The Bible begins with this revelation of God, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1, NASB95) To explore this attribute of God we won’t delve too far into the various understandings of time and method but stick to the primary basic truth that everything we see and can discover was created by God.
Creation itself is God’s first revelation of himself. The Apostle Paul observed, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made…” (Romans 1:20, NASB95) God’s handiwork is seen in the power of ocean waves; the majesty of snow-capped mountains; the laughter of a babbling brook; the tenacity, variety, and fragility of life; the songs of birds, whales, and humans; the painter’s brush colors of the sunrise and sunset; the uniqueness of each snow-flake; in the smallest part of the atom to the furthest stretch of space; and the miracle of birth – to suggest just a few.
The Bible tells us in Genesis and in John 1:1-5 that all of creation was spoken into existence. For instance, Genesis says, “The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.” (Genesis 1:2–5, NASB95) God said — and it was — and it was good.
But some may have a problem with the creation account. The hyper-literal stance using the genealogy lists found in the Bible calculates that the earth is under 10,000 years old. This seems at odds with basic science and common sense. On the other hand, if we fully drink the account proposed by science we risk losing faith in God and becoming lost meaninglessness. Whether the Bible’s account of creation is literal or not is actually a question no one can answer except God.
For me personally, the timing of creation is not something I argue or divide over. Consider this – Could God had made the entirety of the universe, as it exists right now in an instant? Yes. The important part is that God created the basis for everything we see, hear, touch, smell, and taste. Humankind may mold those elements into wonderful, useful, or destructive things but only God can create something out of nothing.
God created – that is the important point upon which faith rests. Atoms, earth, galaxies, humans and so much more are all the work of God’s hand. Like all artisans and craftsmen, God reveals himself in his works. In creation, we see and experience all of God’s attributes. We glimpse his all-powerfulness that creates with just a word. We marvel at his everywhereness. We sense his timelessness in the distances of space. We experience His love even though we may not recognize it. Our conscience itself is a reflection of His holiness.
The final book of the Bible also touches on creation. In the often mysterious visions of Revelation is a picture of God’s presence in heaven. Among the worship of God by angels and elders is this declaration, “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.” (Revelation 4:11, NASB95) Having faith that God is and that God created all things, including you and I, is the first step of a journey filled with marvel.
In our next entry in this series of The Basics, we will again pick up this thread of creation and begin our focus on humanity.