Following a good God

James 1:17
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

The God of the Bible is a good God who only gives good gifts. He is not the author of evil and neither does He cause the evil things that happen in peoples lives. God is constant and he is light, there is no shadow or darkness (evil) in Him.

1 John 1:5
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.

The biggest lie the devil has sold the world is that God is going around killing people and destroying their lives. People are told that God took their loved ones from them or that God caused a tree to fall on their house to teach them a lesson. Lies! This is not who God is.

John 10:10 [parenthesis added]
The thief [the devil] does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Jesus who is the express image of God’s person (Hebrews 1:3), clearly states above that He came so that we may have life in all it’s abundance. It’s the devil who works only to steal, kill and destroy, not God.

God is love, He not only loves but He is the personification of love, it is the foundation of His very nature!

1 John 4:8
He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

God’s love is not a conditional human emotion but an unconditional, unchanging love that expects nothing in return. God does not love you to get something from you, He loves you because that is who He is. Look at the famous definition of God type love in 1 Corinthians 13 below. I have added the word God next to the word love because if God is love then these verses also define God for us.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a [parenthesis added]

Love [God] suffers long and is kind; love [God] does not envy; love [God] does not parade itself [Himself], is not puffed up; [God] does not behave rudely, [God] does not seek its [His] own, [God] is not provoked, [God] thinks no evil; [God] does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; [God] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love [God] never fails.

Much of the confusion over the nature of God and the source of evil are a result of the misunderstanding of some Old Testament verses. We must always remember that God deals with man in the context of Covenants. A Covenant is an strong agreement between two parties, it is not entered into lightly and it is sealed by the shedding of blood. All interactions between God and man should always be interpreted through the Covenant in force at the time. Two examples of misused portions of Old Testament scripture are the book of Job and Isaiah 45:7. While a full teaching on Covenants is out of the scope of this article, I will quickly note some points on these two examples below.

The book of Job:

As far as we can tell from scripture, Job had no particular covenant with God. Job had some knowledge of God and sacrificed to Him but most of the book of Job 2:11 to the end of Job 31 is the speculations of Job and his three friends (Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite). In Job 32 there enters Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite who goes and corrects all the other four have been saying! Elihu explains to them that their understanding of God is wrong. In Job 38 onwards, God enters the conversation and corrects Job even further, highlighting how wrong he was in his discussions with his three friends. We are under the New Covenant in Jesus, we are not like Job and we must be careful to take verses from his book since so much of the book is incorrect speculation. It is there as a warning on how not to think about God!

Isaiah 45:7:

Isaiah was writing at a time when the nation of Israel was under the Covenant God made with them through Moses. The first point to note is that unless you are ethnically Jewish, you and your ancestors were never under this Covenant. It was specifically between God and the nation of Israel. Under this Covenant, Israel was bound to obey the Laws given to Moses, if they obeyed the Laws God would bless them and if they disobeyed then God would punish them. This Covenant was never intended to be a long term arrangement but was put in place to stop Israel from destroying herself through sin. The Apostle Paul (Galatians 3:24) explains that the Covenant of Moses functioned like a “school master”, teaching people that they were far from God, that they could not keep His perfect law and that they needed a savior. Jesus has come and instituted a New Covenant. We are not under the Law of Moses and we are not being punished by God. The scriptures tell us that Jesus fulfilled the Law on our behalf and that He became a curse for us, taking our sins upon himself at the cross. Under the New Covenant, God is not punishing people, that would be unjust as He has already punished Jesus.

Let’s look to Jesus who is the visible representation of the invisible God. Read the four Gospels and look how Jesus acted in different situations and you will see the nature of God, a God who is 100% good.

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