After God created each part of his world, he stepped back, looked at it, and declared that “it was good” (1:10, 12, 18, 21, 25). And yet, it was still incomplete. Each individual part was good, but it was only when God’s final work took its place in the world that creation as a whole became “very good” (Genesis 1:31).
- Do you see yourself as a creation of God? Where do you think you rank in the hierarchy of good creations of God?
READ THE WORD: GENESIS 1:26 – 2:3 (ESV)
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
2:1Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- What distinguishes humans from all other creation and gives them the right to have dominion over all other creation? What do you think that means?
- Over what did God give humans authority? What does it mean to steward that authority well today?
- What did God give to people as he blessed them, and how do you see that in your life today (vss. 27-29)?
- In what ways is the world God created “very good”? Make a list. Are you on that list? Why or why not?
RESPOND TO GOD
The phrase “heaven and earth” opens and closes the first chapter of Genesis, and while the phrase encompasses all that exists, it also makes a distinction. Heaven is God’s place, and earth is the place for us, God’s highest and best creation. Yet, while we bear the image of God—and as such, bear great honor, authority, and responsibility—we remain creatures made by God and intended to live under his loving reign. Simply put, we are not God. It is when we live as God’s beloved creation that the world we inhabit is indeed very, very good.
However, the ensuing story of Genesis shows what happens when the creation of God attempts to cross the boundary between heaven and earth and grasp for itself what only belongs to God. It’s not very good at all, and it gets really, really ugly.
- Thank God for the blessing of nourishment he has provided for you (vs. 29).
- Ask God for wisdom in stewarding the authority he has given you over creation. Give thanksgiving to God for all creation.