“And God saw everything that He hath made, and, behold, it was very good.’’ Genesis 1:31a.
This is only one of the many texts from God’s Divine Word which has been under attack by men ever since God has revealed that Word to His Church. Not only this text, but all of Scripture has been and will continue to be under attack by the vain philosophies of men until the day of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. All attempts of explaining Scripture, when separated from the truth — Scripture interprets Scripture — are nothing but slander against God from the mouths of men. Why is that? All things are of God, and the Scriptures are God’s, not man’s. The answer may also be found in this very text which men use to base their heresies on; we use as proof for the absolute sovereignty of God as Creator of heaven and earth.
To understand Genesis 1:31 in the proper light we must first look at the word create according to the first chapter of Genesis. To create means to call forth. God called forth all things from His eternal counsel and they came into being as creatures. “Lift up your eyes on high, and behold Who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: He calleth them all by the greatness of His might, for that He is strong in power: not one faileth” (Isaiah 40:26). God called forth from His counsel by means of His Word, by whom all things were created. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made” (John 1:1-3). The Word which John speaks of is Christ in His divine nature as we see in Hebrews 1:2: “Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, Whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by Whom also He made the worlds.” However John does not mean to imply that the Word or the Son of God had an origin when he states: “In the beginning was the Word . ..” For in Proverbs 8:22 and 23 we read: “The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.” All things which God created were called out of His counsel by the spoken Word. It is because of this, all creatures, when they were in the state of perfection, had as their very essence Christ. Each creature was a distinct expression of the spoken Word of God. The bringing forth of the spoken Word to establish the foundations of the world is more clearly seen in Proverbs 8:24-25. “When there were no depths I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth.”
When we read, “And God saw everything . . .” the word ‘saw’ may be translated as to understand’ as shown in Proverbs 3:19. “The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath He established the heavens.” God understood everything, for their essence was Christ, His Son. The creation was complete in all aspects for it was the complete revelation of God expressed through the Word.
Adam too, in the state of perfection, could understand the essence of every creature and named them according to the expressed Nature of God within them. Then man fell, and God spoke another word . . . Death. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12). This word, Death, is unlike any other of the expressions of the Word, for it is louder than all others and drowns out all others. Because of man’s sin against God’s command of obedience, the entire creation suffers though it had no part of man’s willful disobedience as stated in Romans 8:20-23. “For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” Yet God did not leave His creation on account of sin to an evolutionary process or chance, but sent His Son to atone for the sin of His chosen people, and will deliver them along with the creation.
We like Adam, who possess the first first-fruits of the Spirit, are able also to ‘see’ the expressed Nature of God’s revelation in creation, for God continues to uphold all things by the Word of His power. Only when we put on the spectacles of Scripture in a child-like faith, as expressed by John Calvin, are we once again able to ‘see’ the wondrous Works of God and truly say they are very good.