When we were children, my brother and I recited this prayer every night before supper: “God is great, God is good. Let us thank Him for this food.” For years I spoke the words of this prayer without stopping to consider what life would be like if it were not true—if God were not both great and good.
Without His greatness maintaining order in the universe, the galaxies would be a junkyard of banged-up stars and planets. And without His goodness saying “enough” to every evil despot, the earth would be a playground ruled by the biggest bully.
That simple childhood prayer celebrates two profound attributes of God: His transcendence and His immanence. Transcendence means that His greatness is beyond our comprehension. Immanence describes His nearness to us. The greatness of the almighty God sends us to our knees in humility. But the goodness of God lifts us back to our feet in grateful, jubilant praise. The One who is above everything humbled Himself and became one of us (Psalm 135:5; Philippians 2:8).
Thank God that He uses His greatness not to destroy us but to save us, and that He uses His goodness not as a reason to reject us but as a way to reach us.
Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious—Thy great name we praise. —Smith
When you taste God's goodness, His praise will be on your lips.