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“It was good”

Genesis chapter 1

 

 
Students of the Bible immediately recognize this phrase.  Jehovah uttered it or its equivalent several times during his earthly creative work.  But just how good was this creative work?

About God’s creative work, inspired Solomon said, “even if they should say they are wise enough to know, they would be unable to find out” Ecclesiastes 8:17.  Nonetheless, Jehovah expects and desires us to be engrossed in the search for understanding, for seeing, and for appreciating His wisdom (Isaiah 5:11,12, Job chap. 38, 39, Isaiah 34:16).

The following focuses on just such one search: a search for understanding the Almighty’s wisdom in regard to two basic qualities of human life and expectation—namely, mortality and eternal life.  Death is an enemy (1 Corinthians 15:26).  Consequently, isn’t mortality an enemy too?  To the contrary!  It will be seen that mortality and eternal life are in fact gifts of God and that they are two sides of the same coin.  However, let us start methodically and first find out what Shadday Jehovah means with His promise of eternal life.

Definitions


Mortality:  “the condition of being mortal; esp., the nature of man, as having eventually to die.”  Webster’s
Psalm 8:4, What is mortal man that you keep him in mind, And the son of earthling man that you take care of him? (NW)
(Rotherham)
What was weak man, that thou shouldst make mention of him? or the son of the earthborn, that thou shouldst set him in charge?
Paul quotes this scripture in the book of Hebrews 2:6, applying it to Jesus Christ.  Psalms 8:4 uses the word mortal about Jesus Christ in that prophecy.  It shows that Christians may need a slightly different definition of mortal and mortality than the world in general.  The Webster definition stated it as “having eventually to die”; instead, it seems that Christians should view mortality as “being able to die under certain conditions.

Eternal:  “having infinite duration. “ Webster’s

The Limits of

Human Perfection and Eternal Life
The account about Jesus’ life on earth teaches that he was a perfect human being.  Being perfect and without sin (Hebrews 4:15), Jesus had the right to life eternal on earth.  What limitations he experienced, the gospel accounts describe; e.g., just before being tempted by the Devil, he went without food for forty days.  The account states that “he felt hungry” (Matthew 4:2).  His subsequent conversation with the Devil demonstrated his need for foodFrom this we learn that his need for food and water was similar to our needs. Sooner or later, without food and water he would die as we would.  This was one of the limits to eternal life.

Just thereafter, we read how the Devil urges Jesus to throw himself off the temple because the angels would save him (Matthew 4:6), the Devil said.  Here, the need for angels to save Jesus from a deadly fall brings to light another condition, a limit to eternal lifeSomeone who enjoys eternal life will die if that individual has a deadly accident deadly in the sense of common humanity.  The conclusion is that eternal life embraces mortality of the “Christian” variety. 

Mortality
Not Immortality
An Integral Part of God’s Gift of Eternal Life

 

God’s future gift of eternal life under His kingdom in paradisaic conditions is something wonderful to look forward to.  Less self-evident is how mortality benefits man and how it imparts purpose and order to God’s creation in an awesome way.  Clearly, there must be strong reasons for God to have made things the way he did and for God to state, “everything he had made and, look! [it was] very good” Genesis 1:31.   Let’s uncover those reasons. 

To answer why mortality is needed, the scriptures and common logic must be combined.
  Ecclesiastes 6: 7 says, “All the hard work of mankind is for their mouth.”  This one phrase is the key to understanding how mortality is a wonderful gift when coupled with the gift of eternal life!  Inversely rephrasing Ecclesiastes 6:7 highlights important points, “if mankind didn’t need to eat (if immortal), they wouldn’t need to work.”  What would the consequences of such a reality be?

Human society is based on work.  The Bible warns that the one who “does not want to work, neither let him eat.”  Ecclesiastes 2:24, 3:13, 5:18, 8:15 all show how work, eating, and drinking are gifts of God.  Not only is work a gift, it’s also an obligation—God’s will for human beings.  Evidently, if one doesn’t work then there is no money generated for buying food and drink. 

Without the need to work, present human society would not exist.
  Human society exists as an interwoven fabric of doctors, scientists, carpenters, mechanics, teachers, farmers, plumbers, electricians, etc.  Everybody contributes to the creation and continued existence of society.  All of human society’s complexity comes about because of one single human need, the need to eat.


Imagine millions of people without the need to do anything to stay alive!  They would be goal-less: randomly roaming the earth with nothing to accomplish.  Not being mortal, they would not worry about being cold or being hot.  As such, there would be no reason to build heated or air conditioned houses.  There are therefore no cities, no carpenters, no farmers, no social structure.  Instead of order, there would be disorder on a global scale.  Heaving masses of aimless humans would be stewing in their own boredom.  The horror and ungodliness of this is evident – it wouldn’t be God’s way.  1 Corinthians 14:33 says, “For God is [a God], not of disorder, but of peace.”


There is no direct Scriptural proof for the above assertions.  But again, Ecclesiastes 6: 7 proves that we work because we want to survive.  Further, Ecclesiastes 8:15 expounds on this by telling us that the fringe benefits of mortality—hard work, food, and drink—gives us our joy, fulfillment, under the Sun.  God knew better than to give us immortality and incorruptibility.  Such gifts would have destroyed all our joy and condemned us to a hell worse than Dante's.


Instead, mortality tempered by the gift of eternal life permits God’s paradise to be established.  A place where God's earthly children need to watch what they do and how they do it—accidents need to be avoided!  They need to eat and drink to stay healthy, to work to earn money so as to buy food to eat, to make houses to live in to protect themselves from exposure to the natural elements wherever they might be living, etc.

The Two Sided Gift
Consequently, mortality and eternal life combine to become God’s gift of life to mankind, a life filled with purpose and order.  One might say that these two gifts are the right and left hand of God’s blessings.  With these hands God weaves society’s fabric.  This fabric stipulates that people work to sustain life; and, voilá, different vocations come to be.  Each vocation becomes a tread in the fabric of Society.  In this fabric carpenters, ironsmiths, vendors, farmers, and sailors all are interconnected and interdependent. 

As a result, a God-fearing society with its many facetted internal variety laces itself as a living carpet around the earth.  Its goal is to hear Jehovah say, “God saw that [it was] very good.”In fashioning the world in this manner, God’s superior wisdom and insight may be admired eternally by those of his children that love him.  Let us praise Jehovah for his merciful and glorious gifts, and let us continually seek to understand some portion of his wonderful creation as God admonishes.

 

 
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