God’s Perfect Creation: “It was good”
In Genesis 1, God repeatedly states that what He brought into existence was good. The phrase “and it was good” is recorded 6 separate times and each time, it is given in relation to what God had created. Then, after God formed man in His own image and completed His magnificent creation, He made the pronouncement that “it was very good”. God’s creative work was finished in exactly the form that He desired and each thing that He had made contained all of the attributes that He had intended.
The Biblical text provides some very significant insight into this world that God called “very good”.
First, all living things were vegetarian. In looking at verse 29, we see that God gave man the plants and fruits as a means of their physical sustenance. We read the following:
And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. (KJV)
In addition, the animals were also herbivores as we read in verse 30:
And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. (KJV)
The phrase “wherein there is life” is a key to understanding this perfect world that God made—for it is necessary to demonstrate that God’s initial design did not contain any death. Someone may question this truth about there being no death in God’s original design since the plants were eaten by all of the animals, as well as by Adam and Eve. While biologically we consider that the plants are living since they grow, the Bible does not refer to them as having “life” (which in the Hebrew is “nephesh”). Thus, there is a distinction between plants that grow and the life that is present in the sea creatures, the winged fowl, the land animals, and man. Recognizing this difference has serious implications—not only to the definition of what God called “very good”, but as we shall later see, to the very doctrine of salvation through Christ.
Second, man was created in the image of God. As a consequence of this truth, we see that man is the very pinnacle of all of God’s creation. The Lord God endowed man with the power to reason, to make ethical decisions, and to commune with his Creator. In addition, God gave man dominion over all the earth. What a great privilege and responsibility God has provided to mankind by allowing him to be over every living creature and over all the earth. As Christians, we should be the greatest caretakers of what God has entrusted to us—not worshipping what God has made, but taking dominion over it for His honor and glory. What a great blessing God has given us through a life of purpose and direction by allowing us to use what He has made in a way that will point others to the character and nature of our Heavenly Father. Whether it is in the area of the arts or the sciences, in education or manufacturing, in medicine or law, our heart’s desire should be to use what God has given to take dominion in His name.