QA: How do we know that God is Good and Holy?
If you want to know if someone is a good or bad person – how will you know?
Surely, by the things they say and proclaim:
- by the way in which they do it;
- by the way in which they conduct their lives and affairs;
- by how they act in adverse circumstances;
- by how they treat others, their friends as well as their opponents;
- in short, by their actions.
Problem is – against which criteria do we match good or bad? It will be quite
useless to say: “Against God’s Law” (although that IS really the way) – but in
answering your rightful question: “Who says God is ‘Good’?”
So, let us go back in time, before man’s development (if you can call it that?)
We find ourselves in a cave somewhere, no electricity, no shops, no gadgets.
We have babies crawling around us in the dust. Out there in the woods, are
strong people looking to take the bit we have managed to accumulate around us,
with force for themselves. THAT is life out there!
WHAT would be good and bad for us in such basic life style – with no God around, whom we are aware of or being told of?
We can right a book in answer – but, in summary, I would suggest one
main factor – RESPECT; Respect for those babies crawling around, screaming and searching the interesting things in life, and for our fellows with us. Striving not to cause them physical or spiritual pain with words and deeds. Respect for
others out there in our ‘little’ world who may have more than us; compassion and kind assistance for those who have less than us, or who may be suffering from some adverse circumstances.
The underlying cause or purpose of all such actions should be our fight against self-righteousness – to put others interests above our own.
That would make a good world!
And if we agree on this, then we can now start ‘measuring’ the Creator God and His Intentions and Requirements, as proclaimed in the Book which claim to be inspired by Him, the Bible.
- What does He intend for mankind?
- What does He require from us?
- What does He plan for us in the future?
- How does He want us to live?
- How does He treat mankind and the world – but here, we must indelibly keep in mind that:
- He is not a manipulator;
- He is not dictatorial;
- which means that He is limited in what and how He should act in situations where good and bad confront each other.
Yes, the Almighty God can be limited – not because He has not got the power or wisdom to react to certain circumstances, but because He has to be fair and, in short, ‘good’. Much as adults have to react towards babies or those who are inferior to themselves in whatever way.
But, if He is so great and almighty – isn’t it unfair from Him to expect us to be “like Him”? That is entailed in your next question, for which there is a magnificent all-conquering answer: QA: Does God’s election of His Chosen make Him unfair?