As children we learned the prayer: “God is great and God is good.” As adults we would be wise not to forget this fundamental truth, especially in a time when goodness is difficult to perceive in the world around us. When Moses asked to see the glory of God, God promised to let all his goodness pass before him; God’s goodness is synonymous with his glory. The term “good” indicates that some situation or object is ideally suited to its purpose; that is, perfectly appropriate for its intended use. God is good, in the abstract, in that he is ideally suited to act as the supreme being, and, concretely, in that he performs actions which are ideally suited to accomplish all his purposes. Indeed, in Scripture many uses of the phrase “God is good” seem to imply more than just an abstract affirmation; rather, the phrase implies practicality: i.e. “God is good TO ME.” From the beginning God has promised to be good to us. As he fulfills these promises the knowledge of his glory with fill the earth. Considering several of these promises over the next few weeks will help us fine tune our faith for those times when we sense things are not going as well as we’d like them to go.
Then God the Eternal said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:18
One of the most profound goods God provides is fellowship with other human beings. No wonder Adam responded enthusiastically when he saw Eve for the first time. When Adam declared Eve to be “This one!” in distinction to “all those” other creatures he’d just named, he recognized the unique benefit she represented to him. Amazingly, though he was surrounded by congenial animals, Adam was alone, for no other creature corresponds to him like another human being. This correspondence, this commonality, indeed, this fellowship, exists because it rests in our unique relationship to God. Only through other people can we experience something of the goodness of God, for we are all created to be his representatives. Sometimes we do this poorly. However, even the worst of us, in the worst of conditions, reminds the rest of us that God has not abandoned his creation. Especially to the worst of us, in the worst of conditions, we can extend the grace of God in thoughtful, loving helpfulness. Eventually, in Christ, the worst in us will not prevent the worst of us from receiving and experiencing and exalting God’s best in the company of others like us. What could be better?
Lord God, I see why you tell me “it is good for brothers to dwell together in unity.” Cause me to remember that everyone you create is part of the good way you display the fullness of your glory throughout the earth.
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