Creation (Genesis 1:1-2-4)

10 Aug

Read Genesis 1:1-2:4, and count the number of times the word “good” appears. This word “good” (tov in Hebrew) appears, by my calculation, seven times.

Now, go back, and count the number of times the word “perfect” appears. I pore over the Genesis 1:1-2:4 again and again, yet I don’t see the word “perfect” appear even one time. Strange!

According to Hebrew thinking, the term to describe God’s original creation is “good.” For Greek philosophers, the term for that state of creation at the beginning is “perfect.” Strange!

What can happen to something or someone that is “good”? Well, “good” can become “better.” Or, “good” can “stay the same.” Or, “good” can become “worse.”

What can happen to something that is “perfect”? Well, if it is “perfect,” it can either stay the same or become broken. It can remain beautiful or become spoiled. However, if something is already “perfect,” then it cannot get better or grow in beauty. It is best if “perfect” stays the same and remains “perfect.”

When I read Genesis chapter one, I see the Creator declaring over and over again, “It is good.” What a beautiful strangeness!

Light from darkness. Good.

Separation of the waters, plus separation of land and seas. Good.

Plants, vegetation, fruit. Good.

Lights in the sky, sun, moon, stars. Good.

An amazing diversity of animals, fish and birds. Good.

Human beings, male and female, created in the image of God. Good.

A review of the entire creation project. Good.

When I read Genesis chapter one, I see multiplying goodness! And, get this… the Creator isn’t done yet. There is still more goodness to come.

Of course, I know that not everything is goodness. We won’t get far in Genesis before we run smack into reality. Goodness can become badness, even evil. Beauty can become spoiled. Things can grow worse. The pebble called “sin” gets thrown into the pond and the ripples spread throughout to every corner and edge. But “sin” is not the first word, and “evil” is not the last word.

So try this: be on the look-out for goodness. The Creator God is still fashioning new goodness every day. The Lord is not finished, and the Lord will never be finished. Yes, there are set backs… and… God is on the move, creating still.


Pay attention.

When did you notice God’s goodness and creation being born anew around you today?

Stay in One Peace (Christ’s), Tim


The Crossways Course and The Bible’s Big Story course by Dr. Harry Wendt

A New Kind of Christianity and The Story We Find Ourselves in by Brian McLaren

Mercy and Manna: God’s Unfolding Promise to Mend the Entire Universe by Daniel Erlander

It’s All About Love: The Christian Journey- A Lutheran Perspective by Daniel Erlander

Baptized We Live: Lutheranism as a Way of Life by Daniel Erlander


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