Read Genesis 1:31
31 Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!
And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day. (NLT)
It is easy to skip over verses like this. We debate about creation and evolution, about the glories of humanity and the evils of humanity. But we have to face the fact that God made this earth and called it very good.
It is not good simply because it suits the needs of humankind. It was good before we came on the scene. It is not good because humans think it is good. It is good because God called it good. Which is a further pointer to the goodness of God himself. A morally ambiguous deity or an evil deity cannot produce something that is ‘very good’.
Therefore, how we treat the earth is of the greatest importance. We dare not mistreat it or assume it exists just for us. It was good prior to our creation. It is good for animals and birds and fish as well as humans. The earth is valuable to God before it became valuable to us.
Of course we know the earth is not as it should be. We went wrong and we dragged the created world down with us. But just as we retain the image and likeness of God despite our rebellion, so the earth remains basically good despite its tribulations and distortions. Just as we are still valued by God despite our waywardness, so the earth is valued by God despite evidence of its degradation.
Our world is not just a temporary stopping point on the way to heaven. It is a pointer to and forerunner of heaven itself.
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