And the moral of the story is . . .

“God is good”.  There is no need to wait to the end of this ancient story to know the moral.  And the more I think about it, the more I realize how basic this concept is. How often, in the face of tragedy, do we hear ‘talking heads’ proclaim,  “If there is a God, how could he let such a bad thing happen?”  Even in this statement there is the assumption that if there is a God, He must be good.  And sense such a horrible thing happened and was not prevented, then perhaps there is not a God after all; at least not a good one.  If I do not believe that God is good, then I live in a very confusing universe in which nothing can be deemed trustworthy.  Life instantly looses its meaning and becomes random if there is not a God who is good.  But if He is good, then I have a bedrock upon which I can build and further investigate who God is and why I am here.

God is Good!

a teaching rhyme
by Jerry Collier

I.  Overview
In the beginning of the world,
A garden was O so fine.
And God said to Adam and Eve,
From all of the trees you may dine.

Except this one; do not partake,
Called the good and evil tree.
Others enjoy, they’ll not destroy,
But this one’s fruit is not free.

Happiness, peace and joy increase;
The good was all that they knew.
Up to this time the two did fine.
Each day close to God they drew.

Grateful in praise, all of their days
Until they ate from that tree.
It created a great divide;
One that continues to be.

In the garden a choice was made
From which great darkness fell.
One generation unto the next
Have fallen under its spell.

Darkness:  let’s now characterize.
To say ‘no light’ would be fair.
God is light.  If He is removed;
In darkness, God is not there.

From then to now, it has not changed.
People in darkness abide.
In thickest dark night, stay blind to the Light,
With eyes that are open wide.

II. The Deadly Act
In the garden a serpent dwelt.
‘Crafty’ is how he’s portrayed.
He, in his darkness, developed a plot;
And on God’s couple he preyed.

He had rebelled against the Almighty,
His knee to God would not bend.
Called by the name of Devil or Satan,
Destruction to death is his friend.

In that garden began his work;
Work against Adam and Eve.
‘God is good’ is where he began;
His purpose:  them to deceive.

He would add evil to the good;
Persuade them to eat from the tree.
Through their choice bring permanent ruin
Destroy what man’s future could be.

Evil:  let’s now characterize.
To say ‘not good’ would be fair.
God is good.  If He is removed
Then evil is all that is there.

Satan’s plan was set in motion:
To question that God is good.
He told Eve to eat of the tree;
And discover her own godhood:

III. The Enemy Speaks
“When God instructed you not to eat,
Your good was not in his mind.
Your eyes would open, that He knew.
He wanted to keep you blind.”

“You don’t need to depend on God.
You can be god to yourself.
Don’t you see how this is not good?
Depending on someone else?”

Both gave in and ate of the fruit;
With Satan they chose to proceed.
Chose not to trust that God is good—
Not knowing where it would lead.

IV. Consequences
And thus began the great divide
Mans independence from God.
He demanded his bill of rights.
A path, free from God, to trod.

To this day man follows this path,
Insisting upon this right.
A right that takes him far from God,
Yet seems harmless in his sight.

There is a way that seems right to a man,
But death will stand at the end.
Death is where the serpent is lord.
But this, man did not intend.

That ancient serpent is still at work,
And his message is still the same:
“Look at the problems in the world,
On whom do you place the blame?”

“And tell me, why do bad things happen
To people who seem OK?
If God is good, then why the bad?
Can this He not stop straightway?”

“And how can you trust a God who will
Let evil continue to be?
If God is good, He’d banish the bad;
All sensible people agree!”

To the serpent do not pay heed.
And his thoughts do not pursue.
He will snipe at the goodness of God.
And sway you to what is untrue.

V. Redemption
This independence did unleash
A world of chaos and fright
But God knew this and knew the cost
Of restoring and making things right.

Just as in Adam, the very first man,
Separation from God instilled.
In a second man, Jesus the Lord,
Salvation from God was revealed.

A Light from God was sent to the world;
To shine in the evil dark void.
The Goodness of God, displayed in Christ;
The badness, His Rightness destroyed.

He took the guilt and sin on Himself,
And Adam’s subversion was slain;
The serpents dark night, displaced by the Light,
Christ rose from where He was lain.

God does not cause bad things to come.
From Adam’s free choice they proceed.
God sent a Savior, for He is Good,
And man from his sin has been freed!

Goodness—let’s now characterize:
To say ‘no bad’ would be fair.
Satan is bad.  When he is removed,
In Christ—there is no despair.

Postscript:
God’s goodness is the core or trust.
Without it, one’s search is in vain.
And if one falters on this point;
Questions and doubtings remain.

But doubts intruding upon your mind
Because you’ve not understood
Is not a danger to your soul,
As long as you know God’s good.

And when you cannot see God’s hand
And really wish that you could.
Then you can trust the heart of God,
For you know that your God is good!

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