And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. – Genesis 1:31
Perhaps you’ve heard the humorous saw: “That’s bad. No, that’s good.” Something that seems to be bad is actually good.
Not long ago, I was walkin’ down the street
When a woman in a car knocked me off my feet
(Oh, that’s bad)
No, that’s goodMy insurance paid me a lot of dough
More money than I’d seen in a year’s payroll
(Oh, that’s good)
No, that’s badOn doctor bills is where my money went
And all I had left was a very bad limp
(Oh, that’s bad)
No, that’s good‘Cause the way I walked, it got me a role
As the Marshall’s partner on a TV show
Pretty young actresses started hanging ’round
And every night we’d do the townThat’s good… No, that’s bad…
So it goes. What appears to be good is not always so good. There are hidden pitfalls and pockets of trouble and brokenness in even the best of life’s happenings on this earth.
Not so with God. When God says something is good it is good. If he says it is very good, you know there is not even the tiniest fissure of brokenness.
We get a glimpse of this goodness in the beautiful sunrise or glorious sunset. We see a dim reflection in the splendor of a majestic mountain or the glory of a roaring sea. We see it in a baby’s coo, and a young couple’s delight in each other. We experience it in those moments of contentment at the end of a productive day: an echo of God’s experience on the sixth day of creation.
But even the best of these are dim reflections of a more perfect goodness. For the perfect goodness was shattered by Adam and Eve’s fall into sin. Sometime after this “very good” moment and the opening events of Genesis 3 there was a revolt and Satan and a third of the angels of God were cast out of heaven and into the gloomy darkness (cf. 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6).
We see in a glass darkly, but in the end we will see face to face. All will be put right again. A new Paradise will be ours. It will be eternally very good. In the meantime, whenever we see that glorious sunset or that majestic mountain, think of God’s creative glory and try to imagine, if you are able, what true, ultimate, and glorious perfection looks like. Keep your eyes on Jesus, for he is the source of everything that is truly good.