It Was Good

God's creation is endlessly beautiful.

Genesis 1:20-25 (ESV)

And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.

And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

This all seems simple enough, but to the ancient mind it was a radical departure from their view of the creatures – especially the big ones. Here the creatures are neither Gods nor monsters. There’s no Neptune, and there’s no great evil creature that will become a big part of the plot. (Of course, there is the devil, but he’s not a “creature” nor is he introduced in this section.)

And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them.

When God blesses the creatures, He affirms their goodness. But He also affirms their subservience to Him. They’re not a threat to God; He owns them.

This is setting up the great theme of the Bible. The creatures are just fine – the problem is us.

The Bible keeps saying that it was good. This could mean any number of things, but one obvious candidate is that it was beautiful.

Take a moment to ponder how majestic this world is. There are whole networks devoted to displaying its wonders (Animal Planet, National Geographic). Telescopes produce images of astonishing beauty.

We tend to underappreciate the great work God did in creating this universe. More specifically, we underappreciate the Earth. We take our world for granted, and thus we often don’t take great care of it.

Just think of the amazing variety of things that are buried in the ground. We built our civilization from the minerals, metals, and fuels we dig up. They are treasures.

We need to improve our perspective. Ask the Lord to give you a greater appreciation for this gift to us. Ask Him to call you to do something for His creation.

This doesn’t need to be some grand project. A birdfeeder counts.

The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here:

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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