Genesis: In the beginning, God created the heavens

(Written by Kevin Carlson)


There would be no doubt that the ancients marvelled at the night sky in much the same way as we do through the naked eye. Of course, as the years have progressed with knowledge and technology, we see far more and further and have discovered more of what lies out there. But, it still remains unfathomable. To quote the well-used dictum from Isaac Newton (1642-1727) “I can see more because I stand on the shoulders of the giants before me”; how he and the ancients would marvel today to see through the Hubble telescope! We measure in Light Years and the maths are mind-boggling, to say the least. But there remains mystery- whether we see a little or much, we still don’t see all and mystery remains. By no small means, the Bible has many references in both Old and New Testaments concerning Creation – all declaring God, who begins the Bible in Genesis 1, to be creator, sustainer and redeemer. But mystery remains about creation and about the God who made all. As much as we strive we will never know all. But God from the beginning is personal and relational and has chosen to reveal all that is of necessity – “The secret things belong to God but the things revealed belong to us” (Deuteronomy 29:29). Post-Genesis 3 begins two journeys: the first finding mankind seeking to conquer creation and become mystified believing that other gods had their symbols within the creation. Interesting how Genesis 1:16 says, “God made two great lights- the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night.” It is not difficult to identify these as the sun and the moon. How long was it before these became gods that were worshipped? The second journey was the one embarked by those who worshipped the God of creation and not creation itself.

To know God through his creation alone was never going to be enough. His spoken word verifies and clarifies and declares God’s glory and purposes for creation, and in particular for Mankind.

It is interesting in John’s Gospel how all the miracles Jesus ‘performed’ are not referred to as miracles but SIGNS- “What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory…” (John 2:11). His glory revealed and his spoken words declared God’s truth and invitation to believe and follow. Repeatedly this is so in this Gospel. A sign is a pointer towards the intended destination – here it is Jesus. Creation is also a pointer to see the creator and with the fullness of God’s spoken word, it is also that we may see Jesus (John 1:1f).

In the Creation narrative “God said, ‘let there be lights in the vaults of the sky… and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years.”  (Genesis 1:14) These signs were intended to mark the seasons and to divide the year for the Lord’s appointed festivals (see Leviticus 23:4-8). Today we still find daily and weekly horoscope readings of the ‘stars’ pronouncing one’s fate and future. Depends on what journey a person is on.

From the Bible’s acknowledgment and proclamation, Creation is not only a sustainable place to live and enjoy but a marvel that never ceases and a sign and recognition that points to God the creator. Mystery will always remain because like God, creation is unfathomable.

“The secret things belong to God, but the things revealed belong to us.”

As we stand in our times, like Newton, we stand on the shoulders of Old Testament peoples and prophets and see the full revelation of God in Christ. What the people of old knew was coming and whose hope was alive still did not fully understand or comprehend all God was doing and bring to pass in Christ. “He (Christ) made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfilment- to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3-14). As mind-boggling as the heavens and the earth might be then so too is the relationship our creator, is to and has for, all his creation. “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” (Ephesians 1:4)

These first chapters of Genesis do not belong to the distant past but more so as a collective of which the whole Bible proclaims and speaks the personal word for all mankind to hear and so understand and demystify that we would know the creator- sustainer and redeemer who is announced as, God, from the very beginning.

PRAYER:  Gracious Father, I am humbled once again as I consider the creation you have made- all that is above and all below that has been my dwelling place for…….I am humbled by your transcendence above all creation and yet your immanence for you have chosen to dwell with us and within us who believe. I am humbled yet again as I think on the sacrifice and self-giving of Christ who is my saviour and the one I willingly call, Lord. As I commence this new day and my daily business remind me I pray, as I move around your creation which is my habitat, that you are for us in these times and your purposes will never be thwarted. May I prove to be a blessing unto others and may I prove to be a worthy sign in pointing others to Jesus. In his name, I ask….AMEN

SONG:  He’s Everything to Me – Cliff Barrows –