Sometimes we are tempted to begin the story with all three chapters of Genesis, as if the whole picture of Genesis 1-3 was the intro. This intro is considered “Creation and Fall” as if the beginning was just as much about the problem as how things were before any problem. However, Genesis begins with God creating. Just creating. In fact, the beginning is not where you and I (represented by Adam and Eve, the first of our kind) even start doing anything. What we are to do is established by the main character, God. So, in this post as we continue to consider the beginning of THE GREAT STORY, I want to stop at “good!” Before things got messed up, God declared how He felt about things. The fact that God feels at all is terrific news. And the way He feels is no secret. He says it: “good.” And when He gets to humans He says, “very good.” In Genesis 2 we are retold in specific detail the intimacy with which God created man and woman (breathing life into them and creating them from one another’s own material) and the intimacy of relationship we were designed to have with one another and with God. We were “naked and unashamed,” all things exposed and vulnerable with no fear or broken trust. We are good creations. We were made for good. We were made to be good and to experience good in a world that God made good. Eugene Peterson talks about this in regards to the lie that we believe that our corrupted wicked nature is easier to live by than the nature we were created with to bear the image of God, do good, and be holy.
The easiest thing in the world is to be a Christian. What is hard is to be a sinner. Being a Christian is what we were created for. The life of faith has the support of an entire creation and the resources of a magnificent redemption. In the course of Christian discipleship we discover that without Christ we were doing it the hard way and that with Christ we are doing it the easy way. -Eugene Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, p.115
Would you have ever considered that being holy as God is holy is easier than the selfish, hurtful, angry, attitude-filled way that so often seems to define our lives? Apparently, we are hard wired for good, not sin (living outside of God’s way of life).
I am also reminded today of Paul, writer of much of the New Testament. He declares in Romans 8:31, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” I believe Paul was an optimist. For one thing, only an optimist could survive all the things Paul did and still have such hope in Christ. I believe it also because of verses like this. What a declaration! God is for you.
So, the next time you’re wondering about the nature of humans, your own nature, the singular word spoken over your life that declares your intrinsic value and worth, remember what was declared at the beginning and remember Who declared it. And if He says so, who can say otherwise, even you? He didn’t just make you well, He made you good.