Section 1: God
Week 4: God Is Sovereign Over and Active in the World
Day 2: The Universe God Created Was Good
When we look at our world, we see evil all around us. We’ll look at the problem of evil more closely in the Digging Deeper section. But for now, it’s important to understand that the universe God created was originally good. According to Genesis, at the end of each day of creation, God looked at what he had made and declared, “It is good.” And, before he rested on the seventh day, he surveyed all of creation and declared, “It is very good.” Originally, there was nothing whatsoever wrong with universe.
Understanding the Biblical Story line
Admittedly, that has changed. Sin and evil are facts of life. But the fact that creation was originally good has important implications for how we understand the biblical storyline. Sin disrupted the original created order. God’s plan, though, is to restore the universe so that it once again becomes what God intended it to be. Sin, for example, separated us from God. But Christ died for our sins to restore the original relationship God intended us to have with him. The earth was cursed because of sin, but God will one day remove the curse and restore all of creation to its original glory.
Understanding Material Things Are Not Inherently Evil
The goodness of creation should also affect how we live our lives. There’s a tendency to view physical/material things as unspiritual. But that’s not necessarily the case. After all, we look forward to the resurrection of our bodies and the coming of the new heavens and the new earth—material things.
It’s true sin has corrupted our world. As a result, many of the material things we enjoy fall short of what God intended and can be used for sinful purposes. But matter was a part of God’s original creation, so material things cannot be inherently evil. They become evil only when we use them in ways God did not intend. Food and sex, for example, are specifically intended by God to bring physical enjoyment. If we have sex outside of marriage, however, or gorge ourselves on deep-fried Twinkies and bacon-wrapped donuts day after day, we misuse God’s gifts.
God wants us to enjoy his creation, and that necessarily includes material things. The question is not whether something is material or spiritual. The question is whether it is being used the way God intends.
Make a list of 10 good things in your life.
Do you think God wants you to enjoy those things? Why or why not?