Creation: God Is Good, Part 3

Hide it Under a Bushel?

Implicit in affirming God’s own glorification, his magnification and celebration and enjoyment, as the motivation, produced by God’s goodness, for all action, is the understanding that his goodness is diffusive. The goodness of God is not inert or compact. Like anticipation when Kawhi Leonard joins your basketball team, or the light of a boy’s fire on his first night camping, the goodness of God, according to what it is, spreads. Like the marriage bed of newlyweds, or a grape vine in Napa Valley, the goodness of God is fruitful. That is to say, the goodness of God does not just lead to Godward action, but also leads to every outward action God has ever or will ever take.

Stephen Charnock notes, 

“The Divine goodness, being the supreme goodness, is goodness in the highest degree of activity; not an idle, enclosed, pent up goodness, as a spring shut up, or a fountain sealed, bubbling up within itself, but bubbling out of itself: a fountain of gardens to water every part of his creation” (Charnock, Existence and Attributes, Location 18048).

God’s goodness, being what it is, is not static in the least, but active, the font of all God’s activity. We will not understand creation, love, or wrath unless we understand them to be expressions of, fruits of, the goodness of God.

Creation is Good

As goodness, God created the heavens and the earth. Being good, and for good, God created all things good. “And God looked upon all that He had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.”

God goes out of his way to celebrate the goodness of creation in his Scriptures because that very goodness shows off his own. The goodness and grandeur of that which he made testifies to how he is.

Consider the following verses from Job 39. 

Knowest thou the time when the wild goats of the rock bring forth? or canst thou mark when the hinds do calve? Canst thou number the months that they fulfil? or knowest thou the time when they bring forth? They bow themselves, they bring forth their young ones, they cast out their sorrows. Their young ones are in good liking, they grow up with corn; they go forth, and return not unto them. Who hath sent out the wild ass free? or who hath loosed the bands of the wild ass? Whose house I have made the wilderness, and the barren land his dwellings. He scorneth the multitude of the city, neither regardeth he the crying of the driver. The range of the mountains is his pasture, and he searcheth after every green thing. Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib? Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee? Wilt thou trust him, because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labour to him? Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn?…Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom, and stretch her wings toward the south? Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high? She dwelleth and abideth on the rock, upon the crag of the rock, and the strong place.

In speaking at length of the splendor of the created order, is not God making an extended statement about himself? “I am good. I am great. I am God.”

In Proverbs 30:18-19 we read, “There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not: The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.”

Even After the Fall

Note, too, that creation was not only good, and so made a display of God’s goodness, in the past. It is presently good, even after the fall. Yes, Adam sinned. And, in Adam, all fell into cursedness; not just mankind, but all of creation. To this truth, Romans 8 testifies clearly. “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope.”

The universe is not as it should be. Just watch elephant seals rape, bicker, and war amongst themselves in Gordon Wilson’s The Riot and the Dance, and that truth, with muppet, floppy nose, will stare you right in the face. Tsunamis drown hundreds of thousands with a wave. Earthquakes cause ground to yawn and swallow. The venom of asps is wielded for death against wobbling toddlers. Unicorns no longer gallop over field and plain. White-tailed deer spread tuberculosis. Brain eating amoebas lurk in rivers. And a canopy popped. The world, because of Adam’s sin, is cursed, longing for completed glorification.

Yet, even so, it is still gloriously good; not as gloriously good as it ought to be, or shall be, yet it is, of a magnificent kind, all the same. God delightedly spoke to Job of post-Fall creational realities. Solomon wrote of post-fall truths in Proverbs. Eagles still fly in the air. Serpents still soak up rays on rocks. Ships bob and weave over ridges and through canyons. Kiwis still have buzz cuts. Apple pies still cool on window sills. Baseball still has a pitching mound. And men still take to themselves maidens. And that is good.

The goodness of creation, even in the midst of the curse, is foundational to our honoring of God as good in all we do. God did not make us male and female in the past, only to change things up after the fall so as to now make us male and female…and gay and lesbian and every other inventive gender or sexual orientation under the sun. Jesus is clear in Mark 10 that, as he made us male and female then, so too does he now make us male and female, with male and female natures and flowing-from-nature functions and duties. No, God did not make that man gay, and we know this because God is good. God is good, not evil, and his design of creation, even now, makes that clear. Still, in a cursed world, there is order. Still, in a cursed world, there is goodness. Still, in a cursed world, there is beauty. And still, showing the goodness of God, there is only male and female, and a man is still only to take to himself a single maiden, and, still, with her, he is to be fruitful. Because God is good.

And God’s goodness is still seen in creation, and the key to understanding creation.

David Burchard

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