Last summer I swept out my garage like I try to do once in a while. I got all the leaves and spider webs out of the corners and raised a big cloud of dust. I used my leave blower to get it as clean as possible. I put things in their places and had my tools back in the tool chest and everything hanging on the walls in order and it was looking good. I stood outside with both of my garage doors open and said to myself, “Wow, that’s really nice. I did a great job.” Although there are a lot of difference between me and God, I can’t help but feel that he might have had some of that after he created everything in Genesis chapter 1. The last verse, Genesis 1:31 says, “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.”

The “Behold” in the verse draw attention to what’s to follow and well it should because in the previous verses God pronounced his creative efforts “good” but here he wants us to notice that the whole is greater than its parts because looking over the whole of creation he says “Behold, it was very good.” I’m sure this verse is not intended to show us so much of how God felt about himself, but how much he feels about us. The “very good” evaluation was after he created man. I believe he was looking at the epitome of his creation but I also think the comment included all of his creation. When you try to imagine “very good” as an overall description of the world, you must think of the Prophets predictions of the coming reign of the Messiah who will return mankind to a state of perfection and innocence. I think Isaiah gives us that picture in Isaiah 11:69-9. He says, “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”

The creation is “good” and “very good” because God declares it so. It’s not good in and of itself and God notices it. Westermann says, “God regards the work as good. The work was good in the eyes of God, it exists as good in God’s regard of acceptance. The light is good simply because God regards it as good; the light and its goodness cannot be separated from God’s attentive regard.”[1] Having been “declared” good by God that made it so and the whole world is at peace. This is also true of Christians because Paul teaches us in Romans 5:1, “Therefore, because we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

[1] Westermann, Claus. 1994. A Continental Commentary: Genesis 1–11. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.