Monday, November 7, 2011

"Great and Good"

"God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food." You likely remember the child's blessing, and maybe also prayed it. It's simple, it rhymes, and it's easy to remember. More importantly, however, it is rich in Biblical doctrine and spiritual illumination.

"Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable... Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!" (Psalm 145:3; 107:8).

God's unsearchable greatness implies His power and ability. He can. His goodness speaks of His sublime winsomeness of heart and inclination. He will. Our thanksgiving reveals that we recognize both aspects of so glorious a Being of both character and capacity. Thank You, Lord. All three aspects unite to reveal relationship between the Divine and the human, and all three grace the child's prayer that affirms God's willingness and ability, and our faith in both.

Several days ago, we attended a college football game in which a player was apparently severely injured. He lay on the field for a long time as medical personnel attended to him. The teams and the spectators anxiously viewed the scene as concern grew by the moment, and especially when it became evident that the young man would be carried from the field on a stretcher, and taken to the hospital. Finally, both teams knelt with their respective chaplains to pray. The crowd obviously joined in as a holy hush descended upon thousands of people who only moments before had been noisily involved in the game.

It was quite a scene to see large, strong and aggressive young men on their knees, and quite a sound to hear quiet among thousands of people. I know that many who knelt, prayed, and became quiet are not believers, but nevertheless by conscious decision or unwitting implication, all were enveloped in an atmosphere of "God is great, God is good." That is, together we all sought the Lord's power and His willingness to come to the aid of the fallen competitor. And He did. It turns our that the young man had a moderate spleen injury from which He will recover. "Let us thank Him."

The hand of God is powerful beyond all understanding and expectation. The heart of God is willing, beyond all imagination and hope. This the believer believes, and seeks to experience moment by moment, day by day, and glory by glory. And this the child's blessing affirms, gracing us early in life with the light that must guide us throughout our lives. God is great. He can. God is good. He will. Let us thank Him.

"Oh how great is Thy goodness, which Thou hast laid up for them that fear Thee; which Thou hast wrought for them that trust in Thee before the sons of men!"
(Psalm 31:19)

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