"And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day." (Genesis 1:31)
On several occasions during the Creation Week, God had declared aspects of His creation as "good" (vv. 10, 12, 18, 21, 25). But once His crown of creation was in place, the very image of Himself (vv. 26-27), He pronounced it all "very good" and ceased His creative activity (2:1-3).
Just what does it mean to be "very good" in God's eyes? This term is used elsewhere in the Old Testament by men and regarding men, but here God Himself, the sinless, ever-living One, declares creation to be just what He wanted--able to accomplish and fulfill each of His plans and desires for it. Whatever else may be said about this creation, at the very least it must have been without death, being a phenomenon anathema to Him.
Death is identified as "The last enemy that shall be destroyed" (1 Corinthians 15:26). "Death reigned from Adam to Moses" (Romans 5:14), and "it is appointed unto men once to die" (Hebrews 9:27). Indeed, "the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now" (Romans 8:22). The source of this condition is known as the curse pronounced on all of creation due to man's rebellion against God (Genesis 3) as had been promised (2:17). Even today "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23), and since all sin, all must die. Truly, sin has ruined God's original sinless, deathless, "very good" creation.
But the story does not end there. The very Creator who pronounced the awful curse of death as the penalty for sin has Himself died to pay that penalty and one day will repeal the curse (Revelation 22:3) and abolish death (21:4). The creation will be returned to its original created intent, and all will once again be "very good." JDM