Happy Friday LYWB.com bloggies! Welcome to week two of our very first Lies Young Women Believe Book Club. I hope that you have opted to join us as we go deep by reading The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer. If not, I would still encourage you to pick up a copy of the book at your local library or bookstore. It can be heavy reading at times, but it is an excellent exploration of the attributes of God. (You can read last week’s conversation about God’s divine omnipresence here).
In chapter 16, Tozer explores God’s goodness. This is an element of God’s character that is critical for us to grasp.
Here’s a summary of what Tozer had to say.
“The goodness of God is that which disposes Him to be kind, cordial, benevolent, and full of good will toward men. He is tenderhearted and of quick sympathy, and his unfailing attitude toward all moral beings is open, frank, and friendly. By His nature He is inclined to bestow blessedness and He takes holy pleasure in the happiness of his people” (p. 82).
“God created us because He felt good in His heart and He redeemed us for the same reason” (p. 82).
“He has never been kinder than He now is nor will He ever be less kind. He is no respecter of persons but makes His sun to shine on the evil as well as on the good, and sends His rain on the just and unjust…the recipients of His goodness are all His beneficiaries without merit” (p. 83).
Good points. God’s nature is to be good to us. It is because He is good that He made us at all and made a way for us to be reconciled to Him. He is good to us even though we don’t deserve it.
I agree with all of that.
But, Tozer’s tone is so matter of fact. While he does briefly mention that sin makes us timid toward God, this chapter can be easily summed up in six words. God is good, end of story.
Can I be honest with you and say that this Truth about God isn’t always so matter of fact for me?
There are times when I envision God more like a statue of Zeus waiting to strike me with a lighting bold that a loving portrait of Jesus with flowing hair and open arms. Now I would never say “God is not really good,” but there are times, when life is especially tough or unfair, when deep down I suspect that He is not always good, or at least not always good to me.
I only have the guts to admit that because I know I am not the only gal to feel this way. In fact, this is the first lie Nancy hones in on in her book Lies Women Believe. And she hits the nail right on the head when she explains the root (and danger) of this suspicion.
“When turbulence, disappointment, or pain comes into our lives; when we lose people we love; when things don’t go as we had hoped or planned, Satan tempts us to wonder ‘Is God really good? If He were, how could He have let this happen?’ or ‘Why would He have kept this [good thing] from me?’ In this fallen world where wars, genocide, famine, and natural disasters are a reality, the Deceiver tries to cast God in a negative light. ‘How could a truly good God let the Holocaust take place? Or the famine in Ethiopia? Or the massacre at Columbine?’
Once we doubt the goodness of God, we feel justified in rejecting His will and making our own decisions about right and wrong” (Lies Young Believe, 48).
And then she points us toward the Truth!
“The Truth is, God is good. Whether or not His choices seem good to us, He is good. Whether or not we feel it, He is good. Whether or not it seems true in my life or yours, He is still good” (Lies Women Believe, 49).
How can she make such a bold claim? Because she has found this Truth spelled out clearly in the Word of God.
Psalm 119:68 says, “You are good, and what you do is good.”
Psalm 31:19 says, “How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you.”
In Psalm 34:8 we read, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.”
Again in Psalm 100:5 it says, “For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”
God’s Word tells us that He is good. I could list passage after passage that spell out the same Truth (check out Psalm 106:1, Psalm 136:1, and Ephesians 1:3-14).
This may be a difficult Truth when the going gets tough and the Deceiver slithers in to plant the seeds of doubt. But Tozer was right.
God is good.
End of story.