The Good Earth
God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. . . . And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:9–10
While orbiting the moon in 1968, Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders described the crew’s close-up view of the moonscape. He called it “a foreboding horizon . . . a stark and unappetizing-looking place.” Then the crew took turns reading to a watching world from Genesis 1:1–10. After Commander Frank Borman finished verse 10, “And God saw that it was good,” he signed off with, “God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth.”
The opening chapter of the Bible insists on two facts:
Creation is God’s work. The phrase “and God said . . .” beats in cadence all the way through the chapter. The entire magnificent world we live in is the product of His creative work. All that follows in the Bible reinforces the message of Genesis 1: Behind all of history, there is God.
Creation is good. Another sentence tolls softly, like a bell, throughout this chapter. “And God saw that it was good.” Much has changed since that first moment of creation. Genesis 1 describes the world as God wanted it, before any spoiling. Whatever beauty we sense in nature today is a faint echo of the pristine state God created.
The Apollo 8 astronauts saw Earth as a brightly colored ball hanging alone in space. It looked at once awesomely beautiful and fragile. It looked like the view from Genesis 1.
O tell of His might, O sing of His grace, whose robe is the light, whose canopy space; His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form, and dark is His path on the wings of the storm. Robert Grant
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1
Comparing Genesis 1 with John 1, we see all three members of the Godhead engaged in the work of creation. The Bible begins with a bold declaration in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” In verse 2, the author continues to paint the picture of creation, telling us that the Spirit of God was “hovering over the waters.” John illuminates the involvement of Christ in creation: “Through [Christ] all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:3).
As you reflect on the beauty of creation, what does it tell you about God’s character?
For further study on creation read The Genesis Account of Creation at discoveryseries.org/q1112.