God is God: self-existent, self-sufficient, and eternal. He is perfect in power, goodness, and wisdom. He alone is perfect. God has no beginning or end (Psalm 90:2). He sees and knows all events past, present, and future at a single moment (Psalm 90:4). By way of beginning, God created the entire cosmos out of nothing (Genesis 1:1). At the moment of creation, time, space, and matter began. However, after the creation of the cosmos, God freely enters into time.
The Bible does not tell us everything. It does not even tell me that I exist. Scientists tell us that the cosmos probably came into being about 13.77 billion years ago in a gigantic fireball explosion (the Big Bang theory). The cosmos appears to be expanding at an increasing rate. Our planet is estimated to be about 4.543 billion years old. Scientists are unsure precisely how the Earth may have formed. The cosmos is running down. Some of us tend to think that the immaterial spiritual heaven is good while the material earth is bad. From God’s perspective, there is no divorce of the spiritual from the material in God’s good creation. Thus, Genesis 1:31a tells us that “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good”. Seven times in Genesis 1, God observes his creation to be very good. God has evaluated the creation as good at various points (Genesis 1:3, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25), but now he rates the totality of creation, including humans, as “very good.” Genesis 1 tells us about six days of creation. “Day” can mean a period of indefinite duration. We are living on Day 7 continuously (Genesis 2:2).
God’s moral pronouncement is made because the object is good in itself. James Montgomery Boice wrote: “…this means that a tree is not good only because we can cut it down and make a house of it or because we can burn it in order to get heat. It is good because God made it and has pronounced it good. It is good, like everything else in creation, it conforms to God’s nature” (Genesis: Volume 1, 1998, p. 84). Suffering and physical death (not spiritual death) are part of God’s “good” creation. Death and suffering over millions of years is part of the history of our world. Predators, including humans, rely on the physical death of other creatures for survival. Therefore, God created light, air, water, plants, vegetables, trees, fruits, fish, other sea creatures, and land animals, long before he created humans. We thank God for our daily food. God’s creation was “very good.” Creation was made so that new creation could come. In the meantime, let us thank God for the creation he has made. Let us thank God for sustaining nature moment by moment. Let us delight in his creation. Let us appreciate its beauty. Let us demonstrate a responsibility toward nature. Let us continue to learn to trust God, who cares for nature and all of us. Indeed, God’s creation was “very good.” It was built to prepare humans for glory in the new heaven and new earth.