Love And Justice


Consider Genesis 1:1-2:3. So much has rightly been said about this beautiful narrative, an account set against other ancient Near Eastern creation accounts to extol the absolute uniqueness of Israel’s God, the LORD, and highlighting both the extent (he created all things), the result (he declared things to be very good) and the highlight (humanity as male and female).

The creation account in Genesis 1, as is widely known, proceeds through a series of six days of creation, followed by a seventh day of divine rest. The account describes the creation of spaces and filling of these spaces: days 1 and 4, days 2 and 5, days 3and 6. Many scholars believe this structure, this framework, answers the two-fold problem in Genesis 1:2, that of the world being “formless” and “empty.” So, in the creation narrative, God forms spaces (days 1, 2 and 3), and then correspondingly fills those same spaces (days 4, 5 and 6). In this forming and filling we find the repeated refrain of “it was good,” climaxing in the pronouncement of the whole of creation being “very good” (Gen 1:31). Indeed, the very first chapter of the Bible paints an image for us of a “good” creation, a creation of justice, of the flourishing of creation – filling the spaces, with good rule established in those spaces. We might describe this vision of creation in Genesis 1 as reverberating with harmony. Rebellion against this powerful and just God is absent in Genesis 1 – but will quickly follow. Stay tuned.

Most importantly, the creation account of Genesis 1 crescendos to the creation of humanity as the jewel of the whole creation narrative. Humanity is created in the image of God, a concept that has generated an immense amount of theological reflection! At the very least, this “image-of-God-ness” is one of rule, of being like God, most particularly in his filling and ruling over creation (Gen 1:28). The intention of this filling and ruling is to care for creation and one another, as humanity reflects the very God who has spoken all things in to existence. Rather than “lording it over” creation, humanity is called to be a steward of the good creation.

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, for the beauty of Your creation. Teach me to be a good steward for Your glory.