Is God good?
I just stared at him blankly. No one had ever asked me that question before.
I had just finished sharing a brief version of my life story, my journey with God up to that point in my life. I had talked about being raised the church, accepting Christ as my savior at eight years old, and listed off the major difficulties I had either caused or someone else had caused me to live through. I had also discussed how I saw God at work in those situations and in me during those times…and then the leader of the small men’s group asked me a follow up question.
Ken, it’s great that you recognize how and when God has worked in your life. But I need to ask you…Is God good?
My mind swirled with this question as the other guys in the group stared back at me, waiting for my answer. I stammered an answer that God is God, and what He does is what He wants to do. The group leader wouldn’t let me off that easy, though. He pressed in again:
Ken, I didn’t ask if God was in charge. I asked you if He is good. Do you believe that God is good?
Although he didn’t bring up this specific passage, the group leader was asking if I viewed God the same way that the author of Psalm 119 did. Look for yourself to find how the author viewed the goodness of God:
Lord, You have treated Your servant well, just as You promised.
Teach me good judgment and discernment, for I rely on Your commands.
Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word.
You are good, and You do what is good; teach me Your statutes.
The arrogant have smeared me with lies, but I obey Your precepts with all my heart.
Their hearts are hard and insensitive, but I delight in Your instruction.
It was good for me to be afflicted so that I could learn Your statutes.
Instruction from Your lips is better for me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
The benefit of hindsight allows the psalmist to say that God had treated Your servant well, just as You promised. Even though the author went astray and subsequently was afflicted and humbled by his errors, he was able to recognize God’s purposeful movements in his life.
Not only did he acknowledge to God that You are good, and You do what is good, his next response is the proof of his understanding – teach me Your statutes. When we truly believe that God is good and that He has promised us good, we are drawn to Him and we want to learn from Him. We naturally lean into those whom we believe are for us and on our side.
That’s what the men’s leader was trying to get me, and the rest of the group, to understand. When we are able to tell God You are good, and You do what is good – that is when we are ready to lean into God and let Him speak into our lives.
So I’ll put the question to you – Is God good?