The creation comes through the divine pronouncement, “let there be light” – a pronouncement that, in the terms of contemporary linguistic theory, is performative, that is, it brings about that of which it speaks.
Genesis is about God from first to last — and to read it any other way is to misread it. The mystery of the Holy Trinity is embedded in the first three Hebrew words of the text (Bereshith bara Elohim) because the name “God,” Elohim, is in the plural, and the verb “created” (bara) is in the singular, so that God (plural) created (singular).
On the one hand the Bible teaches that God is a unity: “Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one” (Deuteronomy 6:4; cf. 1 Corinthians 8:6). On the other hand, it is equally as explicit that God is three persons (cf. Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14) — and that all three Persons were active in creation (God and the Spirit in Genesis 1:1, 2; God and the Son in John 1:1-3, 10; and the Son in Colossians 1:15-17 and Hebrews 1:1-3). Hence, it is that we meet the awesome Triune God in the first three words of Biblical revelation!
The Book of Hebrews gives this precise explanation, “By faith we understand that the uni- verse was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible” (11:3; cf. Isaiah 40:26; Revelation 4:11).
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. (Psalm 90:2)
As the opening line of Carl Sagan’s, Cosmos puts it: “The cosmos is all there is, or has been, or will be” — matter is God! As we all know, this worldview has dominated the sciences for the last one hundred years. And it is defended, by some, against all logic — for fear that a Divine Foot might get in the door.
Malcolm Muggeridge noted, “I myself am convinced that the theory of evolution, especially to the extent to which it has been applied, will be one of the greatest jokes in the history books of the future. Posterity will marvel that so very flimsy and dubious an hypothesis could be accepted with the incredible credulity it has.”
God created every speck of dust in the hundred thousand million galaxies of the universe. He created every atom — the sub- microscopic solar systems with their whimsically named quarks (from James Joyce’s Three Quarks for Master Mark) and leptons (the same Greek word used for the widow’s mite) and electrons and neutrinos (“little neutral ones”) — all of which have no measurable size.
The awesomeness of creation has been the subject of famous biblical poems like Job 38, Psalms 19, 33, 136, and Isaiah 45. Isaiah 40 references creation repeatedly, culminating in this expression:
To whom then will you compare me,
that I should be like him? says the Holy One.
Lift up your eyes on high and see:who created these?
He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name,
by the greatness of his might,
and because he is strong in power
not one is missing. (vv. 25, 26)
By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host. The Spirit is to God’s word as breath is to speech. On day one the miracle would begin with God speaking light into existence and that light shining in the darkness. None less than the Apostle Paul made the application of this truth to our dark hearts: “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).
Just as the Spirit of God fluttered over the dark waters, so he does over the dark hearts of humanity, preparing them for the word of God that will make them into new creations in Christ. God created the heavens and the earth, the universe! He can make you new as well.
In the beginning was God. In the end God will be. Genesis is about God, the universe, and you. Genesis is about grace. May His grace abound to you and me.
Categories: Church Life
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