Why Did God Call Creation “Very Good”? Part 1
Why Did God Call Creation “Very Good”? Part 1 – by Hugh Whelchel
As we look at the first five days of creation in Genesis, the phrase “And God saw that it was good” pops up four times (Gen. 1:10, 12, 18, 25).
Yet, at the end of the sixth day we read, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Gen. 1:31).
Why the difference on the sixth day?
At the end of the sixth day, God is finished with his work of creation and is looking back at everything he has made.
John Schneider writes in his book, The Good of Affluence,
This creation that God majestically called forth into being is good. It is good in its individual parts, and it is good as a whole, as an integrated system. In fact, in this integrative cosmic sense, the text informs us that God declared it to be very good.
Here we find the first hint of God’s original intent for his creation. The purpose of God was to be glorified by his creation.
We read in Revelation 4:11,
You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for you have created all things, and for your pleasure they are and were created.
This is another reason why God describes creation as “very good.” Just as a great painting reflects the glory of the master artist, God created everything for his glory.
God is most glorified when his creation works like it was designed to work. This idea is epitomized by the Old Testament idea of shalom.
In his book, Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be, Cornelius Plantinga defines shalom as:
The webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfillment, and delight…Shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness and delight – a rich state of affairs in which natural needs are satisfied and natural gifts fruitfully employed.
How would our daily lives change if we remembered that we are here to glorify God in all we do through the work he has given us (whether the study or practice of law) and through the relationships that surround us?
Dear God, Remind me every day that all of creation, including my work, were created to glorify You. Please help me as I make decisions, work, and relate to those around me to ultimately seek your glory. Amen.
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Hugh Whelchel is Executive Director of the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics (www.tifwe.org) and author of How Then Should We Work?: Rediscovering the Biblical Doctrine of Work.
IFWE is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) Christian research organization committed to promoting biblical and economic principles that help individuals find fulfillment in their work and contribute to a free and flourishing society.