"God Saw That It Was Good" (1/1)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Genesis 1-3.

God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:10).

Six times, the record of Creation tells us that God saw His work as good. These came after God created or ordered something – the creation of light (v. 3-4), separation of the dry land from the seas (v. 9-10), creation and growth of plants (v. 11-12), ordering of the sun, moon, and stars (v. 14-18), creation of sea life and birds (v. 20-21), and the creation of land animals (v. 24-25). At each point, the text indicates that God saw His progress and that it was good.

Here is what is interesting: God saw His work “was goodafter He did something. But each of the six times this phrase occurs, it is also before He does something else. God did not assess His progress after three or four days, see that what He had to that point was good, and quit. He built upon what He had already done until He was finished and it was “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Only then did He rest, after He “completed His work which He had done” (Genesis 2:2). This was the seventh day and would later serve as the basis for the Sabbath Law given to the Israelites (Exodus 20:8-11).

The lesson for us is that we need to keep working until we are finished. The Hebrew writer tells us, “So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9). He is speaking of heaven. That awaits us, but only after we complete our work here.

We may accomplish some good things in our service to God. But as long as we live here on this earth, we need to keep building upon those good things, rather than be content with what we have done to this point and rest here. Our rest comes later – after our death (Revelation 14:13). Paul’s words to the Philippians summarize the correct mindset on this point:

Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14).

Find the good that you have accomplished and build upon it.

Tomorrow’s reading: Genesis 4-7

[I’m using the Chronological reading plan on the Bible Gateway website if you’d like to follow along, too.]

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