I can tell you that I’m a good person. I can wear a badge on my shirt that says “Good person” on it. I can write a song and strum a guitar and tell you how good I’d be to you if you’d just let me have a chance. I could write a sonnet that uses vivid language and beautiful poetry to describe my goodness to you. But unfortunately, simply relaying my intentions and describing what I could be, you would have to plant your feet on the wet cement of trust.
Now, if I were not only to tell you how good I am and then go a step further to describe how I would prove that goodness, you would perhaps be even more persuaded. But still, trust would be your greatest ally. But what if I were to tell you, explain to you, and then actually prove to you that I am good, you would no longer have to plant your feet on wet cement, but rather on solid ground; with freedom to move about but absolutely no reason to move. In that instance, I had given my promise, explained my intentions, and then followed through with my promise.
That’s what it takes to prove something faithful. So, when God says that He is good, can we trust that? Well, has He told us that He is?
All throughout Scripture, God reveals to us His nature. Only a few times does He make mention of His goodness. He, instead, reveals Himself in these adjectives:
“Gentle. Patient. Steadfast. Merciful. Humble. Lowly. Willing. Zealous. Righteous. Upright…”
These words represent both how and why He is good. Because encapsulated in these words is the fact that we are something totally different and are the objects of these attributes He possesses. Since He is righteous, He will always do what is right and good. Since He is zealous and righteous, He will always do what’s right with great zeal. Since He is zealously righteous and steadfast, in the midst of all our rebellion, He will fervently withhold Himself from judgment because He always does what is right, zealously and motivated by steadfastness, or faithfulness. You get the picture?
From our perspective, we want to judge God’s goodness by the standard of our own. We want to force God into the box of humanity and then make an assessment of how good He is. It’s like an empty glass telling the ocean how to hold water. So when we pray to Him and, trying to have our cake and eat it too, we recognize His ability as an all-powerful being, but also have the expectation of obligating Him to do something as if He were human and without sovereignty. Our view is flawed, because we are flawed; therefore, our perception of how “good’ someone is, will always be subjective and hopeless. But, when the Perfect says He is righteous, kind, and merciful; we can always count on Him to finish what He started and to show us grace when we deserve wrath.
So is God good? Yes. Why? Because He says so. How so? Because John 3:16; Romans 5:8: Galatians 2:20.