Many claim that there is no goodness in man at all; therefore, all men are liars. In which case, we know that we can disregard what they say—they are evil people, who are liars, and cannot be trusted anyway. However, right thinking from a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7) does not make absurd claims..
God created everything—including man—good. The trouble is, instead of doing good, men tend to do evil. Yet there are men—even though not righteous—who are considered good; simply because they desire good.
- And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day. (Genesis 1:31)
- They have all gone astray, they are all alike corrupt; there is none that does good, no, not one. (Psalm 14:3)
- Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man—though perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die. (Romans 5:7)
A good man is one who desires to do what is right, even though he knows he has sinned. For there are good men among Jews and non-Jews; in other words, every ethnic group has good people among them.
Not everyone is pure evil. People have a knowledge of good and evil, but there are those who prefer to do good, even if they acknowledge they are not perfectly good—as in purely good—for only God is perfectly good.
A means to understand how a person can be good and yet fail to make the grade is to grasp this: even if an individual were to be 99.99999% good, that 0.00001% is sufficient to turn what was wholly good into rotten—and completely rotten at that.
- There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for every one who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. (Romans 2:9-10)
- And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. (Luke 18:19)
- The steps of a good man are from the Lord, and he establishes him in whose way he delights; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord is the stay of his hand. (Psalm 37:23–24)
Jacob sinned. But he desired to do good. Many sin, but desire to good. We sin because we are caught by the Devil's entrapment to do what he desires. The degree to which we yield to the Devil’s desires, depends upon our proclivities, which have been cultivated by reason of our upbringing.
Jacob desired to do the will of God and relate to His Heavenly Father. Jacob wanted the birthright that our Heavenly Father bestows upon us all. Esau disregarded this birthright.
- Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” (Genesis 25:32)
- Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentils, and he ate and drank, and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright. (Genesis 25:34)
- Esau said, “Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright; and behold, now he has taken away my blessing.” Then he said, “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?” (Genesis 27:36)
- “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:2–3)
- See to it that no one fail to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” spring up and cause trouble, and by it the many become defiled; that no one be immoral or irreligious like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. (Hebrews 12:15-16)
- For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, “He who through faith is righteous shall live.” (Romans 1:17)
- And how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 3:15)
- So that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. (Hebrews 6:12)
Jacob exercised faith, and through giving God the glory, grew in faith and obtained the promises. Likewise, we need to exercise faith, too. Faith enables us to believe that God loves us and forgives us of our sins, not because we delight in sin, but because we recognize the goodness of God and desire to walk with Him. Those who lack faith, either see God as a vengeful judge or they disregard Him altogether. Those who possess faith are willing to believe that God will cover their sin, because they did not ask to be born into sin.
Jacob exercised faith and demonstrated this in his attitude towards God, even being willing to wrestle the Angel of God, because he believed God was good, not evil.
The Hatred Of Evil Is The Beginning of Wisdom, But How Does One Know Evil?