The Good Old Days

Ad_2015_HF-Devo_emailGod saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
Genesis 1:31–2:1

In the concluding episode of a long-running television comedy, one of the characters wistfully quips: “I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days before you actually left them.”

When life becomes complex, painful, and conflict-ridden for any of us, it is common to let our minds drift to some time past when life was easier. To recall a simpler time. To dream of “the good old days.” Sometimes this is a mind game because, in fact, there is no past era that was entirely free of distress and disappointment. Except, that is, that era after the creation when God and humanity enjoyed peace, good will, and health. Paradise.

Genesis 1 is about “the good old days.” Actually, the “very good” old days. At every successive stage of creation, there is this crucially important value judgement: “it was good.” Six times, “it was good,” and then, after the creation of humanity, “it was very good.” Reconciliation is the restoration of a right relationship between God and people, and then between people. To understand this restoration we call reconciliation, we need to comprehend what is being restored. The (very) good old days.

HeavensEarthFirst is the creation of the natural world. Genesis describes sky and sea, stars and moon, fish and birds and cattle as an explosion of life. The natural world is fruitful and full, diverse and stunning. With the creation of the man and the woman comes a whole new reality—a friendship and fellowship between Creator and creation. Created in God’s own image, humanity is able to know God, speak with God, live in harmony with God. Mankind has self-awareness, creativity, morality, spirituality, rationality. Mankind is “like God.”

Tragically, the man and the woman were not content with being like God. They thought they knew better than God. Things go bad fast. There is murder in the second generation.

But God will not leave creation broken. He restores. He reconciles.

If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” (2 Cor. 5:17-18)

PONDER: How would you like to see restoration in our world today?

Mel Lawrenz

Comments welcome below.

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37 thoughts on “The Good Old Days”

  1. Annetjie Ver Burgh

    I would love to see our world violence free and crime free. There is such a lot of unnecessary violence and crimes!!!

  2. In these last days, where there is so much enmity between countries, races, nationalities, religions, and people, it will be good to read something that may help sort and reconcile some of the mess mankind has created.

    Thank you for this.

  3. Righteousness & right-living restored in our world today.

    There is no fear of God in a larger sense as a nation, nor a love for Him or His creation.

    Mankind has been reaping its fruit what it has sowed for generations – pride, greed, lust, lack of love for God and for their neighbors.

    Only when the human heart is truly converted as it states in 2 Cor. 5:17, is there any hope for righteousness and restoration in our world today.

  4. For me, the hardest thing to hear about is all the murder and violent acts within families. Parents against children, children against parents and siblings, and spouse against spouse. Restoration has to start there.

  5. Jesus gave us two great commandments – The first was to Love God with all that we are (heart, mind and soul)- yet we are so broken that many could care less about God or His promise – they want paradise now and in their own way; The second commandment was to love our neighbor as ourself- yet marriages are broken, families are broken and people treat each other like battling enemies on a regular basis! There is so much hatred and decline in the world because of our failure to do these two things.

    This is where I’d like to see restoration – by us realizing the reconciliation God has already created and by extending that to each other.

  6. Good Morning,
    Our family gathered just now to begin the 30 day devotional and after reading it we were asked a question we didn’t know the answer to. How long were Adam and Eve in the garden before they ate the apple and sin entered into the world? How long did the “very good days” last?

    1. Hi, Dawn. The honest answer is there is no way to know. We only have what the text says. The lesson from the garden of Eden certainly is this: from now on temptation is only one short step away. This should not drive us to despair, because the grace of God is accessible to us at all times. We need to continually live a life of faith, depending on God’s truth and grace and not on our own ability to push back against sin and evil. Thanks for the question!

  7. Heavenly Father… you intend for us and attend to us, from the beginning… you are worthy of every blessing… You have provided for us according to your Abundance… and Wisdom… and Strength… and Love… The adversary comes against us to destroy… and discourage. Unless you establish the hedge of your Holy Spirit around us, and around our family, and around our fellowship… we would perish. Father… deliver us from the evil one… Glorify Yourself within us… and within this time of devotion and fellowship. Search us… lead us in the way we should go… strengthen us to know you and to do your will, that we may strengthen others… correct us… Make us the body of believers that you intended… LORD, Lord, Savior, God…!

  8. We long for that showcase of restored beings in that upcoming eternal parade. Let’s stay busy reaching those in need of His strong arm. Come Lord Jesus.

    1. Brittany,
      I would love to see that become more and more a reality. . . and I would add to that, working together to help solve some of the challenges in our cities. I see signs of hope in this direction.

  9. I like how you pointed out that other than prior to sin entering the world, there were no “good old days.” I am guilty of thinking things must have been easier for an earlier generation. And the fact that God is at work restoring all things to Himself is a great encouragement! We do not need to despair. Yes, we have a part to play, but He is the one fulfilling His plan. Thank you for reminding me of what I already knew.

  10. I would like people to remember we are all part of a same family; that love and sharing must reign as life is a gift from God.

  11. Thank God for the reconciliation. Without Christ what would life be. I am happy that I have Christ old things have passed away and everything is new.

  12. I would like to see the world around us more peaceful. God please help us stop the violence between races, religion and nations.

  13. I’d like to see families and marriages restored and with that stronger community bonds. No one knows their neighbors and families in crisis frequently suffer quietly behind closed walls.

  14. Thank God we’re just campin’. My tent is a little worn out, but God sees fit to keep it set up so I just keep on stokin’ the fires and asking for help with catchin’ the “fish”. Just want to get the job done. But I do sing in the sun, His praises, and dance around the camp fires at night under His stars as I view his awesome wonders. Don’t know what He’s up to, don’t know His timin’, don’t need to ‘cept for the sense of urgency neeth my spirit seems…One hefty day at a time, that’s it, yep, just one.

  15. I would like to see restoration in the power of love. All of the worlds problems stem from a lack of love. Love yields compassion, empathy and fellowship.

    Of course I would love a world free of violence, hunger, homelessness, but I don’t belive that will ever happen. However, I still do what I can to ease those issues for people I encounter.

  16. Lyndon Johnson was fond of saying : “Any jackass can kick a barn down. It takes a carpenter to build one.”. To bring about true peace in this world full of conflicts, we need more carpenters and less jackasses.

  17. I would like to see the world attempt reconciliation by showing more respect for God himself and for the creation he has given us to take care of.

  18. I would like to see a great revival sweep across the world, a restoration of fellowship with God to the point where we would begin to see a 2nd great awakening .Which could result in the restoration of broken families,racial reconciliation, and respect for all human life.It has to begin with God’s people.

    So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. -Romans 10:17

    Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ:that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel. Philippians 1:27

  19. Thanks be to God the creator. He alone is able to create out of nothing and only him can recreate from a fallen and broken world. I am his new creation a brand new man.

  20. This is FANTASTIC!
    I had wanted to bible read this morning before working at my computer. (I made this promise to God & myself). As usual, with my great work load, I just went right to the computer and began working. My time with God didn’t happen.
    When I received devotional day #2 in an email, I clicked, read the message, reflected ~ PERFECT. What a brilliant brainstorm of an idea for these daily devotionals to come right to where I am–at my computer. I know after the 30 days, I will have a habit of carving out time with God as I’ll regain my craving for his voice through the Word ~ BEFORE work. Many blessings!

  21. I would love to see people of different socioeconomic backgrounds come together. It seems throughout time that different groups of people fought against each other for no good reason. I can’t understand why you would hate and harm someone just because of the color of their skin. Then they justify their hate by using the bible and claiming to be christian. I believe God wanted to create people who are different from each other in some way.

  22. Many many thanks for beginnng this series. Oh to have ongoing reconciliation in the church! The unchurched are not attracted to a group where backbiting, gossip, unforgiveness, power plays, etc., transform the “Body” into a “irrelevant religious club”. All those displays of the sinful nature are available at the country club.

  23. I think restoration in the world begins within the church. I have met too many Christians with a fear or lack of reading the Bible in its entirety. God seems to get the leftovers of our time in our day. The result is that we can’t and don’t have the knowledge needed to share the scriptures accurately or confidently. I think that this Christian is better able to understand what is happening in the world and better able to understand what we are truly called to do and be in these circumstances. I would like to see our school children know how to face the bullying, etc. that goes on in schools. My grandchildren are learning about the Bible in detail…not just the “cute” parts. One grandchild told me that a kid called him a “chicken” which made him mad. I reminded him that he was not a chicken, but that he was a “Christian”. He liked that reminder.

  24. Father, thank you for making me all that I am, because I am in Your image I am able to know you, speak with you, and live in harmony with you…
    Spirit of God, help me use all my abilities to glorify Christ, I am more than content with being who you want me to be…
    Lord Jesus, thank you for not leaving me broken, thank you for restoring me through your reconciling work on the cross and making me a new creation…
    Lord God, because of you the old life is gone, and all that I am is new, and I will glorify you by committing myself to the same mission as you…Reconciliation!
    Almighty, the season of obedience is here…

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