Monday, August 17, 2015

Very Good

God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.  And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.  Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts.  By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 
Genesis 1:31-2:2

Six times God surveyed what He had created and found it good.  Yet now, having completed this universe and created man in His own image to manage that creation the verdict changes.  Upon completion God sees that the whole system is very good.  God was pleased by the finished work of His hands.  As any artist or craftsman knows; that pleasure comes from the fact that His perfect artwork reflected His character – His power, His love, His artistry and His love.  It was “very good” now because it reflected the Creator more clearly now than it had at any given point.  When Sin entered this world the mirror of Creation became a less effective tool to see the character of God.  Death and decay did not destroy all the beauty of the earth, but it did make it harsh, dangerous, and even cruel.  No longer can we look at the created world around us and see a perfect illustration of the Creator.  God’s love was too great to allow His beloved children to die, alienated from Him.  He revealed Himself through His Son Jesus Christ – “the visible expression of the invisible God”.  He revealed himself through His word – The Bible.  He reveals Himself through the amazing power of His Holy Spirit at work on the heart of every living being – convicting the unbeliever and indwelling the believer.  Though many of the things that were created to make Him known have been fractured His purpose has not been thwarted.  At the end of all things Christ Jesus will stand upon the redeemed earth – victorious!  By His provision at the Cross – we who humbly accept His grace will stand with Him.  Not because of the works which we have done, but because of His amazing Grace.

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Command to Care

God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 
Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and everything that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so.
Genesis 1:28-30 NASB

I remember when my parents gave me my first guitar.  I had wanted one for some time, I had invested time learning to play on my dad’s guitar.  When my parents gave me my own guitar it came with a solemn charge.  This was a gift, but it was expected that this gift would be taken care of.  It was a way to show appreciation.  I was not just being given a gift, but I was being given a gift that needed to be maintained and was meant to be used for a specific purpose.  God created mankind to fill, care for, and enjoy His amazing creation of planet earth.  This charge was repeated to Noah and his descendants after the great flood (Genesis 9:1-4).  This planet is a special charge for humanity.  To discover what God has made and how to best support it as it supports us by God’s provision.  Just as my parents’ charge to me to care for my first guitar was really for my greatest good, so caring for this amazing planet is an important part of the charge of every believer.  We were never meant to abdicate our management of this domain either in the sense of abusing it, or in the sense of worshipping it and thinking that the earth would be better off without us.  We are meant to interact responsibly with our physical environment, appreciating and enjoying the great gift that it is to us from our loving Heavenly Father.  And yes, I still have my first guitar, and it still gets played, enjoyed and maintained.  

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Image of God

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:26-27

God had created a beautiful and wonderful paradise.  Truly, we cannot even imagine what the earth looked like, and how it functioned at this point.  Before sin’s stain had entered the world there was no death, nor was there catastrophe, nor destruction.  The plans and the animals of both land and sea worked together in a perfect and harmonious system.  A person’s faculties could reach their end simply seeking to imagine this wonderful world.  Yet, God’s creation still awaited its pinnacle.  God intended this new and beautiful creation to be ruled by a type of creature who bore His own image.  Upon examining the wonders of the natural world it is expected that we will be awestruck and impressed.  Yet the greater miracle is the place of humanity in that marvelous creation. 

Humanity was designed to represent God in this Creation, caring for it and looking after it through moment by moment reliance upon Him.  Humanity was created and given this amazing domain.  Humanity alone was impressed with the very image of God – a finite reflection of His infinite power, will and majesty.  Humanity failed to fulfill God’s desire and plan, but in His grace God provided a provision for all of our failures.  This original mandate will finally be fulfilled when Jesus Christ sets foot again upon this earth and rules and regulates it, at long last, with all of the wisdom and power that is needed.  God gave a command for mankind’s mission upon this earth, and then provided for that mission to be completed.  All to His glory, all in the person and work of His Son, Jesus Christ.