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God made a good world

April 25, 2022
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Daily Scripture

Genesis 1:1-3, 24-31

1 When God began to create [Or In the beginning, God created] the heavens and the earth— 2 the earth was without shape or form, it was dark over the deep sea, and God’s wind swept over the waters—3 God said, “Let there be light.” And so light appeared….

24 God said, “Let the earth produce every kind of living thing: livestock, crawling things, and wildlife.” And that’s what happened. 25 God made every kind of wildlife, every kind of livestock, and every kind of creature that crawls on the ground. God saw how good it was. 26 Then God said, “Let us make humanity in our image to resemble us so that they may take charge of the fish of the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and all the crawling things on earth.”

27 God created humanity in God’s own image,

in the divine image God created them [Hebrew has singular him, referring to humanity]

male and female God created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and master it. Take charge of the fish of the sea, the birds in the sky, and everything crawling on the ground.” 29 Then God said, “I now give to you all the plants on the earth that yield seeds and all the trees whose fruit produces its seeds within it. These will be your food. 30 To all wildlife, to all the birds in the sky, and to everything crawling on the ground—to everything that breathes—I give all the green grasses for food.” And that’s what happened. 31 God saw everything he had made: it was supremely good.

Did You Know?

Resurrection has an active creation care ministry called EarthCOR. Their web site offers a wide range of resources and activities. You can enter https://cor.org/earthcor into a browser on your phone or computer, or just click here.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

This is part of the first of two creation stories in Genesis. Many of Israel’s ancient Near-Eastern neighbors had their own creation stories, but only the Genesis account saw creation as essentially good. Hebrews may well have used this poetic story in worship. Created “in God’s image” (verse 27) “shows humanity’s responsibility to rule creation as God’s representative.” * Clearly such “rulership” could not permit ruining the Creator’s good world.

  • Dr. Stuart Briscoe wrote that while Genesis 1 “raises many unanswered questions about how [God] created, it provides many answers to questions about who did the creating.” ** How does it shape your view of your life’s meaning to believe that the eternally wise and good God created all that is, rather than that the universe “just happened” as a cosmic coincidence?
  • Professor John Goldingay expressed the thought of Genesis 1:31 in conversational terms: “At the end of the week of creation, God is in a position to stand back, survey the six days’ work as a whole, and smile in satisfaction. The project has come out very well. It looks great.” *** List 3-5 ways in which you can still see the original goodness of the Creator’s intention in our world.
Prayer

Dear God, thank you for the gift of our beautiful, abundant earth, and for entrusting it to my care. Help me be a faithful steward, always mindful of my choices and their impact on your world. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Kelly Shorten

Kelly Shorten

Kelly Shorten is a member of the EarthCOR ministry. She lives in Leawood, Kansas with her husband and daughter and loves running, reading, and spending time outdoors.

(Kelly wrote this thought-provoking blog post for us in 2019.)

Have you ever experienced God through God’s creation? I have heard God in the pulse of the ocean and in the cricket chirping at the edge of my porch. I have seen God in the vast expanse of the night sky and in the bee hovering over my garden. Throughout the magnitude and intricacies of the natural world, God is there. Every time I meet God in this way I am humbled, inspired, and grateful.

God has placed the whole of his creation in our care, calling us to steward, protect, and defend it. “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it,” (Psalm 24:1), but I know I do not pause often enough to ensure that I am using God’s resources for their best and intended purposes. Increasingly, I am disheartened by the misuse and disrespect of God’s creation, including my own. I have thrown things away after just one use, wasted food, and bought far in excess of what I needed. I didn’t do any of these things with God in mind as, ideally, all of our actions should be.

We live in a culture of abundance that makes it easy to choose convenience over stewardship. What would the world look like if we stopped to consider our responsibility as stewards of God’s creation as we navigate our daily choices? Could we buy less, drive less, use less? Could we walk more, plant a garden, and take our own bags to the store? Ask God to help you exercise this stewardship in your daily life, making your choices acts of worship and even your smallest acts contribute to the renewal of God’s “supremely good” creation (Genesis 1:31).

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
References

* Theodore Hiebert, sidebar note “In God’s Image” in The CEB Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013, p. 5 OT.

** D. Stuart Briscoe, The Preacher’s Commentary Series, Volume 1: Genesis. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1987, p. 25.

*** John Goldingay, Genesis for Everyone, Part 1: Chapters 1–16. Nashville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2010, p. 24