After seeing the content of God’s creation, we now turn our attention to God’s description of His creation, the Benediction.
We read from Genesis 1:3-5 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.
This benediction (good saying or good word) is found in verses 4, 10, 12, 18, 21, and 25. In this article, we are going to consider what it means that God looked upon His creation and declared His work to be good. We will consider the Biblical implications of this announcement. Then, we will see the theological significance, and we will conclude with some practical applications from this announcement.
First, we must look at the biblical implication of God’s benediction over creation, the blessed word over light itself. As we see that God declared all that He created good, we must recognize this is true even today. The Scriptures are clear. When it comes to God’s work, it is good. In fact, we must recognize this- in not only creation, but also in redemption.
In Genesis 3, we find the fall of man. This fall brought sin, disease, famine, war, and death into the world. Everything we consider bad or wrong with creation was introduced due to man’s fall into sin. This curse is brought about by God upon His creation because of sin. Does this mean sin, or the fall of man was outside of God’s sovereign will?
On the contrary, God had a plan all along to deal with man’s coming rebellion. This plan we call the Good News. We recognize man’s work is sinful and evil, but God’s work, even the work we have yet to understand, is always good. As the Apostle Paul would put it, And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Rom. 8:28 NKJV) God is still at work in our salvation and this work is a good work, for this work is accomplished by His Son Jesus Christ and applied by His Holy Spirit. It is in Genesis 3:15 that we first hear of this Good News “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”
Second, we come to the theological significance of God declaring light good. In the first article of the Belgic Confession of Faith, we read, “We all believe with the heart and confess with the mouth that there is one only simple and spiritual Being, which we call God; and that He is eternal, incomprehensible, invisible, immutable, infinite, almighty, perfectly wise, just, good, and the overflowing fountain of all good.” (Italics added) We see with the last bit, God is the source of all good.
The book of James brings an interesting connection between the fountain of good and the source of light we are considering in Genesis 1. James says, Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. (Jas. 1:17 NKJ) I hope you see the connection between every good gift we receive. Every perfect gift comes from God who created light, who is in fact, the Father of lights. James’ point is that God is the perfect good gift giver, and how do we know He provides good things for His people? There is no variation or shadow of turning in God. He is immutable, unchangeable as we confess in the Belgic confession. That means when God shines His marvelous, glorious light upon creation or upon man, there is no turning back or hiding from it.
Consider the Trinity. God the Father is the Father of Light. God the Son is the Light. And God the Holy Spirit is the illuminator. God the Father calls us out of darkness and into His marvelous light. God the Son is the light through which we are called. And God the Holy Spirit is the light who brings us, guides us, and governs us as we make our way to glory. It is God the Holy Spirit who indeed opens our eyes to the marvelous light of Jesus Christ. It is God the Holy Spirit who gives us faith to believe and eyes to see without going blind by the glorious light of Christ. These theological implications begin to apply this doctrine for us, but there is more to be seen.
Finally, we turn to some practical applications of this wonderful opening benediction of the Bible. We have already considered the Holy Spirit’s work in opening our eyes to see the good news of Jesus Christ, but there is more to be seen in the marvelous light of the Gospel.
First, there is the preaching of the Gospel, which shines light upon the path of redemption. This is the ordinary means which the Spirit uses to open our eyes to the light of Christ. It is the act of public worship that God has ordained praise and for lost sinners to hear the good news to be saved. As we enter into God’s presence, God’s condescending light shines upon us in the act of worship. It is there we hear from God. We hear of God’s goodness and then we leave this worship with God’s benediction pronounced upon us. We leave with a good word from the minister as he raises his hands pronouncing the benediction. This should happen every worship service.
Just as when God finished His days’ work in creation, so too at the finish of every worship service, we are to hear God’s good word pronouncing good tidings upon His people to continue in the coming week. Just as creation needed benediction from God, so too do we, His creatures, need to hear His benediction as often as we are able.