Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Genesis 1:29-31 Creation Ethics-Whatever is Good is Right

KEY TEXT: Genesis 1:29-31 And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

KEY THOT: The word "good" appears in Genesis 1 seven times. At the end of each creation day, God declared his work as good: "God saw that it was good" (v.4,10,12, 18, 21, 25). On the last day of creation, He described His works as "very good" (v.31). What this tells us primarily about our Creator is that He is a good God. Only a good God can create good works. Peter described Jesus as the One who "went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him" (Acts 10:38). Right from the start, we have an ethical guide for all our actions: whatever is good is right in God's sight. We may call this principle of action the Creation Ethics.

Jesus went about doing good, but not always doing what is "right" in the eyes of the religious leaders. And because he didn't always do the "right" thing (e.g. breaking the Sabbath in order to heal the sick and demonised), he was condemned and ultimately crucified. But His guiding ethics is simple and straightforward: always do what is good even when it is legally or theologically incorrect in man's eyes. What is good is always right. But what is legally or theologically correct may not always be good. Consider abortion which is legal, but it is not good. In fact, it is evil in God's sight.

Everyday, we are confronted with a multitude of decisions in the workplaces. To decide if a decision is right, we only need to ask if it is good. If it is good for our staff and our customers, we should do it. If our decision is not good for our staff and customers, we shouldn't do it, even if we are perfectly entitled legally to do it. This is creation ethics in action. This is what makes us like our good Father in heaven. This is how Jesus described His Father in Matthew 5:44-45, "But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,  so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." In other words, the Father's actions are always good--even towards those who do evil and break His laws.

So Jeremiah 11:29 affirms this great truth about God: "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Abba-Father, You are indeed our Good Good Father! For Your plans for us are always for our good, never for evil in order to prosper us and give us a hope and a future. Today, we surrender ourselves anew into Your good hands. For Jesus' sake, amen.

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