No one is good — except God alone (Luke 18:19, NIV).
Why does God allow tragedy? Why does He allow babies to be born with disabilities? Why does He permit wars to rage? If God can prevent such hardships and heartaches, why doesn’t He?
Here is the classic statement of the problem: Either God is all-powerful but He is not all good, therefore He doesn’t stop evil. Or, He is all good but He is not all-powerful, therefore He can’t stop evil. And the general tendency is to blame all of the problems of the world on God, to say that God is the one who is somehow responsible.
“If God is so good and loving,” people will say, “why does He allow evil?” By even stating it in that way, however, what they’re really saying is they don’t believe God to be good and loving.
By questioning God’s goodness and love, we are in essence saying that we know more about it than He does. The fact is, God doesn’t become good because that is our opinion of Him or because we happen to personally agree with His actions or His words. Nor does He become good because we vote on it and all agree that is the case.
God is good because God says He is good. And it is not up for a vote.
You see, God is good whether I believe it or not, and He alone is the final court of arbitration. As the apostle Paul said, “Let God be true, and every human being a liar” (Romans 3:4, NIV).
What, then, is “good”? Good is whatever God approves. And by the same token, bad is exactly what God says is bad. Some might say, “That’s circular reasoning,” but I would describe it as biblical reasoning. The Word of God is our source of truth, defining right and wrong and what our values ought to be.
In Isaiah 1:18 we read, “‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the Lord.” God is saying, “Here’s the way I see things. You need to see it the way I see it.” And He goes on to tell us that His thoughts are above our thoughts and His ways are above our ways.
He is good. If you don’t start there, you’ll never get anywhere.