Today we enter in to the Hebrew month Tevet. Tevet is the 10th month of the year on the Hebrew Biblical calendar. 10 is a number of divine order … 10 is also 5 + 5… five being the number of grace or in this case a double grace…. multiplied grace… abundant grace… dare I say it?… hyper grace! 😮
Tevet is a month full of the goodness of God. The first two letters in the word Tevet is tet and vav. Tet and vav make up the word “tov” which means good. The first time the letter “tet” is used in Scripture is Genesis 1:4 …. and God saw that it was good. The final letter in Tevet is also “tet”…. so the whole word Tevet from beginning to end is a word full of God’s goodness. A month beginning with goodness and ending with goodness.
I’m a lover of all things good. I’m an incurable optimist. I like looking for redemption and goodness….in people and all things in general. I do believe it’s a gift from God… I’ve always been like that. My mom nicknamed me Pollyanna Sunshine when I was little because of this abundance of optimism and hope. Though, these past couple of years, there have been a lot of personal challenges that would try to produce a critical spirit instead of seeing the good.
Sometimes it is going to require more effort than usual to find the good in something…. thank God for His grace to help in those times. Especially today when we are inundated with bad news from the media, bad attitudes from people, etc. It’s a choice we have to make. And when we make the choice, God will be faithful to open our eyes to see something good… even if it’s just hidden potential…or buried treasure in someone. Then we get the privilege and joy of co-laboring with Him to pull out that potential and treasure in those around us.
If I want to be like my heavenly Father then I need to make that choice to look for the good in everything around me daily. Because He is good… ALL THE TIME! In fact, good isn’t just a description of Him… it’s who He is. 1 Chronicles 16:34 O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. Good in this Scripture is called an absolute noun, meaning it follows another noun forming a single idea. “Good” and God are one single thought. There is no “good” separated from God and then associated with Him. “Good” and God are the same thing (see my blog post on Goodness and Goodness and Grace)
I’ve been teaching weekly Bible studies this past year and I’m always amazed when I teach on the goodness of God, how some people will adamantly argue against it. They prefer to see God as judgmental, harsh, punishing and while they’ll see Him as sometimes good it’s based on only if they’ve done something to deserve it. Sadly, their interpretation of Scripture is in light of that perception of God…. and their representation of Jesus and of the Father is also through that perception.
There is nothing I can ever do to deserve His goodness. He is not good to me because I’m being good and “obeying” His Word (for a definition on obeying see my blog post on No Hebrew word for obey). Goodness just overflows out of Him in my life because it’s who He is. He can’t help Himself. He’s not angry with us… He’s not angry with the sinner who is unsaved either. That’s the good news of the Gospel. Jesus satisfied the wrath of God, the punishment we deserved for sin, and He reconciled us to God.
Then He made us ambassadors of that reconciliation (2 Cor 5:20). It’s going to be hard to be an effective ambassador for Christ if we fail to see the goodness of God in the land of the living (Ps 27:13). 2 Cor 5:19 says “He gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.” We have been anointed to preach the good news just like Jesus (see my blog post on Jesus is our Jubilee, The widow of Sidon and one of my favorites Naaman the Syrian). No one wants to be reconciled to an angry, harsh, God who is only going to breathe down our necks and punish us every time we slip up….. that’s not the good news of the Gospel.
This month of Tevet, I encourage you to dig deeper into the Word and find out about the goodness of God… to quote Bill Johnson, “He’s better than you think”. We have a responsibility to re-present Him correctly. The more we begin to see Him as good in the Word, the more we will begin to see the goodness in the people around us and in this beautiful world of ours.
Then our co-laboring will be a joy to us and we will become true ambassadors of Christ…. running after ALL people, begging them to be reconciled to God because He is GOOD and wants to overflow that goodness into their lives.