The Goodness of Heaven and Earth

Steven Bouma-Prediger

READ : Genesis 1:28-31

God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. (v. 31)

I was in my early thirties when I finally paid close attention to this text. I had read it many times before, and assumed I knew the meaning. God saw the humans whom he had made on day six, and declared that they were very good. Right? True enough, but it wasn’t only humans. The very familiarity of the text had led me to not pay close attention. The passage is quite clear. God saw everything – everything – that he had made, and it was very good.

Notice, it is not perfect. Perfection awaits us in the last chapters of the Bible. Here in the first chapter we read that the work of God’s hands is good. Indeed, it is very good, especially good, exceedingly good. A ringing judgment that suggests beauty and peace, as well as what we think of as goodness. And this includes everything. Marmots and muskrats and mountain lions. Goldfinches and barred owls and chickadees. Butterflies and cicadas and burying beetles. All these and so many more are included within God’s “very good.”


God of all that is, Fount of Goodness, beyond the brokenness of the world in which we live give us eyes to see the abiding goodness deep down, and tutor us in the ways of goodness and peace.