In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1
The first chapter of Genesis is probably one of the most familiar passages in the Bible. It's read by many believers on January 1 to kick-off their Bible reading plans. These verses are also scrutinized when discussing the origin of the universe both inside and outside of Christendom. But after listening to a recent sermon on Genesis 1, I've looked at this chapter in a fresh way.
My pastor stated that our response to this text should be to look at our God as He is gloriously displayed. His words gave me reason to pause. I've focused so much on the details of what happened on which day and what it could possibly mean in terms of time, space, and science that I may have missed the forest for the trees. So I reread Genesis 1, and it brought me to worship.
Nouns such as intellect and genius seem woefully inadequate when it comes to describing the wisdom of God displayed in the act of creation. It's beyond my comprehension to imagine the power and authority that can create matter out of nothing with just a word. No wonder the psalmist writes:
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Psalm 19:1
Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Psalm 100:3
O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. Psalm 104:24
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14
And from Wayne Grudem:
As God created the universe, it was perfectly suited to bring him glory, both in the day-by-day processes and in the goals for which he created it. Even now, while we still see the effects of sin and the curse on the natural world, we should be amazed at how harmonious and intricate God's creation is.1
So let me bring it down to where you are today:
As you read this post, light is traveling from the screen to the lens behind your eye. Your retina converts the light into electrochemical signals which travel from the optic nerve to your brain. It then translates those impulses from symbols into words which you comprehend. Your brain may send another signal down your spinal column to nerves that stimulate the muscles in your arm and hand, causing you to grasp the mouse and scroll down the page or lift that mug of coffee to your lips. All the while, your heart is beating, pumping blood containing life-giving oxygen to the cells throughout your body. Each cell is made up of molecules which are made up of atoms which are made up of subatomic particles which scientists have yet to fully figure out. You are sitting and not flying up to the ceiling because of gravity. The earth is not an uninhabitable wasteland because forces keep our planet at exactly the right distance from the sun. So the cell, the solar system, and everything in between is a demonstration of God's handwork. But it gets even better.
The "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 Cor. 4:6.) So now we can know our Creator as our Father, and the One who "upholds the universe by the Word of his power" (Heb. 1:3) is our Savior.
I hope you didn't mind the science lesson, but isn't creation awesome? Isn't God awesome!? So go out tonight and look at the stars or examine a dew drop on a blade of grass tomorrow morning. Consider how fearfully and wonderfully you are made. And as His redeemed children, may we be the first to "their Creator bless and worship Him in humbleness."2
1. Systematic Theology, Wayne Grudem, Zondervan, 1994, pg. 193.
2. From All Creatures of Our God and King, Francis of Assisi, translated by William Draper.