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Finding what is truly good

Updated: Aug 6, 2020

“He has told you, O human, what is good;” – Micah 6:8

When I read this, I say to myself, “Yes, God. You have told me and I’ve got this. I absolutely know what is good and I am trying my best to do those things.” But in this passage, Micah speaks in a terse voice. What was going on? Why was God disappointed-even angry- with Israel and Judah? It seems like Israel and Judah had forgotten what was good. They pursued religious ceremonies while ignoring the oppression in their midst. This caused me to reflect- have I forgotten what is good? Surely not.

I asked God and was reminded of Genesis and the act of Creation. I was humbled as I was reminded that God is indeed the Creator of all that is good.

In Genesis 1, we find: (all italics mine)

1:3-4 Then God said, “Let there be light”…God saw that the light was good.

1:10 God called the dry land earth and the gathered waters “seas.” …and God saw that it was good.

1:11 Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation”… and God saw that it was good.

1:14 Then God said, “Let there be lights”… separating day from night,(to) be for signs and for seasons… and days and years. God made two great lights…and He made stars also…and God saw that it was good.

1:20 Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures and let birds fly above the earth”…and God saw that it was good.

1:24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind”…and God saw that it was good.

26-31 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image,

according to Our likeness…

God created man in His own image,

in the image of God He created him;

male and female He created them.

God blessed them…

God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.

God has indeed told us what is good. His act of Creation was very good and is good. In the Complete Jewish Bible, David H. Stern translates Genesis 30b-31 as this:

“And that is how it was. God saw everything that he had made,

and indeed it was very good.”

As I reflect on this, I can see how I am much like Israel and Judah as I diminish the goodness of what God created while I strive to do all the things that are good. I confess, it is hard to just “be” in the created world, valuing it as God did, without putting forth all kinds of effort to “do good and be good.” May God have mercy on me.

Prayer: God please deepen my sense of what is truly good while showing me how to live this earthly life in Your created world in a way that brings honor to You.

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