The ABC’s of knowing God better: the letter “G”Taste and see that the LORD is good. – Psalm 34:8 (NIV)
“I am the good shepherd.” – Jesus, as quoted in John 10:11, 18 (NIV)
As a child, I was strongly encouraged to be good – obey my parents and teachers, respect my elders, do my homework, inform my parents of my whereabouts and call if I was going to be late. I wasn’t to do anything that would bring shame and dishonor to the family name. My parents taught me that “a good name is more desirable than great riches” (Proverbs 22:1).
I attended a good school – one with a reputation for academics, discipline and a faith-based curriculum. My parents were good people – honest, hardworking, faithful.
I was taught to believe that good will triumph over evil.
Foods may taste good but sometimes aren’t good for your health. A relationship may be good or bad. Ideas may be good or bad, and sometimes we have to wait to find out. Actions are good or bad. Are there any in between? Declaring something “good” requires judgment, and aren’t we supposed to not judge?
But some things are clearly good and some clearly bad. If you read Scripture, it isn’t hard to figure out which is which. God’s Word sets the standard, draws a clear line between good and bad.
In the beginning, God declared all He created “good” (see Genesis 1). How could creation not reflect the Creator? And the Creator is good.
God didn’t become good. He always was good. God cannot lose His goodness. He is, was, and always will be everything that the word encompasses.
What does “good” encompass? My dictionary defines “good” as “excellent; right, as it ought to be; desirable; satisfying; pleasant; kind; friendly; real, genuine; beneficial.” To that I add: “whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy” (Philippians 4:8).
I look at today’s world and think we as a society have stopped believing in good. Life and culture have led us to believe that evil has eclipsed good. That good is weak, and bad is strong. That “good” is a thing of the past.
I refuse to believe that. Good is still a force to be reckoned with. Good is still stronger than evil.
How do I know?
Because God is good. And God is not dead. Nor is He passive. He’s very much alive and active in the world today.
I chose today’s Scripture readings, Psalm 23 and John 10, carefully. Meditate on all the Good Shepherd does for you personally: He leads, He provides, He protects, He restores, He refreshes, He comforts, He loves – so much that He lays down His own life so you, the sheep, may live.
“The LORD is good to all,” the psalmist writes, “He has compassion on all that He has made” (Psalm 145:9). Still true.
“The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD” (Psalm 33:5 NKJV).
We need only eyes to see, ears to hear and a heart that responds in child-like faith and trust. What you focus on is what you see.
It’s your choice.
Open my eyes, my heart, my mind and my spirit to Your goodness, O Lord. Amen.
Special-Tea: Read Psalm 23 and John 10:1–18