The Goodness and Glory of God (Part 1)
Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace:
thereby good shall come unto thee. - Job 22:21
I first encountered this scripture many years ago teaching Children’s Church. I wanted them to know that relationship with Jesus was of great benefit to them. Now once again, to that end I write.
Goodness is defined as not just a passive quality, but the deliberate preference of right to wrong, the firm and persistent resistance of all moral evil, and the choosing and following of all moral good.
When God created mankind, he called all that he made Good. Yet we have experienced an interruption in the original good plan by way of the wicked one, Satan. Wicked means twisted. Since Jesus came to earth He has now triumphed over Satan and has brought back the restorative powers and the intent Father desired from the beginning. We live with a mixture within us, but in Christ, He always causes us to triumph over the twisted methods of Satan to derail us.
It is interestingly clear that Jesus wanted us to know when the young man called him Good – He said, “there is none good, but God”. This is a foundational truth. What was he saying? You do not know the Father as you should, you are looking at me and I only do what the Father tells me to do. The goodness is from him and the results you see are from my obedience to him. I am operating and resting in his authority delegated to me because my heart is His heart. Not because I am good in and of myself in this flesh body and my humanity.
People often say when things are working out – how good God is. Others when things are not working understand that God is still good. Others seem not to understand that if not for God, through his son Jesus Christ, there is and would not be anything good in the earth for us to experience.
Take Job for example, his friends, though fault finding, were in fact trying to minister to him so that the good of God would come back upon him as a leader in the land. Little did they know that condemnation was the root of their ministry and not reconciliation. In Job, some things regarding his family caused him to became fearful and he changed from fully trusting to being in fear. This opened the door for an accusation from Satan and God met the challenge with who He is, the faithful one. He allowed the trying of Job’s faith. It is we who must come to the realization that no matter the situation or circumstance, God is always faithful even when we are not. The God we serve is the same yesterday, today and forever. He changes not.
We all go through things in life. The response factors are not different from the many life experiences we read about in the Bible. If we are to experience his true goodness and glory, God requires us to know the truth so we will grow up into Christ in all things.
Jesus said in Romans 8:1-3, there is now therefore no condemnation to them who walk not after the law of sin and death, but after the law of the spirit of life that is in Christ Jesus.
The spoken word and revelation of the Father to Job and his friends resulted in the intervention whereby God asked Job some probing questions and issued a strong command to his friends to repent of their opinions regarding Job’s condition. Job was then instructed to pray for his friends and God turned the entire situation and defeated the accusations and intimidation of Satan against His servant. He was granted full restoration and increase beyond his original status. This is the Glory and goodness of God that He wants to demonstrate in our lives as well. We see this demonstrated throughout the Bible.
Every area we have not been fully persuaded requires a continued growth and conversion from our way of thinking to God’s way of thinking and being. Once converted, we are able to strengthen others.
Psalm 84:11 tells us, For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. The goodness of God endures continually. Grace, what we do not actually produce from ourselves and Glory – a manifestation of the excellence of God in power and virtue.
I observed also in scripture that Asaph was a Levite, a chief musician under David who had the wrong attitude toward the goodness of God (read Psalm 73). When the wicked was flourishing before him he said, “Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish; But in verse 17 he understands and says, “Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.” Praise God. His goodness and His wisdom always speaks and will lead and guide us into all truth.
-Dr. Ellen F. Alston
Inspired Word Ministries, Inc.