And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day. (Gen. 1:9-13)
You know, there is nothing new under the sun. There is no new thing that I could ever say here at this blog that hasn't been said before, or that could be said by someone far more intelligent and articulate than I will ever be. Be that as it may, there is something about the way God created, the order that He created, and the purpose with which He created, that really seems profound to me. You'll note my emphasis in the above section of the creation record in Genesis.
On the third day of creation (and yes I do believe they were literal, 24 hour days), three days before man was created, God commanded vegetation to appear on the earth. If you drop down to the creation account of man in v.29, you'll note that the reason for the creation of vegetation is stated:
"And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat." (food, consumption)
We all know this, but here's why I find it so profound. Three days before man was ever created, long before Adam sinned and brought sin, sickness and death into our world, God had already created vegetation that would not only serve as food to nourish our bodies, but that would also have medicinal, healing and comforting properties for the illnesses that didn't even EXIST yet, when the vegetation itself was created.
God, in His wisdom and incredible mercy knew full well that man would sin, that sickeness and death would enter the reality of human being's existance, and had already created plants that would be used for medicinal reasons to at least ease the illnesses that were coming.
I'm sure there are probably all kinds of plants that we extract medicines from that I don't even know about, but a few that come to mind are aloe for skin irritations, peppermint and ginger for stomach troubles, and all the common and exotic herbs you can find in various teas. Not to mention all the perscription medications that are actually derived from natural ingredients - or - synthetically reproduced from natural ingredients.
Part of the reason this stands out as profound to me, is that even before God's righteous justice and judgement came down on mankind as a result of Adam's sin, He had already mercifully created natural remedies that would serve to bring some amount of comfort into our world.
I'm not even sure I can really get my thoughts around this, but I know it's clear evidence of the mercy of God, even at the same time as His righteous judgement is on all men.