The Dancing Puritan

Sunday, March 10, 2013

God is great and God is good.

God is great and God is good.  Let us thank him for this food. The simple blessing, that we learned as children, is profound in its theology. In one sentence it proclaims the greatness and the goodness of God. It is a reminder that his greatness is evident in the creation of food (via rain, sunshine and fruitful seasons) and that he is good in allowing us to eat. Because he is great and good we are to thank him.

Perhaps you are solid in your theology of the greatness of God. The heavens declare his glory (Psalm 19:1-6) and his law is perfect (7).  The Psalmist sings, Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness...(Psalm 45:6).

How solid are you in your theology of the goodness of God?

Duane A. Garrett writes in his Song of Solomon commentary:

The religion of the ascetic fears that if the joy of physical love is not condemned as an innate evil, the mind will forget spiritual things and instead plunge into ever deeper corruption. In the same way, it rejects the gospel of salvation by grace through faith on the grounds that it inevitably leads to more sinning 'that grace may abound.'  It it's attempt to build a wall around the human soul, legal religion only separates the sinner further from God and gives him or her a false hope of escaping the intermingled yearnings and lusts of the heart.

Biblical faith sees asceticism as it truly is, as both a denial of the goodness of God's creation and as an attempt to conceal the radical nature of human sin behind superficial obedience to the laws of religion. The man and woman of God should no more be slaves to sensuality than they should be gluttons, but the enjoyment of creation and the fulfillment of the drive toward one another is no sin.  The united love of the man and woman in the Song of Songs is...a fulfillment of the creation covenant and a reenactment of the love of the first man and the first woman. It is not a parable; but it is, for the believer, a part of the testimony of the power of grace over sin and the flesh (New American Commentary vol. 14, pp. 377-8).

The Christian honors God by receiving his gifts, not as idols to be worshipped, but as good gifts to be enjoyed,

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy (I Timothy 6:17).

God is not honored when we spurn his gifts and fail to celebrate his kindness towards us. He is honored when we see him as great--the creator of good gifts and good--the giver of good gifts.

God is great and God is good!  Let us thank him.