presented to mankind as “good.” The very first chapter tells us that that which God created was “good” and when completed on the sixth day God Himself says that His creation was “very good.” Since what one does can only come from what one is the obvious conclusion is that God is good. This is a fundamental and consistent teaching throughout the Bible.

The truth concerning God’s goodness has been under constant attack ever since the serpent (Satan) called God a liar (Genesis 3:4).

We ought not to be surprised that unbelievers question God’s goodness. They have an interest in being able to accuse God of being deceptive and evil. How can God be good when he allows people to suffer and/or be killed in earthquakes, tsunamis, fires and floods or through wars, starvation and sickness?

Unfortunately some professing Christians do the same. If a person does not believe that Genesis three is an accurate record of events in an actual garden with real live pinch-me-and-see people then they will end up blaming God for all the evil, pain and suffering in the world or deny His existence.

The fact is that sin entered the world by one man and suffering and death came with that sin. When God told Adam that if he disobeyed he would die He did not mean just when he got old. Had Adam not sinned, calling God a liar and questioning His goodness, he would never have died. Spiritual death was instant but bodily death was progressive giving him time to repent and receive God’s mercy.

It should also be noted that the Bible gives evidence that the physical creation also began dying (cf. 3:17-19). What we see today is part of the outworking of a dying world.

Is the accusation against the goodness of God valid? Most certainly not! God through Jesus Christ has provided a way for every person to be saved from sin and its effects. He has warned that these events will become more frequent as the world approaches the final death throes and the outpouring of His wrath against sin.

Job was a man tested beyond any other. All his children were killed, all his material possessions were stolen, his wife turned against him, his health was taken from him and to rub salt into the wounds his friends told him he was a lying deceitful sinner.

Would we doubt God’s goodness in such a situation? That we complain shows that we do.

Although Job did not understand why he was left so bereft and his confusion was aided by the untrue comments of his friends he sought an explanation only from the Lord (Job 13:3). He knew that God is good even though the evidence seemed to say otherwise (13:15).

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