Good, Goods


As an adjective, “good” is used to express the following ideas:

1. Kind, gracious: “Yet the men were very good to us” (1 Sam 25:15); “For thou, O Lord, art good and forgiving” (Ps 86:5); “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble” (Nah 1:7).

2. Profitable, advantageous: “It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men” (Matt 5:13).

3. Befitting, appropriate: “This time the counsel which Ahithophel has given is not good” (2 Sam 17:7); “Your boasting is not good” (1 Cor 5:6).

4. Good, full measure; considerable: “Then she went, and sat down over against him a good way off” (Gen 21:16); “Joseph...fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while” (46:29); “it will be given to you; good measure” (Luke 6:38).

5. Highly esteemed: “A good name is better than precious ointment” (Eccl 7:1).

6. Agreeable, pleasant: “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food” (Gen 3:6); “a word in season, how good it is!” (Prov 15:23).

7. Upright, righteous: “I will instruct you in the good and the right way” (1 Sam 12:23); “He has showed you, O man, what is good” (Micah 6:8); “He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good” (Matt 5:45).

As a substantive, “good” has the following uses:

1. Material possessions, goods: “Give no thought to your goods” (Gen 45:20); “But if any one has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need” (1 John 3:17).

2. Moral goodness: “There is none that does good” (Ps 14:1, 3); “he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good” (Isa 7:15); “And why not do evil that good may come?” (Rom 3:8).

The words rendered “goods” in the KJV are often differently tr. in the RSV, of which the following are some examples. “The Lord shall make thee plenteous in goods”; “The Lord will make you abound in prosperity” (Deut 28:11). “And he carried away all his cattle, and all his goods which he had gotten”; “and he drove away all his cattle, all his livestock which he had gained” (Gen 31:18). “And they took strong cities, and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all goods”; “And they captured fortified cities and a rich land, and took possession of houses full of all good things” (Neh 9:25). “He shall make him ruler over all his goods”; “He will set him over all his possessions” (Matt 24:47). “Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me”; “Father, give me the share of property that falls to me” (Luke 15:12). “I am rich, and increased with goods”; “I am rich, I have prospered” (Rev 3:17).

In the Bible, the supreme good is never a matter of speculation, as it was in ancient Gr. philosophy. In the Bible, “good” is considered as happiness, pleasure, knowledge, etc. God Himself is The Good; there is no good apart from Him. He is the source of all goodness. No man can know The Good unless he knows God in a right relationship and does His expressed will. “No one is good but God alone” (Mark 10:18).

Since God is good, all that He does is necessarily good. He declared His own creation good (Gen 1). The disorder, disruption, evil, and sin that now prevail throughout His world are the result of the rebellion of moral beings originally created good.

God’s revelation of Himself in history was an increasing revelation of His goodness. He made man in His image for fellowship with Himself. Even when man flouted Him in the Fall, God’s loving interest in him continued; He showed His goodness by immediately taking steps to undo the disastrous effects of the Fall. His election of Israel as His people, the Exodus, the giving of the law, His many deliverances of Israel, the promise and preparation for the coming of the Messiah—all these were evidences of God’s goodness; as were the Incarnation, the atoning death of His Son, the resurrection, Pentecost.

The Scriptures make clear that history is not haphazard, but that God is working out a plan in history—the consummation of all things in His Son Jesus Christ. In this plan, God’s children have an important part (Eph 1). Some day His goodness will be acknowledged by all of His creation; and He will be all in all.

Because of the Fall, man is by nature corrupt and is capable of doing nothing that is really good (Rom 7), but because of God’s provision in Christ and the Holy Spirit, he can live a life of obedience to and fellowship with his creator.