The God of Creation
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1: 1 - 2)
The first verse in the Bible states clearly that the universe had a beginning and that its creator was God. If you stop to think about it, the only viable alternative to special creation is that there never was a beginning. "It was never possible to oppose seriously the dogma of the creation except by maintaining that the world has existed for all eternity in more or less the same state." 1 Even the Big Bang theory does not make sense without someone to throw the switch. "The astrophysicist's version is -- in the beginning there was nothing. No matter, no energy, no time, no space -- a vacuum without shape or form. Then for no reason, the vacuum flickered, and time began." 2 It would take more faith than I can muster to believe that one.
What we believe about creation or evolution has a profound effect on our value standards. If there was no beginning, or no reason behind the beginning, then we came into this world as the result of an endless chain of meaningless events. There is therefore no ultimate meaning to life and there is no absolute authority to which we must answer. If on the other hand we are the result of a special creation by God for a specific purpose, life takes on a completely different and satisfying dimension. Both alternatives are a matter of faith. It is not possible to scientifically recreate the event, though science very clearly points to a "beginning". "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." 3 "By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. ó For He spake and it was done; He commanded and it stood fast." 4
1Prof. Whittiker, Riddell Lectures 1942 2Michael D. Lemonick, Science Digest Oct./85, 3Hebrews 11:3; 4Psalm 33:6,9.
The Spirit of God
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:2)
The Genesis record not only sheds light on creation, but on the nature of God Himself. Unlike English which has only singular and plural words, the Hebrew language has singular, dual and plural. In verse one, all three types are represented. "God (plural) created (singular) the heaven (dual) and the earth (singular)." Here in the first verse of the Bible we see the Triune God acting as one in creation.
In verse two we are introduced to the person of the Spirit of God. An essential attribute of God is that He is immaterial, incorporeal and invisible. "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."1 "No man hath seen God at any time" 2 Later in the Bible He is revealed as the Holy Spirit, the Eternal Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of the Father, the Spirit of the Son, the Spirit of Life, the Spirit of Grace, the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of Knowledge, the Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit of Understanding, the Spirit of Judgment and the Spirit of Glory.
This is who brought light and life to the empty waters of the nascent earth. This is the One who hovers over the sinner, waiting to bring light and a new kind of life to all who accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord. Note that this work of the Spirit is not optional; it is an essential component of Godís salvation.
"Except a man be born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God: That which is born of flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I say unto thee, Ye must be born again" 3
1 John 4:24; 21:18; 33:5-7.
The God of Light
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. (Genesis 1:3)
Having brought the earth into being, the first action of God is to bring light to the scene. Not form, nor life, though these would come, but light. God follows the same principle in creating new life in the human heart. He does not call us to a new way of life or a form of religion by which spiritual light can be attained. The first work of the Holy Spirit in the human heart is to illuminate it. The Spirit who moved upon the dark waters of earth is the same One who moves in the dark recesses of the sinner's heart, shining the searchlight of Godís word on the deadness and emptiness of the person without Christ.
"For God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." 1 "In him was life; and the life was the light of men. ó That was the true Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." 2
The entrance of light after a period of darkness can be an uncomfortable experience, even in the physical realm. In the spiritual realm it is traumatic. There are memories of actions taken, things left undone, deeds, words, thoughts and desires all locked up in the dark recesses of the heart. Some things we would rather not bring to the forefront of our minds, let alone into the light of Godís presence. But if we are to enjoy new life in Christ and fellowship with God they must be brought out and dealt with.
"If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light , we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son, cleanseth us from all sin." 3
1 1 Corinthians 4:6; 2John 1:4,9; 31 John1:6,7.
The God of Choice
And God saw the light that it was good: And God divided the light from the darkness. --- And God said let there be lights in the firmament of heaven to divide the day from the night: (Gen 1:4, 14)
The description of light as "good" and its separation from darkness carries the inference that darkness, or absence of light is not good. Darkness and light are both part of the human experience, physically and spiritually. In the spiritual realm God gives us the choice to obey Him and live in the light of His presence; "And men loved darkness, rather than light, because their deeds were evil" 1
The first man, Adam was commanded not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, or die. He ate, he died, and we his descendants, have all fallen heir to his disobedient nature and resultant death. Adamís firstborn son Cain chose to murder his brother and go out from the presence of God rather than accept Godís verdict that his method of worship was not the right one. Moses set out before Israel the blessings of obeying and the curse of disobeying God. The Bible contains a record of their choices and the consequences. Pilate gave them the choice of a murderer or Jesus Christ. Prompted by their leaders, they chose the murderer and nationally were set aside (for a time) in favour of a people (the Church) taken out of every tongue and nation for the glory of the name of that rejected Messiah. 2
The Lord Jesus said "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." 3 The alternative for those "who leave the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness," 4 is to end up with those "to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever." 5 The choice is ours to make.
1John 3:19; 2Acts 15:14, 3John 8:12; 4Proverbs 2:13; 5Jude 13.
The God of Heaven
And God said let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, . ó And God called the firmament Heaven. ó And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and for years. (Genesis 1:6,8,14)
The Bible speaks of three heavens. The first or inner heaven is the atmosphere surrounding the earth. The second is the immense reaches of the solar system and outer space. The third heaven is that spoken of as "paradise" 1 and the dwelling place of God "Our Father which art in heaven," 2 This third heaven is the ultimate destination of all who belong to Jesus Christ.
As each scientific advance brings before us more of the wonders and complexities of the heavens, greater should be our awe at the power and majesty of God displayed therein. "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead;" 3 To look at the heavens and deny the existence of God is to be wilfully blind. To look at puny little man in relation to all this and not be struck with wonder and awe is to retreat from tackling the fundamental questions of who and what we are before God. "What is man that thou art mindful of him, or the son of man that thou visitest him?" 4 "What is man that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him?" 5
"One asked a sign from God, and day by day
The sun rose in pearl; in scarlet set;
Each night the stars appeared in bright array;
Each morn the thirsty grass with dew was wet;
The corn failed not its harvest, nor the wine ó
And yet he saw no sign."
12 Corinthians 12:2-5; 2Matthew 6:9; 3Romans 1:20; 4Psalm 8:4; 5Job 7:17 .
The God of Earth
And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters he called Seas: and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:10.)
Whether in the pantheism of primitive religions or the gnosticism of the sophisticate there always seems to be the concept of a Great God with layers of lesser gods or beings who keep this Supreme Deity pure from defiling contact with the material universe.
The Bible tells us however that God personally created, made and formed the Earth; and that it was "good" . It tells us that God Himself formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed the spirit of life into Him. It tells how He fully and truly became a man when He came into the world out of love for mankind, and -"God was manifest in flesh." 1 He knows what it is to be hungry, thirsty and tired; to be misunderstood by His own family and hated by His enemies without a cause. He has personally experienced it all (sin apart). When He went back to heaven He did not discard this body. There is a real man currently seated on the Fatherís throne in heaven and He, and He alone, is the appointed mediator between God and man. "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." 2 .
God is intimately involved in His physical creation on a daily basis."Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God." 3 "For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit." 4 Do we give God His rightful place in the day to day affairs of life? Or is He some remote concept we would rather keep at a distance?
11 Timothy 3:16, 22:5; 3Luke12:6; 4Isaiah 57:15.
The God of Time
Let there be lights in the firmament, of heaven to divide the day from the night. Let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days, and years. (Genesis 1:14)
Time can only be expressed in terms of mass and motion. Whether it is the turning of the Earth or the dance of an atom, it takes mass in motion to measure time. God set in motion the sun, the moon and the stars to measure the days and seasons of the year; to mete out the few short years of our life. This seemingly endless wheel of time and space intrigues us all, and perhaps inspired these lyrics:
"Like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel,
Never ending or beginning on an ever spinning reel,
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping past the minutes of its face,
And the world is like an apple whirling silently in space,
Like the circles that you find in the windmills of your mind." 1
Or these comments: "The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to the place where he arose. The wind goeth towards the south, and turneth about into the north; It whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits." 2
Both writers seem to question the meaning of all this motion. Both link time and space, and time like the earth itself seems to trace a circle as day follows day and season follows season. Both have a tone of melancholy; perhaps from a consciousness that as each day passes we have one day less on the journey through life. The earth whirls on at a steady pace, but inevitably the days come when the heartbeat falters, the breath of life blows softer on the "windmills of our mind" and finally stops.
Solomon in his wisdom exhorts us to - "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them. While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars are not darkened" 3
1Bergmans; 2 Ecclesiastes 1:5; 3 12:1,2
The God of Space
He made the stars also. (Genesis 1:14)
We donít normally think of ourselves as being in motion when we are sitting still reading a book or staring at a screen. Yet, as the Earth turns at a speed of 1,038 mph, it is also orbiting the sun at 66,700 mph while the solar system is hurtling round the Milky Way at 605,000 mph. If this were not enough, we are part of a major chunk of the universe being driven, or drawn along at 1,000,000 mph towards a spot in the sky beyond the Southern Cross. "The 400 odd galaxies involved each contain roughly 100 billion stars and grouped into four super clusters occupy a space some 350 million light years across - a sizable portion of the observable universe." 1
Can you conceive of the power involved? Can you imagine what could be exerting enough energy to haul 40,000 billion stars along at a 1,000,000 mph? The scientific community will no doubt continue to speculate, but the Bible tells us it is God who is drawing this universe to destiny and but for His mercy the climax would be upon us. "The day of the Lord, will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with a fervent heat, and the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." 2
There is more than a physical climax coming upon us. When Earth and all the stars of all the galaxies have fled away, into that void and empty space the judgment throne of God will be set up and all who ever lived throughout all the ages of time will appear; "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."3 There is an eternal destiny for each one of us that goes beyond the realms of time and space. We have all been given the opportunity to grasp that destiny through faith in Jesus Christ. Letís make sure our names are in the "book of life" . The "lake of fire" not where I want to be for all eternity.
1Vancouver Sun 86/04/21; 2 2.Peter 3:10; 3Revelations 20:15
The God of Life
Grass, herb and the fruit tree, after his kind. -Great whales and every living creature after their kind - every winged fowl after his kind - cattle and creeping thing and beast - after his kind. (Genesis 1:11,21,24)
"After his kind" - There is no way that the Genesis record can be harmonized with a belief in the evolution of one species into another, unless we abandon belief in Genesis as the divine revelation of God. The record is clear that God is the Creator of all forms of life in distinct species or "kinds" and that birds were created on the fifth day, before insects, amphibians and reptiles were created on the sixth, contrary to accepted evolutionary theories.
To reduce the Genesis record to a myth in order to accommodate the latest evolutionary theory, is to say that Moses perpetuated this myth in proclaiming the six days of creation at Mount Sinai; to say that Paul did not know what he was talking about when he said "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God." 1 It is to attribute ignorance or deliberate lying to the Lord Jesus Christ when he quoted the writings of Moses as authoritative. It also involves a deliberate closing of the mind to any contrary evidence.
"Evolution itself is accepted by zoologists, not because it has been observed to occur, or - can be proved by logical coherent evidence to be true, but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible." 2
"There is a kind of religion in science; a faith that ó every event can be explained as the product of some previous event ó This conviction is violated by the discovery that the world had a beginning under conditions in which the known laws of science are not valid. ó the scientist has lost control. If he really examined the implications he would be traumatized. As usual, when the mind is faced with a trauma, it ignores the implications ó" 3
12.Timothy 3:16; 2 D.M.S. Watson; 3 Robt. Jarrow, L.A. Times, .
The God of Mankind
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Genesis 1:27)
Vegetable life is unconscious. Plants react to their environment in a predictable way with no seeming mind of their own. Animal life is conscious - conscious of the environment in which it lives; giving evidence in many cases, of memory, intelligence, of a will and such emotions as affection, jealousy, anger and happiness. Man has the added dimensions of self-consciousness and God-consciousness.
The vegetable world is governed purely by the environment, the animal by instinct, but man was created "In the image of God" ; a rational, moral and regal being, designed to be obedient to the revealed will of God and with a delegated authority over the earthly sphere of creation. Man is capable of abstract thought and has the ability to express himself in symbolic terms. Unlike the animal and vegetable kingdoms, man is an eternal being, designed to outlast the universe itself and to show forth visibly, the graces and glories of the invisible God.
Designed for fellowship with God, delegated to rule the Earth, created in Godís image to display His attributes, the first man deliberately said "No" to his destiny. That act of disobedience brought death and separation from God upon us all. But God in mercy sent His Son to pay the price of sin. "that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" 1 "For if by one manís offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ" 2 In Christ we too can regain our destiny and inheritance, unless we deliberately say "No" to God.
1 John 3:16; 2Romans 5:17
And God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; (Genesis 1:28)
It is not a simplistic egocentric view of creation that makes earth the stage and man a star player in the drama of life and death. The Biblical record of creation is not just a myth written from the human viewpoint but a divine revelation from God. Earth is indeed the setting and man is indeed the vessel chosen to display Godís grace to all creation. Godís command to subdue the earth is not therefore a light matter. "This is the divine magna charta for all true scientific and material progress. He (man) is commanded to "subdue" i.e. acquire a knowledge and mastery over his material environment and to bring its elements into the service of the race." 1
Curious isnít it, that in the late 20th century when our knowledge and mastery over the material environment has never been greater, our ability to bring its elements into the service of mankind are still thwarted by greed and selfishness. We still fail to grasp that we are but stewards of Godís bounty and that to plunder the earth for wealth is to destroy the very things we aim for.
Greed and selfishness not only lead to disappointment in the material realm, they can keep us from a far greater destiny than mere stewardship of the environment. One day this earth will be folded up and put away like an old cloak, but each one of us has a destiny that goes beyond time and space."That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of His grace in his kindness towards us through Jesus Christ. For by grace are ye saved through faith" 2
"What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world,
but lose his own soul? " 3
1C.I. Schofield; 2 Ephesians 2:7,8; 3Mark 8:36,37