Good God!

Good God!

God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? (Numbers 23:19)

“Good grief! Good night! Good times!” These common expressions of “Oh, no!” don’t truly reflect good at all, do they? So why use that word? Why say the opposite of how you feel? 

Sarcasm can lighten the mood, but the origin of that first euphemism began (as did all things) with God. It was a less crude version of “Good God”, yet it’s only wrong because of the negative context. Man did that. Why? Because God didn’t meet his expectations? Does God’s different (less appealing) plan make Him not good?

I can’t help but think of God’s own sarcasm in the ironic outcome of Numbers 23. Balak had hired Balaam to curse the Israelites, but Balaam couldn’t. Every time he opened his mouth, God spoke blessings through him instead! That’s because He always protects His children and, unlike man, God never fails“God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” (Numbers 23:19)

Do we, in turn, as God’s children, protect the image we bear? Sadly, not as much as we should. The Father’s many admirable qualities, which we strive to possess, have been incredibly corrupted by mankind. Take consistency, for instance. “God is the same yesterday, today and forever.” That’s awesome because He is righteous and pure! But “consistent” for mankind is consistently bad and wrong. How about knowledge? It’s a powerful thing, yet dangerous when used for evil. Strength should be for helping others, but it’s used just as much for harm. Truthfulness is necessary but damaging when “brutally” honest. Love “is a many splendored thing”… unless withheld or rejected. Forgiveness is healing to the mind, body, and soul, but not when “keeping score.” Generosity is beautiful, unless done boastfully, begrudgingly or “quid pro quo.” We don’t think like God at all, and thank the Lord, He doesn’t think like us! We are selfish. We are wrong. We “miss the mark” (sin) by a long shot! Jesus tells us in Mark 10:18, “No one is good—except God alone.” He is good! 

When hard times come, when life doesn’t go as hoped or planned, when we just don’t understand what God’s doing, it doesn’t mean He isn’t working. These circumstances are often blessings in disguise, teachable moments for deepened dependence and eternal perspectives. Because God is the author and finisher of our faith, we know the story’s got a great ending! 

As for sarcasm, I do find it funny and foresee many “Good times!” in my future. God certainly has a sense of humor – He created ours! But He always says what He means and means what He says. Since He himself claims traits of goodness and truth, let’s reframe our “Oh, no!” to “God knows!” Or, for that matter, go back to “Good God!” in the right context, and be comforted by this promise.

SHINE, always