Question of the week: If everything God created by the end of the sixth creation day was “very good,” does that mean that Satan had not yet rebelled against God? If Satan already was in a spiritually fallen state, where was he and what impact did he have on the environment where he was and upon our environment?
My long answer is in two of my books: Why the Universe Is the Way It Is; Beyond the Cosmos, 3rd edition.
Here is my highly abbreviated answer: The Bible tells us (Job 38:7) that the angels were witnesses to God laying down the foundations of Earth. So, the angels have existed for a lot longer than have we human beings. The Bible, however, is silent on exactly when Satan’s rebellion against God occurred. Clearly, Satan was in rebellion against God when he entered the Garden of Eden. However, his rebellion could have occurred much earlier, conceivably before God created the earth and even before God created the universe.
While God does declare the present creation “very good” at the end of the sixth creation day, he does not declare it to be the ultimate, perfect creation. The new creation is the ultimate perfect creation where evil will not exist nor will there even be the possibility that it could ever exist in spite of the fact that all the angels and humans there fully retain their free-will capacities.
The present creation is “very good” in that it is the best possible creation for God to conquer and eradicate evil and suffering while enhancing the free-will capabilities of humans who choose to accept God’s redemptive offer. It is the perfect creation for doing so. In the context of God’s purpose for creating and designing the universe the way he did it does not matter when or where before entering Eden Satan chose to rebel against God. In that context, the present creation remains “very good.”
It is important to add that the physics and dimensions of the universe did not change either at the time and place of Satan’s rebellion or at the time and place of Adam’s rebellion. As Jeremiah 33 and Romans 8 make clear, the laws governing the heavens and earth have been and are fixed; that is, changeless. Astronomical measurements affirm that there has been no change in the laws of physics over the past 12 billion years. What changed was humanity: “Cursed is the ground because of you” (Genesis 3:17). Because of the sinful state of humanity, the ground does not produce like it would if humans had remained sinless.