Genesis 1:31
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.
Sermons
A Pretty WorldGenesis 1:31
Admiration of Completed WorkG. Dawson.Genesis 1:31
Creation Very GoodJ. Bolton.Genesis 1:31
Everything in Species Made Perfect At One and the Same Time in the CreationJ. Spencer.Genesis 1:31
God in Nature; Or, Spring LessonsJ. Foster, B. A.Genesis 1:31
God's Approbation of His WorksSketches of SermonsGenesis 1:31
God's Approbation of His WorksGenesis 1:31
God's CreationCharles KingsleyGenesis 1:31
PerfectionR.A. Redford Genesis 1:31
Perfection of NatureH. Wonnacott.Genesis 1:31
The Good CreationC. Kingsley, M. A.Genesis 1:31
The Love of Beauty: in NatureF. Paget, D. D.Genesis 1:31
The Sixth DayR.A. Redford Genesis 1:24-31


The first chapter closes with a review of the whole work of the six days. God saw it. Behold, it was very good!

I. The SATISFACTION was in the completion of the earthly order in man, the highest earthly being. For God s good is not, like man's good a compromise, too often, between the really good and the really evil, but the attainment of the highest - the fulfillment of his Divine idea, the top-stone placed upon the temple with shoutings: Grace, grace unto it."

II. "The evening and the morning were the sixth day." OUT OF THE NIGHT OF 'THE INFINITE PAST CAME FORTH THE DAWN OF THE INTELLECTUAL AND SPIRITUAL WORLD. And when God saw that, then he said, It is very good. So let us let our faces towards that light of heaven on earth, the day of Divine revelation, Divine intercourse with man, the pure and perfect bliss of an everlasting paradise, in which God and man shall find unbroken rest and joy in one another. - R.









And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good.
I. Why was it very good?

1. It was the offspring of infinite wisdom and power and love.

2. Because guided into existence by Jesus.

3. Because there was no evil in it.

4. Because it was like God.

II. WHAT was very good? Everything which He had made.

III. How are they very good? In themselves — in their purposes — in their arrangements.

IV. IS EVERYTHING VERY GOOD STILL? God is fetching very good things out of the apparent frustration of His plan. He is restoring what is now very bad to be very good.

(J. Bolton.)

No one can prove to us that God made the world; but faith, which is stronger than all arguments, makes us certain of it.

1. All which God has made is good, as He is, and, therefore, if anything in the world seems to be bad, one of two things must be true of it.(1) Either it is not bad, though it seems so to us, and God will bring good out of it in His own good time; or(2) if the thing is really bad, then God did not make it. It must be a disease, a mistake, a failure of man's malting, or of some person's making, but not of God's making. For all that He has made He sees eternally, and, behold, it is very good.

2. God created each of us good in His own mind, else He would not have created us at all. Why does God's thought of us, God's purpose about us, seem to have failed? We do not know, and we need not know. Whatever sin we inherited from Adam, God looks on us now, not as we are in Adam, but as we are in Christ. God looks not on the old corrupt nature which we inherited from Adam, but on the new and good grace which God has meant for us from all eternity, which Christ has given us now.

III. That which is good in us God has made; He will take care of what He haw made, for He loves it. All which is bad in us God has not made, and therefore He will destroy it; for He hates all that He has not made, and will not suffer it in His world. Before all worlds, from eternity itself, God said, "Let Us make man in Our likeness," and nothing can hinder God's word but the man himself. If a man loves his fallen nature better than the noble, just, loving grace of God, and gives himself willingly up to the likeness of the beasts that perish, then only can God's purpose towards him become of none effect.

(C. Kingsley, M. A.)

I. GLIMPSES OF THE DIVINE NATURE.

1. The ceaseless and infinite energy of God.

2. The blessedness and beauty of God.

II. LESSONS CONCERNING HUMAN LIFE. It is an old, but true comparison of this life to the seasons of the year. Spring has always suggested the refreshing, promising, transient, and changeable nature of life's early days. But notice, especially, the improvability of life. Spring, the cultivating season. Conditional. Spring neglected, autumn shows barren fields. Precarious. Buds, etc. may be blighted. Need for watching, etc.

III. SUGGESTIONS CONCERNING HUMAN DESTINY. In spring "all things become new." To be "young again" has been the dream of all ages. The distinct proof of immortal youth beyond the grave is given only by Christ "The First-begotten of the dead."

(J. Foster, B. A.)

Sketches of Sermons.
I. THE NATURAL TRUTHS ASSERTED.

1. The true origin of all things.

2. The original perfection of all things.

(1)Very good, as being well adapted to answer its particular intention.

(2)Very good, as being well calculated to promote the glory of its Maker.

(3)Very good, as being conducive to the perfection and welfare of the whole

3. God's approbation of His works.

II. THE MORAL TRUTHS SUGGESTED.

1. Seeing that God had done for man the utmost that his case admitted, both as respected himself, and as respected the world around him, the blessings of which were given him richly to enjoy, it follows that man was under the greatest obligations possible, in his then present circumstances.

2. Sin is at once the vilest injustice and the basest ingratitude imaginable (Isaiah 1:2; Malachi 1:6).

3. A continuance in sin is the most daring imprudence. According to that constitution of things which was "very good," holiness and happiness went together. Sin, by violating that constitution, "brought death into the world with all our woe."

4. Reformation is well-pleasing to God. He approved of things in their original state. He is unchangeable.

5. The text suggests a lesson of humility. "How is the gold become dim!" the Divine image effaced I Humility becomes every rational creature, on account of its debt and its dependence.

6. The text furnishes ground of hope and encouragement. It proclaims the goodness of Him with whom we have to do; and therefore encourages us to hope in His mercy. Let us remember, however, that it is to the gospel we are indebted for improving hope into assurance (Romans 8:32).

(Sketches of Sermons.)

Let us consider —

I. The natural truths asserted by our text. Among these are —

1. The true origin of all things — "God saw everything that He had made."

2. The original perfection of all things "very good," "very good," as being —

(1)Well adapted to answer their particular intention.

(2)Conducive to the perfection of the whole.

(3)Well calculated to promote the Creator's glory.

3. God's approbation of His work. He saw it very good.

II. The moral truths suggested.

1. Gratitude.

2. Hatred of sin.

3. The discontinuing of all evil.

4. Reformation and return to virtue.

5. Humility.

6. A ground of hope and encouragement.

All artists, in what they do, have their second thoughts (and those usually are the best); as, for example, a watchmaker sets upon a piece of work (it being the first time that ever men were wont to carry a pastime in their pockets), but, having better considered of it, he makes another, and a third, some oval, some round, some square, everyone adding lustre and perfection to the first invention, whereas, heretofore, they were rather like warming pans, to weary us, than warning pieces, to admonish us how the time passed. The like may be said of the famous art of printing, painting, and the like, all of them outdoing the first copies they were set to go by. But it was not so with God in the creation of the several species of nature; He made them all perfect, simul et semel, at one and the same time, everything pondere et mensura, so just, so proportionate in the parts, such an elementary harmony, such a symmetry in the bodies of animals, such a correspondency of vegetals, that nothing is defective, neither can anything be added to the perfection thereof.

(J. Spencer.)

In these most simple and mysterious words we are plainly told that in the beginning the Creator of this world delighted in the beauty of its outward form. He approved it not only as fit for the material development which He had designed for it, fit for the ages of change, the course of history which should be enacted on it: but also as outwardly delightful. He saw His work, and, behold, to sight it was very good. Apart from all the uses it would serve, its outward aspect was in harmony with a certain Divine law: and for this Almighty God judged that it was very good. If men would only look frankly at the first chapter of Genesis, without either timidity or injustice, it would surely seem very strange to find this simple and complete anticipation of a thought which, though it has been astir in the world for many centuries, has only in the last few years received its due emphasis and its logical force. I mean the thought that our delight in the visible beauty of this world can only be explained by the belief that the world has in some way been made to give us this delight by a Being who Himself knows what beauty is: and that the beauty of Nature is a real communication made to us concerning the mind and will that is behind Nature...We have then a right to say that the quality or character which can thus speak and appeal to our spirit must have been engendered in this visible world by a spiritual Being able and willing to enter into communion with us, and knowing what would affect and raise our thoughts. When we receive and read a letter, we are sure it has come from someone who knew our language and could write it. When we listen to a beautiful piece of music we are sure that the composer had either a theoretic or at least a practical acquaintance with the laws and the effects of harmony. And when at the sight of a great landscape, rich and quiet in the chaste glory of the autumn, or glad with the bright promise, the fearless freedom of the spring, our whole heart is filled with happiness, and every sense seems touched with something of a pleasure that was meant for it, and all words are utterly too poor to praise the sight — then surely, by as good an argument, we must say that, through whatever ways and means, the world received its outward aspect by the will of some being who knew the law and truth of beauty. It does not matter, so far as this inference is concerned, how the result has been attained, or how many ages and thousands of secondary causes are traced between the beginning of the work and its present aspect: it is beautiful now: it now speaks to us in a language which our spirits understand: and, however long ago, and in whatever way, only a spiritual being could have taught it so to speak. Whatever creation means, the world was created by One who could delight in beauty: whenever its Author looked out upon His work He must have seen that it was very good Lastly, but above all, if we are to receive from the visible beauty of the world all that it can reveal to us concerning Him who made and praised it, we must draw near to it with watchful obedience to His own condition for so great a blessing: "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." It was nobly said by the founder of inductive science, that for entrance into the kingdom of knowledge as for entrance into the kingdom of heaven, men must become as little children. They must draw near with free and humble hearts if they are to enter into the mysteries of natural science: they must not dictate to Nature, or assert themselves in her presence: they must come to her with affectionate attention to wait upon her self-revealing.

(F. Paget, D. D.)

"The Lord rejoices in His works." What a wonderful sentence that is! That man must have been inspired when he said that God rested from His labours, and looked upon His works, and pronounced them good. Of all joys, that is the grandest and sublimest, to review one's own work and pronounce it good. There is no passage in English much more beautiful than that which describes the author of that great work on "Falling Rome" (Gibbon) when he had just come to the conclusion of his task. Walking there under the trees of Lausanne, he, like a true artist, drew back and admired his finished work. And he was right. For there are times when a man may look upon his work, and say, "That is genius!" When Swift was beginning to doat, he took down from a shelf one of his own works, and exclaimed, "What a genius I must have had when I did that!"

(G. Dawson.)

I have seen the back of a splendid painting, and there, on the dusty canvas, were blotches and daubs of colour — the experiments of the painter's brush. There is nothing answering to that in the works of God! I have seen the end of a piece of costly velvet; and though man had in it fairly imitated the bloom of the fruit and the velvet of the flowers, there was a common, unwrought, worthless selvage — a coarse, unsightly selvage. There is no selvage in the works of God!

(H. Wonnacott.)

I once, writes Joaquin Miller, strolled through a miserable Mexican village. The shadows were creeping over the cabins, where women came and went in silence, and men sat smoking at the cabin doors, while children played in swarms by the water. The air was like a breath of God, and all nature seemed as sacred as rest to a weary man. A black, bent, old woman, all patches from head to foot, frosty-headed and half blind, came crooning forth with a broken pot tied together, in which she had planted a flower to grow by her door. I stopped, watched her set it down and arrange it; and then, not wishing to stare rudely at this bent old creature, I said — "Good evening, auntie; it's a fine evening." She slowly straightened up, looked at me, looked away at the fading sunlight on the hills, and said softly, "Oh, it's a pretty world, massa!" The old woman was a poetess — a prophetess. She had a soul to see the beauty, the poetry about her. "Oh, it's a pretty world, massa!" She had no other form of expression, but that was enough. Hers was the password to nature. "And God saw every, thing that He had made, and, behold it was very good.".

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