In C.S. Lewis’ timeless tale, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, a conversation ensues between Susan and a native of Narnia,
Mr. Beaver: “Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.”
Susan: “Ooh. I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
Mr Beaver: “Safe? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.”
God is good. Here are 29 times in the old testament that say this exact phrase:
- I Chronicles 16:34
- II Chronicles 5:13
- II Chronicles 7:3
- II Chronicles 30:18
- Ezra 8:18
- Nehemiah 2:8
- Nehemiah 9:20
- Psalms 23:6
- Psalms 25:8
- Psalms 34:8
- Psalms 52:9
- Psalms 54:6
- Psalms 73:1
- Psalms 84:11
- Psalms 85:12
- Psalms 86:5
- Psalms 100:5
- Psalms 106:1
- Psalms 107:1
- Psalms 118:1
- Psalms 118:29
- Psalms 119:68
- Psalms 135:3
- Psalms 136:1
- Psalms 143:10
- Psalms 145:9
- Jeremiah 24:2
- Jeremiah 26:14
- Jeremiah 33:11
I’ve mentioned BlueLetterBible.org before, and it’s one of my favorite Bible study tools. Let’s look at the Hebrew word for “good” and see if we can make some connections in other parts of scripture:
This Hebrew word ‘towb’ is used many times in the old testament, and it is translated as good, better, best, pleasant, excellent, prosperous. Now let’s look at places that pair ‘towb’ with its opposite: “ra” and “ra’a”, which is usually translated as evil, harm, destruction.
Some examples would be Genesis 31:29
“I (Laban) have the power to harm (ra’) you; but last night the God of your fathers said to me, ‘Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good (towb) or bad (ra).'”
I Samuel 24:17
“You (David) are more righteous than I (Saul). You have treated me with goodness (towb), but I have repaid you with evil (ra).”
My purpose in writing this post is twofold:
- Remind everyone that the Almighty Creator is the opposite of evil. He is good!
- To highlight the contradictions of old earth paradigms in God’s Word.
Without exception all old earth paradigms require that death, disease, suffering, harm, and predation existed prior to the rebellion of Adam and Eve. But as disciples of Jesus, we want to be in agreement with ALL of his eternal Word, so let’s look at the historical narrative in Genesis to see how a proper understanding of “towb” and “ra” can help us eliminate contradictions.
Seven times in the creation story of Genesis 1, God looked at what He had made and declared, “it was good” (towb – H2896). On the seventh time, when the Creator viewed all that He had made, He declared “it was very good.” The number 7 has symbolic meaning in God’s Word, as it seems to be used for emphasis. So, the fact that God declares his creation good and the 7th time “very good” should accentuate that God wants us to tune in to his super-repetition.
Genesis 1:29-30 God clearly says that He intends his creatures to eat fruits, seeds, and greens rather than engage in predatory behavior, and when we see Isaiah 11:6 and Isaiah 65:25 there is clear evidence that the restoration of the new creation does not include harm, destruction, or predatory behavior.
“Towb” is used to describe the character of God, and God uses “towb” to describe his creation before sin entered it. “Ra” is the opposite of “towb”, and “ra” means harm, evil, and destruction. For old earthers to assume harm, evil, and destruction were part of the “very good” creation prior to sin is not just a contradiction, it actually speaks to the character of the Almighty. Can “towb” include evil, predatory behavior, and destruction?
The Bible says no, and we can trust God’s eternal Word. Old earth paradigms cannot be an acceptable part of Christian thinking because of the contradictions that are raised when one believes harm, destruction, and death were a part of God’s “very good” creation prior to sin…along with many other reasons.
Since we can trust God’s revelation about the past, we can trust Him with our future! Our good God is worthy of praise!!!