God is all of who He is at all times. He would cease to be God if He weren’t good. He would cease to be God if He weren’t holy. He is always sovereign, having all authority. He is always powerful. And on and on.
I wanted to point this out again in connection with one particular point that many people get stuck on. How can a good God allow suffering? I went through an attack once where when I read the Bible all I could see was the killing of women and children. I knew that wasn’t who God was and held on until I came out of that. (Just because you have a thought, doesn’t mean it’s good or right.) When I did come out of that trial, I came into a much fuller understanding of the goodness of God and could see it all over the Bible, even the hard places.
God orders whole cities, like Jericho, destroyed with everyone in them. God is defending His children, wiping out idolatry, the worship of other gods, which would kill His children. It also gives us an example of how fiercely and completely we should deal with sin. But, what about those in the city? What about the children?
This is where we call on all our knowledge of who God is. He is all-knowing and sovereign. Paul talks about the foreknowledge of God. God knew it all before the story even began. God knew each individual heart and which would choose to love Him. That’s how He can predestine us and choose us from before time began. He knew us. He also knew who wouldn’t choose Him. He arranged all our times and places to be just right. Using His foreknowledge, He could sovereignly put in a place like Jericho only those souls whom He knew were never going to come to Him. He wasn’t denying anyone a chance at salvation. In fact, a whole family is saved out of Jericho because of one person’s fear of God. God also shows mercy in ordering the children be killed with the parents. They are kept from being orphaned. They are saved from the idolatry they would have grown up into, which would have demanded their destruction by a just God. The kids are saved from that inevitable future and are saved into a heavenly home with a loving Father.
God’s goodness and mercy and love can always be found because it’s always there. There is suffering in our world because of sin, not because of God’s design. He gives people the power to choose, and they choose poorly. Sin hurts themselves. Sin hurts others. Sin is our constant reminder of why we need a Savior. Without suffering, none of us get saved. We would have no need for saving. No one would cry out to God. We’d all be lost.
When something seems wrong, we can know it’s not God, it’s our understanding that’s off. We are just humans and will never understand everything like God can.
Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
When we start to get confused about who God is and why things are happening, it’s because we’ve lost sight of God and we’re looking at the problem instead. Just turn your focus back on God and who He is, and remember your good and loving God is always good and loving.
Lesson Point: God is always all of Himself.
Challenge Question: If you are mad at God for some bad thing that happened or is happening, please ask for forgiveness and ask Him to open your eyes to see His love and goodness and mercy.
Here are some of the verses I mentioned.
Romans 8:29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
Acts 17:26 (BSB) From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands.
Joshua 6:25 But Rahab the prostitute and her father’s household and all who belonged to her, Joshua saved alive. And she has lived in Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.