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And God Saw That It Was Good

In the beginning
God created the heavens and the earth.
The earth was without form, and void;
and darkness was on the face of the deep.
And the Spirit of God was hovering
over the face of the waters.

Then God said, "Let there be light";
and there was light.
And God saw the light,
it was good;
and God divided the light from the darkness.

God called the light Day,
and the darkness He called Night.
So the evening and the morning were the first day.

Then God said, "Let there be a firmament
in the midst of the waters,
and let it divide the waters from the waters."

Thus God made the firmament,
and divided the waters which were under the firmament
from the waters which were above the firmament;
and it was so.
And God called the firmament Heaven.
So the evening and the morning were the second day.

Then God said, "Let the waters under the heavens
be gathered together into one place,
and let the dry land appear"; and it was so.

And God called the dry land Earth,
and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas.
And God saw that it was good.

Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass,
the herb that yields seed,
and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind,
whose seed is in itself, on the earth"; and it was so.

And the earth brought forth grass,
the herb that yields seed according to its kind,
and the tree that yields fruit,
whose seed is in itself according to its kind.
And God saw that it was good.
So the evening and the morning were the third day.

Then God said, "Let there be lights
in the firmament of the heavens
to divide the day from the night;
and let them be for signs and seasons,
and for days and years;
and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens
to give light on the earth"; and it was so.

Then God made two great lights:
the greater light to rule the day,
and the lesser light to rule the night.
He made the stars also.

God set them in the firmament of the heavens
to give light on the earth,
and to rule over the day and over the night,
and to divide the light from the darkness.
And God saw that it was good.
So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

Then God said, "Let the waters abound
with an abundance of living creatures,
and let birds fly above the earth
across the face of the firmament of the heavens."

So God created great sea creatures and
every living thing that moves,
with which the waters abounded,
according to their kind,
and every winged bird according to its kind.

And God saw that it was good.
And God blessed them, saying,
"Be fruitful and multiply,
and fill the waters in the seas,
and let birds multiply on the earth."
So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth
the living creature according to its kind:
cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth,
each according to its kind"; and it was so.

And God made the beast of the earth
according to its kind,
cattle according to its kind,
and everything that creeps on the earth
according to its kind.
And God saw that it was good.

Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image,
according to Our likeness;
let them have dominion over the fish of the sea,
over the birds of the air, and over the cattle,
over all the earth and
over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

So God created man in His own image;
in the image of God He created him;
male and female He created them.

Then God blessed them, and God said to them,
"Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it;
have dominion over the fish of the sea,
over the birds of the air,
and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

And God said, "See, I have given you every herb
that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth,
and every tree whose fruit yields seed;
to you it shall be for food.
Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air,
and to everything that creeps on the earth,
in which there is life,
I have given every green herb for food"; and it was so.

Then God saw everything that He had made,
and indeed it was very good.
So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. (Genesis 1)

And God saw that it was good. When the Creator looked upon His handiworks, He found it perfectly and completely admirable. And He was pleased. Six times God repeated this statement of affirmation and admiration, and on the seventh time, He declared that it was very good!

Every one of God's creative acts was perfect, pleasing and satisfying unto Himself. Everything in the universe, from the biggest star to the smallest seed, brought tremendous joy to His heart. They were beautiful and harmonious! The Creator's satisfaction was expressed in a brief but yet remarkable phrase - it was good!

The Creator of the whole universe was like an artist and architect! In all the successive stages of His creation, He paused to survey its progress. And He pronounced, "Well done!" But upon finishing the creation of man, He declared it to be very good. The creation of man brought completion to His master plan of the whole creation!

God was able to reflect and ponder upon what He had done. He was able to enjoy and admire the works of His hands.

Thus the heavens and the earth,
and all the host of them, were finished.
And on the seventh day God ended His work
which He had done,
and He rested on the seventh day from all His work
which He had done.
Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it,
because in it He rested from all His work
which God had created and made
. (Genesis 2:1-3)

Have we ever wondered what God did on the seventh day? God rested after He had ended His work. The Bible did not say that God slept on the seventh day. In fact, God was actively doing something. He blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which He had created and made. What does this mean? It means that God stopped working, and started to enjoy what He had created. Yes, God took one day to enjoy what He had created after six days of creative works! God ceased working on the seventh day! And He blessed and sanctified this seventh day of Sabbath rest.

This sacred and perfect rest of the Creator was indeed the consequence of His self-satisfaction and pleasure of what He had done - the completion of His creation!

Thou art worthy, O Lord,
to receive glory and honour and power:
for Thou hast created all things,
and for Thy pleasure they are and were created. (Rev. 4:11)

Yes, all things are and were created for His pleasure! God took great pleasure in the completion of His creation. There was nothing to be added to it!

I know that whatever God does,
It shall be forever.
Nothing can be added to it,
And nothing taken from it. (Ecc. 3:14)

No more other works of creation were needed to be done on the seventh day! Everything was perfect and in order! This rest of God was truly a blessing bestowed upon us that we too should do the same, resting and enjoying what we have done. No artist or architect after finishing one masterpiece will immediately move on to create another masterpiece. He will take time to rest, enjoying what he has finished and admiring his own works! God spent the seventh day, having the pleasure of admiring His masterpiece of creation!

We too should be able to enjoy:

  • the works of God's hands, and also
  • the works of our own hands.

We should be able to say that they are good!

1. To Enjoy God’s Works Of Creation

How often have we admired the works of His hands, primarily His creation? The everlasting light, the heavens and the earth, the night and day cycles, the skies, the lands, the seas, the hills, the mountains, the rivers, the grass, the flowers, the trees, the seasons, the sun, the moon, the fishes, the birds, the cattle, the animals, the insects, the creeping creatures, and the human beings! Yes, human beings! Everything was amazingly created by God Almighty! And God saw that it was good! Could we also see that it was good? Could we also be able to express the same degree of delight and satisfaction?

When I consider Your heavens,
the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars,
which You have ordained,
What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You visit him? (Psalm 8:3-4)

Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap,
which have neither storehouse nor barn;
and God feeds them.
Of how much more value are you than the birds? (Luke 12:24)

Consider the lilies, how they grow:
they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you,
even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed
like one of these. (Luke 12:27)

When was the last time we considered the heavens, the work of His fingers? What about the moon and the stars? What about the birds of the air? What about the lilies of the fields?

2. To Enjoy The Fruits Of Our Labors

Hereby we are not dealing with self-indulgence or falsely pretending to be happy or blessed. It is a true blessing that comes from God alone that man should be able to enjoy with satisfaction and thankfulness the wealth and the health that God bestows to him. These can only come from God:

So I decided that there was nothing better for a man to do
than to enjoy his food and drink and his job.
Then I realized that even this pleasure is
from the hand of God.

For who can eat or enjoy apart from Him?

For God gives those who please Him
wisdom, knowledge, and joy;
but if a sinner becomes wealthy,
God takes the wealth away from him and
gives it to those who please Him.

So here, too, we see an example of foolishly
chasing the wind. (Ecc. 2:24-26)

So I conclude that, first,
there is nothing better for a man
than to be happy and to enjoy himself as long as he can;
and second, that he should eat and drink and
enjoy the fruits of his labors
for these are gifts from God.

And I know this, that whatever God does is final-
nothing can be added or taken from it;
God's purpose in this is that man should fear
the all-powerful God. (Ecc. 3:12-14)

Well, one thing, at least, is good:
It is for a man to eat well,
drink a good glass of wine,
accept his position in life, and
enjoy his work whatever his job may be
for however long the Lord may let him live.

And, of course, it is very good
if a man has received wealth from the Lord and
the good health to enjoy it.

To enjoy your work and to accept your lot in life-
that is indeed a gift from God.
The person who does that will not need to look back
with sorrow on his past, for God gives him joy. (Ecc. 5:18-20)

When was the last time we truly and gratefully thanked God for the wealth and health that He had bestowed upon our lives? Could we truly enjoy our food and drink, and the fruits of our labors?

Blessed is every one who fears the LORD,
Who walks in His ways.

When you eat the labor of your hands,
You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.

Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
In the very heart of your house,
Your children like olive plants
All around your table.

Behold, thus shall the man be blessed
Who fears the LORD. (Psalm 128:1-4)

God instituted the Sabbath rest at the very beginning in Genesis. The Sabbath is not just for the Jews! It is for every human being on the earth. And God was serious about us keeping the Sabbath rest.

Work shall be done for six days,
but the seventh day shall be a holy day for you,
a Sabbath of rest to the LORD.
Whoever does any work on it
shall be put to death. (Exodus 35:2)

Between the time of Moses and the commencement of the captivity, there had been about 70 occasions on which the people of God worked the Promised Land without giving the land proper rest. They violated the law of the sabbatical year (Lev. 25:2-7):

When you come into the land which I give you,
then the land shall keep a sabbath to the LORD.

Six years you shall sow your field,
and six years you shall prune your vineyard,
and gather its fruit;
but in the seventh year
there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land,
a sabbath to the LORD.

You shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard.
What grows of its own accord of your harvest
you shall not reap,
nor gather the grapes of your untended vine,
for it is a year of rest for the land.

And the sabbath produce of the land
shall be food for you: for you,
your male and female servants, your hired man,
and the stranger who dwells with you,
for your livestock and the beasts that are in your land--
all its produce shall be for food.

Thus the prophet Jeremiah prophesied about the 70 years of desolation of the land of Israel and the captivity of the Israelites so that the Promised Land could rest for 70 years (2 Chronicles 36:21):

The land enjoyed its sabbath rests;
all the time of its desolation it rested,
until the seventy years were completed
in fulfillment of the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah.

God desired that all His creation had proper rest. But man was always wanting more, never easily satisfied. If there is an additional hour in the day or an additional day in the week, we will always fill it up with work, activities and programs. Instead of rest, we strive and struggle. We compete with one another instead of complementing one another. We covet our neighbour's land, goods and products. The grass is always greener over there. We are not thankful for what we already have - we always want something else. We are not appreciative to God. Even the things of nature, like animals and plants, suffer in sickness and death because of the evil acts of mankind. We pollute our own environment. Instead of giving cattle vegetation diet, we give them meat. Instead of admiring His creation, we destroy them. Instead of enjoying garden walks and strolling in the parks, we pluck their flowers and leaves.

Rest is the enjoyment of time without having to work. It is a therapeutic refreshment of one's body, mind, soul and spirit. Rest is essential to the longevity of human beings. It is the direct opposite of stress. Today, stress is the number one killer in the United States according to TIME magazine. Stress can lead to a number of ailments such as hypertension. However, excessive rest is not healthy, and may lead to escapism. That's why one day in a week is good enough!

But many people view the Sabbath rest as non-productive, or even non-essential. Research has shown that rest contributes to life satisfaction, quality of life, health and wellness. Rest can also help us to be creative, and have breakthroughs in life. Rest is even employed as a means of medication for individuals with chronic pains and other health impairments. Many people become sick due to excessive work and stress. If we do not rest, there will be a payback time someday.

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;
for anyone who enters God's rest
also rests from his own work,
just as God did from His.
Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest,
so that no one will fall by following
their example of disobedience. (Hebrews 4:9-11)

20 March 2006