God is good, this is how many who profess Jesus Christ as Lord see Him, and they are correct. “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” (Psalm 34:8) “And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” (Matt. 19:17)
God is Sovereign, “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” (Exo. 3:14) “See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.” (Deut. 32:39)
There is in a sense a problem here for some though, there are two paths here, almost overlapping, so close as to be invisible by some, those paths are named God is Good, and the other is God is Sovereign, and the one that you choose will determine your service to the Lord.
Most who profess Him have chosen the God is good path, it brings with it an emotional response that is positive, but can also bring an adverse effect when circumstances in their lives are not what they would consider good, or advantageous to them. “But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.” (Deut. 7:8) “And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” (Exo. 16:3)
The path of God is good is far too often trod upon by those who want, nay, even expect God to be good all the time, and holds with it the opportunity for the believer to base their faith, or at least their service to the Lord on the current situation that they find themselves in. It can too quickly and easily become an emotion-based, circumstantial based trust of the Lord. Here was the beginning of the Charismatic movement, perhaps one of the most evil religious organizations on the planet besides the Roman Catholic cult. God is indeed good, but few of those who have chosen that path to walk and call it faith in Christ can say with Job, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” (Job 1:21)
The evidence to them is prosperity, good health, lack of serious loss of material possessions, a life lacking any inconvenience, trials or tribulations, it is the faith of sight, or can quickly be shown to be that by almost any circumstance that is seen as negative. For God to be good to these people, God must always be good.
The Sovereignty of God path leads to the goodness of God, better yet, it accepts that no matter what He allows to occur in your life, He remains good. It cannot be explained much simpler than that, and those who understand this truth would agree with Job, they would agree with John the Baptist as he sat in that cell after the message from Jesus was delivered, (Matt. 11:4-6) They would agree with David and his actions after he was told the child had died. (2 Sam. 12:20) God is Sovereign, and therefore His goodness rests within Himself, and He gives that goodness in ways that we do not need to understand. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
This verse is difficult to say the least to those who have determined to follow the Lord because He is good, for they see the circumstances they are currently in when they are not convenient to them as not good, they do not see that the Most High is continuously good in all that He does.
When we see the Almighty first as Sovereign, His goodness is seen at the same time, when we attempt to see, and interpret, His goodness first, we can lose sight of the fact that He is indeed Sovereign, and the only One that that title belongs to.
God is the Creator and Sustainer of all that is, all that He does is righteous, Holy and just, the difficulty in seeing the goodness of God lies within those who want Him to be good all the time, and the concept, or truth, of placing His Sovereignty above His goodness creates within them a juxtaposition that they will find difficult in surmising.
God is good because He is Sovereign, His Sovereignty is not based upon His goodness, but is, for lack of a better word, an attribute of His Sovereignty. He can be Sovereign without being good, but He has chosen to be so. “O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.” (Psalm 136:26)