For the next few weeks, we will explore the first three chapters of Genesis.
The Bible begins with these words- the beginning of the Bible, the beginning of ‘everything’. This first beginning is unique and becomes the first of many that will follow throughout the Scriptures. Our present climate of COVID 19 has ushered in a new beginning in many different guises; there is also talk and general consensus that we have entered a new phase in society that might be around for a while. Where is God when new beginnings occur?
When you read these opening verses and chapters of Genesis, what thoughts first dominate your thinking? There maybe is at least one person out there who might say, ‘Creation’ for it is the dominant disclosure (or is it?) and told through two accounts. Two expressions telling the same story: a- 11-23; b- 24-25. Have you ever thought it would have been good if the Scriptures gave more detail about the process of Creation? Just like other parts of the Bible, like the years of Jesus from age twelve to thirty? Well, the Bible is as it is and there is a point for the Bible is the sum of what God has spoken and given unto us and left to us that we may know what is needed to know. Indeed, if more were given, we would have to conclude it would cloud the issues at hand. Creation is a prime example. The opening two chapters of Genesis is given to creation but is creation the main subject? “In the beginning God…..” God is the main topic, and unto God, we are to draw our eyes and thoughts towards. Creation by itself may become a distraction and take one away from God who created and gave all.
The first thing we observe is that ‘Creation’ is not the result of ‘it happened’ but rather a personal account and introduction and revelation of a ‘PERSONAL GOD’. So much information has been written and is on hand- theory, points of view, etc from a scientific perspective; included is also ‘Intelligent design’ but the Bible opens that we may first see the personal God. So God is: ‘….God created’; ‘The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters’; ‘God said’; ‘God saw’. God was (before the beginning); God was (at the beginning); God remains with, and continues with his creation, and is passionate and has compassion and grace which the whole Bible discloses and affirms.
Before this, “In the beginning” of Genesis 1, nothing else existed, except for God. This is why, from the beginning, the Bible calls us and gives reason to worship God and not creation itself. Not the moon nor the sun; not mountains and the trees nor anything made from the materials of creation itself.
The questions on how creation came into being; time frames on how old is creation; what lies out there in the deepest parts of space, remain very interesting topics. To see what we can see now through the telescope is nothing short of wonderful. But are we to become so preoccupied that we lose sight of the personal God who created all that we would worship him. The quest to know and define and name; to give reason, a logic, a definition, can become but another expression of conquest to have ownership and dominance. Such things at the exclusion of worshipping the God who has made all things is expression of our sinful nature. (This is not to downplay the place of science nor the significance of what science can reveal and show) To worship God first is to gain God perspective where all things useful and needful fall into place. To worship God first and to see God first is to gain God Perspective on all creation and its wonder and purpose: ‘Who am I?’; ‘Why am I here?’;
‘What is my purpose in being here?’; ‘What’s wrong with the world?’; ‘How can it be fixed?’
The first point then, as we open Genesis, God is Personal and he came to us and is for us. May we stand in awe of all creation. May creation, as but one tenant of faith and revelation from God, turn us to worship him.
Bel bows down, Nebo stoops low….they stoop and bow down together; unable to rescue the burden….Listen to me (says the Lord)….even to your old age and grey hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. With whom will you compare me or count me equal?….Some pour out gold…They hire a goldsmith to make it into a god, and they bow down and worship it. They lift it to their shoulders and carry it; they set it up in its place, and there it stands…..even though someone cries out to it, it cannot answer; it cannot save them from their troubles. …..I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please…..What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do… – Isaiah 46:1-13
PRAYER: Our gracious Father, as I take time now to ponder your creation and the place I find my dwelling, I am in awe and bow my spirit before you, my Lord and my God. “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things, and by your will, they were created and have there being. Rev. 4:11 I thank you for this new day given to me; this new beginning that I may live and find my meaning and purpose and fulfilment. Bless me now O Lord in Christ my saviour. AMEN
SONG: For All You’ve Done by Hillsong – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Dg-ma1bACQ