“God is great, God is good
Let us thank Him for our food.
By His hands, we are fed.
Thank you, Lord, for daily bread.”
I’m sure many of you remember this blessing. This was the blessing I prayed before my meal for many years when I was young. Perhaps you did too. The first line is a powerful theological statement (especially considering it’s a child’s prayer!). But what does it actually mean that “God is great and God is good”?
God’s greatness means that He is absolutely authoritative, powerful and sovereign, and He is perfect in all of His attributes.
Psalm 145:3 says, “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable.”
The Greatest Player of All Time
In sports, people refer to the greatest player as the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time). This title has been used for Michael Jordan—and most recently for Tom Brady. But Michael Jordan’s greatness is limited to basketball; and Tom Brady’s is limited to football. They are each the greatest player, not the greatest person. And, although they might be the greatest, they were not perfect. For example, Michael Jordan’s career field goal percentage was an astounding 49.7%. However, that means that he missed half of the shots he took. Tom Brady has thrown an amazing 456 touchdown passes. However, he has also thrown 152 interceptions. Now think about God…He is the greatest because He is perfect…in every way imaginable! He is absolutely perfect and perfectly powerful. He has never made a mistake, nor will He. He is perfect in all of His ways! His greatness is not limited in any area.
It is great news for us to realize that God is not only great, but He is good. He is good in who He is (His morality), and He is good towards us. He is not a powerful cosmic dictator who does not care about us.
Psalm 145 (that I mentioned earlier) not only describes God’s greatness; it describes God’s goodness.
“The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.” (145: 8-9)
“God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.”
No one has to tell God to “be good.” He already is! And because His nature is good, He cannot be un-good. He cannot be “bad.” Everything that He does, and everything that He is, comes from a heart of true, pure goodness. So, that’s why we can trust Him…He is good. He is good in His love, mercy, grace, kindness, patience, etc.
Doug Ponder said, “The greatness of God without the goodness of God isn’t Christianity—it is fatalism. Lots of religions teach that their god is supremely powerful. What makes our faith unique is the message that the supremely powerful God acts on our behalf and for our good. He loves us and cares about us. He even sent his Son to die for us so that we might live in him. That is what we mean when we say, “God is good.”
The fact that our God is both great and good should bring us ultimate confidence in Him. It should encourage us that nothing is too difficult for God. He is powerfully and perfectly great. Yet, He acts from a perfect heart of goodness. This truth is powerful: that the Sovereign, Perfect God of the universe is good. God is great; God is good. Let us thank Him!