Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.
The Bible declares, "God is good" many times. Everything God does is truly good even though we might not acknowledge it at the time. People are accustomed to saying, "God is good all the time, and all the time God is good." While that is certainly true, it is a cliché and not a scripture.
According to Psalm 100:5 -
"For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting, and his truth endureth to all generations."
There are also occasions when people are very excited about what God has done for them and they exclaim to others the rhetorical question: "Ain't God good!"
Read through four cases listed below where people might have used the expression at inappropriate times or in inappropriate ways.
I was at a leadership conference with hundreds of leaders from local churches. During a testimony period, a leader from a prominent church in the community was the first to give a testimony.
She stood up and boldly told a story of how she was almost late arriving at the conference because she had a flat tire on the way. She didn't have a spare, but she was close to a place that sold tires. She knew she didn't have enough money in her checking account, but she wrote a check for the full amount of the tire. The cashier accepted the check and the woman was able to walk out of the store with a brand new tire.
She exclaimed, "Ain't God good!" and other leaders applauded. However, I didn't applaud after the lady said what she had done because God had nothing to do with the lady writing a bad check. It was her decision and not God's action. Certainly, that was not a testimony of God's goodness.
A second case happened at the beginning of a Wednesday night Bible Study I was leading.
Before I started the lesson, a lady named Betty wanted to give a testimony concerning her recent medical report. She said she had gone to her primary physician for some tests for a serious medical condition. A nurse called her with bad news about the tests. Betty was upset until the nurse called back and told her she had made a mistake. She had looked at another patient's chart with a similar name. Betty began shouting and called out, "Ain't God good!" Participants in that Bible study began rejoicing with excitement.
I waited patiently until the people settled down about news concerning Betty's report. Then I asked the congregation to pray along with me for the other Betty who was about to receive the actual news about her health. While God is good for our situation, we should be mindful of others who have a situation that might be worse than ours and at a point in their lives when they can't say, "Ain't God good!"
At the end of a church service, an elder was going around giving money to all those who were in service that day. He told each person that his favorite uncle had recently died and left him some money. Then he began shouting, "Ain't God good!"
He gave the same speech every time he handed bills to unsuspecting congregants. Everyone appreciated the $5, $10, or $20 bill they received. Some questioned the "Ain't God good!" expression because it gave the impression that the elder was rejoicing over the death of his uncle because of the money he inherited.
Many pastors have secular jobs during the week even though they preach on Sundays and teach Bible Study on Wednesday nights. Therefore, they are called bi-vocational.
When a pastor retired from his secular job, he gave a testimony from the pulpit. He said when the person in human resources prepared his papers to send to the government, she made a $20,000 mistake and the government approved it even though it was wrong and nobody caught it. The preacher began gyrating and in a loud voice shouted, "Ain't God good!" The congregation stood and clapped for a few minutes repeating, "Ain't God good!" just like the pastor.
The "Ain't God Good!" Expression
In every one of the four cases above, the "Ain't God good!" expression seemed out of order for the specific situation. There are so many other clear cut cases where "Ain't God good!" is more appropriate.
Some of those cases could be when God makes a way out of no way that is legal and right according to the law of the law. Writing a bad check as the lady did in the first case is not being a good steward. That story was not a good example of God's goodness no matter how many times the leader shouted, "Ain't God good!"
In the second case, the woman with the good medical report failed to think of the woman with a similar name who would get a bad report.
In the third case, the situation was misleading. It seemed like the elder was more interested in the money he received from his dead uncle than in the health of the man who left him money.
The fourth case is an example of fraud. The pastor and his congregation shouted, "Ain't God good!" because of a human mistake. When the mistake is revealed and the pastor has to pay all that money back, what is he going to shout then?
It is appropriate to say, "Ain't God good!" when God does something for us according to His Word. That includes His provisions, protection, compassion, guidance, grace, and mercy. In fact, God is always good whether He does anything else for us. Thousands of years ago, He sent His only Son who died to set us free from sin and eternal death. Because of that, we can surely say, "Ain't God good!"