Genesis 1:31. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.
Life is good.
That’s not just something to put on a t-shirt or a bumper sticker. It’s God’s response to creation. God is happy with what he has made. Creation brings him delight (see Proverbs 8:23-31 for even more happiness at creation).
The biblical account of creation is very different from other ancient creation stories. Other religions told tales of the earth and humanity being formed as the result of a great cosmic war. As the gods battled each other out came us. People weren’t loved image bearers; they were a hassle.
But Genesis 1 paints a very different picture. God takes a “formless and void” world, an uninhabitable world, and makes it livable. Why? So that the Trinity can live with humanity in love. So that we can share in his intimacy and impact. Creation isn’t just something God has to put up with; it is his delight. It is good. It is very good.
Life is Beautiful – living a good life in the most evil of places.
But what makes something good? The word “good” to us is often used to imply less than perfect. “How’s your sandwich? It’s good.” “How are you feeling? I’m good.” Because “good” isn’t “great” it implies that the sandwich or you could be better.
The Hebrew word for “good” is towb. In the Bible towb is the ultimate. There is nothing better than towb. Something is towb when it is functioning as it is intended and as a result it brings delight or satisfaction. The plants were towb because they produced seed like plants were designed plants to do. The birds were towb because they were reaching their full potential as birds. God didn’t cut corners. It was all very good. And as a result it all brought joy to God’s heart.
Our lives are meant to be good. Not “good” as in could be better. Good like towb. A life that fulfills God’s purpose for us. But is this happening? Are our lives good? Are you living up to your purpose and bringing pleasure to God?
“What purpose?” you ask.
In yesterday’s reading we saw that our purpose starts with love. “Be fruitful and multiply.” That’s not just about baby making anymore. In Christ it’s about filling the earth with the love of God in Christ. It’s about impacting the world with the intimacy of the Trinity through the gospel. Our “be fruitful in multiply” is now “go and make disciples.”
Just as God’s word produced what is good (“And God said…and it was good”), so too God’s living Word, Jesus Christ, produces what is good in us. “To live is Christ” means your life is good. Not easy. Not without trouble and sorrow. But good. In Christ your life can be good even when it’s not good. It can be towb even when it’s not easy. Even when it’s a mess.
How? Because in Christ God delights in you. God looks at you and declares “behold, you are very good.” Because in Christ now you are living up to your purpose as an image bearer. Because towb isn’t about perfection it’s about purpose. It’s about worship not work. And you are worshiping. You are serving. You are shaping the “formless” places and filling the “empty” spaces with the love of Christ in you.
And that is very good.
Do you think of your life as being good? Why or why not?
You in Christ
How does being in Christ allow us to fulfill our purpose as image bearers? (Think about the concepts of intimacy and impact.)
Christ in you
How might your day be different today if you really believed that life is good and that God delights in you?