Friday, April 14, 2023

Orange Moon Friday, April 14, 2023 "Goodness... Greatness"

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…   

(A Biblical Doctrine 101 consideration) 

"Goodness… Greatness"

      Many of us were taught as children to pray before meals,

   "God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food.  By His hand, we all are fed, give us, Lord, our daily bread."

    This sweet little prayer accords with Scripture, and we can be grateful for parents, grandparents, Sunday School teachers, or whoever might have led us in the offering of gratitude to God.  However, I would suggest one small tweak that might mess up the rhyme or the style of the prayer a bit, but which would adjust the sequence to more accurately reflect our Lord and His ways.

    "God is good, God is great…"

    God's character always guides His capabilities.  "Thou art good, and doest good" (Psalm 119:68).   His essential nature and disposition motivates, guides, and enables His power and ability.  The Scriptural sequence, therefore, establishes goodness as the eternal source of all Divine action.  Who God is motivates, directs, and empowers what He does.

   Consider the Lord Jesus Christ and the cross of Calvary.

   "Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?" (Matthew 26:53).

   Could God the Father have executed His power through angels to rescue His beloved Son from the cross?  In terms of greatness, He certainly could have done so.  He possessed the capability.  In terms of goodness, however, "it was impossible for God to lie" (Hebrews 6:18).  His character, guiding His capability, meant that He could not have saved the Lord Jesus from His prophecied fate.  To do so would have breached His promises and involved a lie, which God "cannot" do (Titus 1:2).  

    Goodness, guiding greatness to fulfill the promises of God, also meant that the Father could not answer His Son's prayer in Gethsemane: "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me" (Matthew 26:39).  Had the cup passed, so would our hope for eternal redemption from sin.  "Without shedding of blood, there is no remission (Hebrews 9:22)."   Far more importantly, had God removed the cup from the Lord Jesus, His perfect integrity would have dissolved in the moment.  This could not have happened, thankfully, but for the sake of discussion, we raise the point to rejoice that in God, character guided His actions at Calvary, making possible our salvation.  Character always guides His capability, constituting a primary truth of our Lord being and existence.  Indeed, God would not be trustworthy apart from the reality, a faithfulness so pristinely perfect He can be trusted with "all thine heart" (Proverbs 3;5; emphasis added).

   "God is great, God is good."  These words reflect the truth.  However, a more specifically Biblical consideration reminds us that in our Lord, character eternally guides capability.  Or, goodness precedes greatness.  No fundamental truth about God more leads us to know Him as He is, and to understand why David declared…

"As for God, His way is perfect."
(II Samuel 22:31)

Weekly Memory Verse
      Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. 
(Ephesians 3:20-21)




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