Devotional: What is Good?
Have you ever wondered how we can see what God calls good? I have because I already know that my thoughts and ways are not the same.
During the six days of creation God said it was good. Light, time cycles, water, earth, plants, animals, rest and humans. All of that was good. Deuteronomy 28:12 KJV(The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.) So His good treasure is that we have every thing we need and enough left over to share, generously. There is revelation as to what God sees as good. There are other scriptures to back these up.
Remember in Micah 6:8a KJV (He hath showed thee, Oh man, what is good;) the prophet is speaking to the people. Also, in 1 Samuel 12:23 KJV(Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:) the priest is speaking to the people from God. Again in Nehemiah 9:13 KJV (Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments:) speaking to God about what He did.These three relate to the law or the people’s behavior toward God and His laws. He calls them good, obedience to them is good, right? Obedience to the laws kept the people safe and drew them near to Him. God describes this as good. So keeping the law is good.
Later we learn that keeping the law is not good enough. Throughout the Old Testament there are periods of time that the Hebrew people did not love and obey God. They started off just wavering on the law about loving God first. It wasn’t long and that departure from God started to affect relationships with neighbors, friends and family. Eventually, they would find themselves in a very dark, dangerous and lonely situation. Then they would call out to God and He would tell them, again, what is good.
The Psalmist of Psalm 73:28 KJV (But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.) expressed an understanding that a personal relationship with God changes one’s perspective on how to trust and acknowledge Him in all things. Drawing near, is a deliberate effort to know the character and nature of God. In Luke 10:42 KJV(But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.) Jesus explains that Mary has chosen the good of spending time with Him. Jesus, also, separated Himself to spend time with His Father, God. This example sets it in our mind that it is good to spend time with God.
Paul says, in Romans 7:16 KJV(If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.), that we view law as good because our nature is wayward. His premise is that while law cannot and will not save us, it can show us a life that which is better than without law. For instruction, the law is good. Interesting that drawing near to God brings us in line to keep the law. Our love for God enables us to keep the law, to do those things that please God and prefer to avoid those things which do not. When we begin to realize the consequences of loving God with all our heart, mind and might, it becomes easier and our resolve grows to be holy.
Solomon described a good attitude in Lamentations 3:26 KJV (It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.) where placing one’s hope, trust and faith in the Lord will bring a quiet wait. Solomon is describing a peaceful wait for God to work, resolving to accept His solution. This instruction is the answer to Paul’s, Philippians 4:6-7 KJV(Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.) In other versions careful is replaced with anxious. This shows the contrast of life with/without Christ. It is a good life with God, peaceful. God likes order and calm. He gives us hope because He wants us not to be worried and anxious over things, about other people, that we cannot change. It is described as good hope, it is based on everlasting truth. 2 Thessalonians 2:16 KJV(Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,)
These are some of the things God likes. He reveals that He likes us to draw near to Him, be successful through obedience, have peace, enjoy creation, and be happy. Yes, that sounds very good!