Tov, Goodness

David Mitts

"“Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” (Rom 2:4, NKJV) 

To listen to the audio-only version click below 
Giving Opportunity Message
"Heart Moved..."



The key to all navigation in life is a set of fixed coordinates that allow us to find ourselves relative to those coordinates and adjust ourselves accordingly. In our current world of man-centered relativism we are drifting along as a culture and crossing into very turbulent and treacherous waters. 

These waters are rip currents that are destructive to us and wreak havoc on our most treasured aspects, our soul. Yeshua warns us:

“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mat 16:26, NKJV)

Gaining the world is contrasted with losing our soul. Yeshua speaks of an exchange, a bargain. Bargaining is all based on values. When I am willing to trade something for something else that implies that I consider them equal or close enough in value to trade. Gaining the world, is traded for one’s soul. We all know the expression, “sold his soul to the devil”. This conjures up an image of some dark bargain that gives worldly success at the cost of a person’s humanity. 

Left alone to our devices this is a process that usually occurs in the dark realm of compromise. Little by little similar to the boiling frog story, we sacrifice a piece of our soul for the illusion of security or value from the world. What we trade is the abundant life of God for pieces of death.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 6:23, NKJV)

The wage of sin is another way of saying what we trade in terms of worldly values and standards. God transcends this system with grace, the gift of life in Messiah. Every compromise we make with the world brings a piece of death into our lives. These are its wages of the payout for services rendered in our heart. This is the result of works mentality.

“Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,” (Heb 6:1, NKJV)

Dead works, or said another way, works that exchange the gift of God with the illusion of self-effort rooted in pride and unbelief, brings about death in the very area we try to bring our own kind of life to. This is actually called “dead works” because it is rooted in a life that is apart from God. 

As the above verse indicates repentance from dead works is a foundation stone of the life of Emunah. 

How can we trust in God, what is called Emunah or faith towards God. I think the key is His goodness, what is translated as “tov” in Hebrew.

“Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” (Rom 2:4, NKJV)

Tov, the goodness of God leads us to repentance. The Word Tov, Goodness: Good: The pictograph tet is a picture of a basket, used to contain or surround something. The bet is a picture of a tent or house. Combined these mean "surround the house". The house is surrounded by grace, beauty, love, health and prosperity, something that is functional. 

If you reflect on all that a healthy home represents to us, rest from the trials of life, a sanctuary where we can truly rest, acceptance, love, nurturing, relationship. All of this and more cues us into the goodness of God. The goodness of God is all that is right in the world.

There is each of us a drawing to the goodness of God. We were created in that goodness.

“Then God said, “Let Us make mankind in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the livestock and over all the earth, and over every crawling thing that crawls on the earth.” So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every animal of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to everything that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so. And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” (Gen 1:26-31, NASB)

In this case God goes one step beyond what He describes as goodness and calls the creation of man on the 6th day as Tov Meod, very good. 

Similar to the planet which has a magnetic pole which orients all compasses, God has created the spirit world with a magnetic pole of His goodness. He is that pole.

Yeshua wasn’t diminishing the goodness of God that was in Him when He declared:

“So Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.” (Mar 10:18, NKJV)

What He was saying was that God’s goodness in solitary. It is the only reliable compass point for reality in all of its realms.

God alone is good. That is why Yeshua said “One” is good, God. 

The next verses in all 3 gospels that contain this revelation involve keeping the commandments. I thought this really interesting because we have often been told that we by nature cannot keep the commandments which is why we need a savior. I am not disputing that we need a savior but I am curious about why Yeshua follows that declaration that God is the only One who is good with an instruction that to enter into the kingdom just keep the commandments. In fact the young man that he is speaking with had been doing just that with of his heart.

“You know the commandments: 'DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY,' 'DO NOT MURDER,' 'DO NOT STEAL,' 'DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS,' 'Do not defraud,' 'HONOR YOUR FATHER AND YOUR MOTHER.'" And he answered and said to Him, "Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth." Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, "One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me."” (Mar 10:19-21, NKJV)

Notice the word that Yeshua loved Him. He then gives him the key to release him from the world to sell all, give to the poor and have treasure in heaven. He tells him to take up his cross and follow Him. This is a rhema word to this one whom He loves. 

If we take a step back and look without religious preconceptions at face value, we see a flow. God’s exclusive goodness. God’s goodness is next expressed by His loving commandments. Notice that Yeshua did NOT say that these commandments would be superseded by His death. Why is that? Because God is good and obviously a good God would not give commandments that not good. Yeshua however was able to see beyond the observance of the commandments into the heart and He saw that this young man was attached to or worshipped his financial success. He had more faith in money than he did in God.

“But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” (Mar 10:22, NKJV)

Worldly attachments will always be in conflict with eternal life. There is nothing that the world can offer us that gives us a false sense of security like financial accomplishments. The world can be gained through self-effort but if we cling to it, we lose our soul.

“Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, "How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!" And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, "Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, "Who then can be saved?" But Jesus looked at them and said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible."” (Mar 10:23-27, NKJV)

The imagery of the camel with the eye of the needle is a supposed reference to the city gate called the eye of the needle and the camel has to kneel to enter. I don’t know about the truth of that but I think the real point is that for the rich and accomplished God can seem far away and unnecessary. Since there is no hunger there can be very little blessing by God. 

God’s goodness is true food to our spirit and soul. This is why Yeshua declared:


God is good, tov and His word is good. Another interpretation of the basket and house imagery of the bet and the tet, could be that the provision of the house, that goes beyond just the bread it provides, not a restaurant, but also includes the word that we are instructed in to guard our souls, the love, the caring and all of the qualities of a true home. This is a picture of the goodness of God.

Activation: God’s goodness draws us to repentance, to return, teshuvah. In the teshuvah is the shev, or the sabbath. We enter into His rest when we trust His goodness. Ask Him to reveal where you need to trust Him for goodness in your life.




 Push Notifications are disabled


B.E.S.T. Shabbat

 Add to homescreen