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Good in Both Senses

Deuteronomy 6:24-25
“And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day. And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this commandment before the LORD our God, as he commanded us.”

There are two corresponding aspects to genuine faith that work in tandem: trusting that God is totally and perfectly good—i.e. believing that doing God’s will is synonymous with doing good will— and trusting that God’s good always ends in our good.

Do you see the cause and effect at work in Deuteronomy 6:24, friend? Do you see how faith works out? How it thinks? How it understands? It seems so simple on paper, but why is it so difficult for us in practice? Think about it: if we truly believed that God not only does what’s good in essence and also what’s good in application, then why would we ever, even for a second, even in times of sorrow, turn away from His specified commands and fool ourselves into thinking we’ll be better off elsewhere? We know better! Why do we gossip and cheat and steal and lie and refuse to forgive and give in to lust and eat forbidden fruit and sculpt golden calves and seek friendship with the world if we only worsen our spiritual and physical wellbeing as a result? Perhaps it’s because either we fail to believe that God is really good, or, in believing that, we fail to believe that His will has our greatest good in mind as well. How often I trudge through my pilgrimage to the Promised Land, treating the command of God as a sort of necessary evil rather than the greatest of blessings and thereby forfeit the temporary preservation He offers.

To err on one side is to throw out God’s commandments as if they’re impediments to Christian freedom, and to err on the other side is to act as if the rules are ends in themselves—as the Pharisees did. So today, let’s believe that God’s commands are means whereby we draw nearer to His good will, which is the only path that always produces our greatest good both in the present tense and in the everlasting one.