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What Does "Good" Mean When Used to Describe God?

The Psalms describe God as good (Ps. 86:5). I often think of "good" as somewhat average (the meal was good, but not excellent). What does "good" mean when used to describe God?

To say that God is good means that He is kind, gracious, benevolent. By nature, God is cordial, courteous, and ready to bless. Not only is He the most powerful, most holy, and only wise, God is the best being in the universe! God is infinite, unique, and unrivaled in His goodness. The statement that God is good is one of the most glorious and foundational assertions about God’s character in Scripture (Ps. 100:5; 118:1, 29; 119:68). Therefore, it is wise to begin our thinking about God with the biblical idea that God is essentially good.

BY Dr. Winfred O. Neely

Dr. Winfred Neely is Vice President and Dean of Moody Theological Seminary and Graduate School. An ordained minister, Winfred has served churches across the city of Chicago, the near west suburbs, and Senegal, West Africa. He is the author of How to Overcome Worry (Moody Publishers) and a contributor to the Moody Bible Commentary and Moody Handbook of Preaching. Winfred and his wife Stephne have been married for forty years and have four adult children and nine grandchildren.

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