The Good and Glory-Giving Creation
All of creation was made to give glory to God. “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Ps. 19:1). God says we were also created for his glory (Isa. 43:7). In fact, God’s role as Creator makes him worthy of our glory: “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created” (Rev. 4:11).
God’s creation shows his superior power and wisdom. “It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens” (Jer. 10:12). Even a brief reflection on the complexity, diversity, and beauty in creation should cause us to praise God for his power, wisdom, and understanding.
God did not need any more glory from creation. All the glory God needs has been forever within the Trinity. Instead, the Bible is clear: God “created all things” and by his will “they existed and were created” (Rev. 4:11). Creation was a totally free act of God. He created the universe to show his greatness, to demonstrate his excellence, and to delight in his work. Therefore, as we take spontaneous delight in God’s creative activities, our creative activities, and the creative activities of others, we are giving glory to God by imitating the delight he takes in his creation.
God can delight in his creation because it gives him glory. He also delights in it because, as Genesis 1:31 tells us, when God looked over “everything that he had made,” he considered it “very good.” Even though the creation doesn’t always function as it is supposed to because of sin, we should also consider the material creation good. “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving” (1 Tim. 4:4).
Therefore, we are to enjoy the good things God has created for us. Although some things in creation can be used for sinful purposes, their potentially harmful use does not make them evil in all situations. For example, although Paul says “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils” (1 Tim. 6:10), he also says that God himself “richly provides us with everything to enjoy” (1 Tim. 6:17). Therefore, we should joyfully use the abundant earth God has given us and seek to develop it in a way that brings glory and honor to God’s name.
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