It is easy to feel homesick for Eden. There is something in the brief descriptions of the Garden that God created as the home for Adam and Eve that sparks a note of longing in our hearts. We may not understand how such a world would work, but we feel we would like to experience it.
It seems the sense of satisfaction and completeness was also something that God felt: “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Gen. 1:31, NIV). God made something that was both beautiful and functional. It was exquisite in its design, in both form and practicality. It was vibrant with life and color, but also filled with everything necessary for life to flourish. No wonder God kept pausing to muse that this world that He was making was good.
Read Genesis 1:1-31. What do you think is meant by the repeated statements that “God saw that it was good”? See Gen. 1:4, Gen. 1:10, Gen. 1:12, Gen. 1:18, Gen. 1:25, and Gen. 1:31.
Even though written entirely after the Fall, the Bible is filled with celebrations of the natural world, such as in Job 38 to 41 and Psalm 148. And we must remember that these are not written as a glimpse looking back to how the world was when first created and before sin; they are written in the present tense, celebrating the goodness that is still evident in our world.
Jesus, too, drew examples of God’s goodness and care from the natural world (see, for example, Matt. 6:26, Matt. 6:28-30), commending both our reliance on God and an appreciation of the simple gifts that surround us with wonder. If we open our eyes and look at the marvels of creation, we can see that we are truly the recipients of marvelous gifts from our Creator. Our response, even amid trials, should be one of gratitude, thankfulness, and humble surrender to the Gift-giver.
As Seventh-day Adventists—those who both celebrate Creation and anticipate God’s coming kingdom—we should realize that the beauties, joys, and goodness we see and experience in the world are glimpses of what our world once was and what will, again, be.
|In your experience of the natural world, what do you especially appreciate about the wonders of Creation? In your daily life, how might you be able to know the Lord better through the wonders of the natural world?|