And behold, it was very good

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Genesis 1:31; Psalm 8

A good God makes a good world.  Perhaps that should be the banner over Genesis chapter 1.

There are no regrets here.  God doesn’t say “It’s not quite what I’d imagined.  It was better in rehearsals.  I’ve kept the receipts in case you want to exchange it.”  No, Genesis 1:28 – “Behold!  It’s very good!”

… if He does say so Himself.

Perhaps we find it odd for God to be passing comment on His own handiwork.  But actually, to hear the Maker’s own assessment is wonderfully reassuring.  We need to know that God is not threatened by the world, not limited by the world, not a competitor with the world, not shut out from the world.  He is no prisoner of His own divine majesty, as though being Creator keeps Him at an infinite distance from His world.  Perhaps you’re thinking “Of course not, why should we think that?”

In the history of human religion, there have always been such fears about god and creation.  The idea of “something besides god” has thrown many believers into a spin.  Religious folk and theistic philosophers toil at relating the infinite to the finite, the spiritual to the physical, the timeless to the time-bound, and a thousand questions besides.  But the God of the Bible has no time for any of this.  He just gets on and creates a world that He is really very happy about.

And He is most happy when it gets to day six.  You see when He comes to the end of all the other days He calls His handiwork “good”, but once humanity crowns creation – “Behold, it is very good!”  This is what He has always wanted.

The Father has always had His Son and Spirit besides Him – ‘in His bosom’ as John 1:18 says.  He is not socially awkward.  He is very comfortable with relating to others.  He is the companionable God.  So He makes a world with man at the top.  Because the intention is for the Man Jesus Christ to stand upon the earth and draw all things under His feet.  The Father has always wanted the whole creation summed up under Man (Psalm 8; Ephesians 1:10; Romans 8:29).  Creation is not an alien sphere, too grubby for a spiritual God to bother with.  It is a very good world for which He has a very good goal.

There is a lot of nonsense spoken by religious folk; a lot of hatred of things bodily; a disdain of this world and a belief that ‘spiritual’ means ‘non-material’.  Don’t believe it.  Don’t retreat from God’s good creation.  Fear sin, don’t fear the world.  To paraphrase a popular explanation of Christianity:  God loves the world and has a wonderful plan for its life.

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