This is the beginning of it all.
It is the beginning of everything, everyone, all reality, life and the relationships, ideas, things and places that we treasure. There may have been events that came before, but they are not meant for our comprehension now. This is how God begins the story of mankind. And it is the greatest story, fiction or non, in existence. It is the story of God’s love for a people that often ignored, disregarded and rebelled against Him. It is the story of God’s love for and compassion on a people that He created, that have some similarities to Him (1:26) and that He gave the free will to choose.
This is your story and mine. This is how it all started. Everything.
“In the beginning…” is a familiar phrase to Bible students and the public alike. While children are sent to modern learning institutions to learn about the big bang theory and the theory of evolution, we hold fast our faith that in the beginning, God did create our reality. We gain confidence in the fact that the deeper we look into the theories of the big bang and evolution, the shakier their premises are revealed to be. When we look around us and see the wonder of nature, the perfectly formed plant and animal life, the intricacy of our bodies, our brains and our relationships, we know that these are not the unlikely outcome of random events. No, these are the result of an intelligent and wise Creator, a benevolent God that loves and dispenses justice. In return for our gift of life, he asks comparatively so little, to obey His commandments. Let us keep our relationship with Him in the center as we dive into the first book of the greatest book on Earth.
The creation story is divided up into seven days, six of which we read in Genesis chapter one. Some Bible readers interpret the text to mean that these “days” actually represent the passage of thousands or millions of years, during which a combination of God’s creative process and the theories of evolution/big bang worked together to create our reality. We could cite passages such as II Peter 3:8: “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
What you choose to believe is up to you, of course, but I beg to add that when Moses was inspired by God to write the first five books of the Bible in the wilderness of Sinai, in the fifteenth century before Christ came to Earth, the word “day” was used to separate and identify the phases of creation. More often than not, the wisest course in ambiguous matters is to withhold judgment where things are not exactly clear. I am of the thinking that the wisest and most prudent course that honors our Creator is to simply declare our belief in God’s Word. Could God have done all of these things in a 24-hour period merely by speaking? There is no doubt. Does it behoove us to believe the Word of God exactly as it reads, without adding our own creative thoughts? Absolutely.
The order of things created by day is as follows:
- Day 1: Heavens (sky/space) and Earth
- earth without form
- darkness in the deep expanse
- light (day and night)
- Day 2: Firmament
- A division between the waters
- Day 3: Earth and Seas
- vegetation phyla
- Day 4: Sun and Moon
- distant stars
- Day 5: Life
- fish in the sea
- birds in the air
- Day 6: More Life
- land mammals
- insects and the cold-blooded
- dominion over life on the Earth
- created in the image of God
God created these to subsist on their own, to multiply by seed, and through reproduction. God created life so that it would not have to be continuously created by Him as it was in these opening verses. God has provided food for all. It is His world.
We cannot go further back than this. It is profound to consider not only our individual origins as people, but our origin as a species, a created group. Tonight, I encourage you to ponder on what Genesis is: it is not only the beginning of life as we know it, but more importantly, it is the beginning of mankind’s relationship with God. Almighty God, in His ultimate power, merely spoke and created us. The vast expanse of the sky and space that we work so hard to explore and define, was spoken into existence by a loving God. There is not yet outright evidence of this love in Genesis chapter one, but we know that it is coming, and we have that assurance in the text that God recognized the goodness of that which He had made.
The divinely inspired Word of God gives us our Genesis. This is our origin story.