Yesterday, we took a brief glimpse at chapter 5 of The Book of Revelation, the last book of the Biblical Canon. To try to encourage individual thought, give an answer to those who have been asking the question: “Is Jesus Worthy of being my Lord and Savior?” An important question with eternal implications. “What If I were to confess His worthiness to be # 1 with my whole heart, soul?” It is an incredibly hopeful, impactful life transforming decision with big implications!
But to make such an impactful decision simply based on one chapter of the last book of the biblical canon, leaves us with a vast chasm of complete emptiness. We do not have begun to build that necessary foundational context upon which such decisions are, and must by greatest necessity, be permanently grounded. Our faith, our hopes and our love must be built up over time to stay steadfast. No one should have to say to another person, life is a rose bush with big thorns.
So, today, we will begin from the beginning – the Book of Genesis, to hopefully, prayerfully begin to edify ourselves, each other “Jesus Christ is our ONLY #1!” We will begin to sort out just what makes God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit so much more attractive to us than the vast temptations from the world around us. If I am deciding whom I am willingly giving my life to, I want to know: “WHY?”
Genesis 1:1-5 HCSB
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.[a]
2 Now the earth was[b] formless and empty, darkness covered the surface of the watery depths, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and He called the darkness “night.” Evening came and then morning: the first day.
The Word of God for the Children of God. In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.
Each of us began life as a baby, and we were unaware of what was going on around us or what the world was like. But as we grew older, we started to take note of the world—the sky, the sea, the winds, the birds, the flowers, the animals, the trees, and all of life around us. As we became aware of the world, we inevitably asked some questions about it. Those questions are the ones answered for us in brief compass here in the opening words of Genesis 1:1.
What are the questions? First, we ask ourselves,
What is the attraction of all this? Driven by an insatiable curiosity, humans have been attempting to answer that question ever since they first appeared on earth. They seek to explore the limitless depths of the universe, finite depths of the world in which they live.
Second, we ask,
How did it begin? This question is the emphasis of science. Then we ask,
When did it all start? How long has the world been going on like this? Finally, we come to the great philosophical question,
Who is behind it? Who is back of these strange and remarkable processes? These questions are answered in this verse, and thus it serves as a tremendous introduction to the great themes of the Bible.
Take the first question, the one most obvious to us—the wonder of the universe itself.
In the beginning, we read,
God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1). Someone has said that this phrase is the beginning of true science, because a fundamental part of the task of science is to observe and study and research and classify all that can be observed in the makeup of the world of nature. Here is an early attempt at classification. What do you see around you? You see two great classes of things—the heavens and the earth.
One of the marvels of the Bible is that it uses language that communicates with people of the most primitive and limited understanding, while at the same time it still has significance and inexhaustible meaning for the most erudite and learned scholars. It addresses itself with equal ease to all classes of humanity. That is the beauty of Bible language. Now, it seems we are losing our regard for what it says and what it teaches, how it inspires, how it empowers all our lives.
The popular teaching is that we can disregard, refuse, or reject God because we make a decision, we think, we say, we declare it to be so and just choose to do it.
Is it right to say, then, that our human freedom to choose would move us to prefer not to minimize value or shun away what we know to be so admirable?
God’s Word shows, however, that those who are not attracted to God had failed actually to behold fully His Excellence! They are actually ignorant of Him.
Because of the erroneous concept of God, or ignorance of His Glory, men perceive sin to be more pleasurable than God, the ways of Satan or of this world are more attractive, and personal ambition is more desirable to be cherished.
The design of the Bible is not to tell us how the heavens go, but rather how to go to heaven.
Our physical eyes and other human faculties tend to perceive only the wonder of the physical creation or what could be appreciated by our physical senses. But, even from the beginning, if we have the spiritual eyes to see, we can already admire so much the Splendour of God!
What is the beauty and the attraction of Biblical Language which makes it so -inspiring, so thoroughly encompassing drawing the most insatiably curious?
The opening sentence in God’s Word states:
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
God can create.
He created the heavens and the earth, as we also read In Isaiah 45:18,
“For thus says the LORD,
Who created the heavens,
Who is God,
Who formed the earth and made it,
Who has established it,
Who did not create it in vain,
Who formed it to be inhabited:
‘I am the LORD, and there is no other.’”
Should our interest or attention would not be caught by Him who can make something out of nothing?
Should we not be in awe of God and admire Him exceedingly?
And He could also create a new heaven and a new earth.
We read in Isaiah 65:17-18
“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth;
And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.
But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create;
For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing,
And her people a joy.”
God created not only the heavens and the earth.
We read in Amos 4:13,
He who forms mountains,
And creates the wind,
Who declares to man what his thought is,
And makes the morning darkness,
Who treads the high places of the earth —
The LORD God of hosts is His name.“
Also, He declared in Isaiah 45:7,
“I form the light and create darkness,
I make peace and create calamity;
I, the LORD, do all these things.“
In fact, He created all things, as we read:
“You are worthy, O Lord,
To receive glory and honor and power;
For You created all things,
And by Your will they exist and were created” (Revelation 4:11).
What overwhelming Power He has!
And if we are not attracted to Him, He can give us a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26) or even create a clean heart in us – a heart that can appreciate Divine Beauty!
“Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).
Let’s proceed to the next verse of Genesis chapter 1:
“The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2).
Should not this verse make God also attractive to us?
Could we not realize though our life seemed “without form, and void” – we are not really alone? Though we are in the “seemingly endless tunnel of darkness” – we could also say confidently, like David:
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4).
God is also watching over us. He does not leave us all alone.
If His Spirit “was hovering over…” us before, He is now dwelling in the believers today.
You could also admire God in Genesis 1:3. It says, “Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.”
Notice that what God had said became a reality! He “said…” and “there was…”
We read also in Genesis 1:6, “Then God said, ‘Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.’”
Notice very well the following verse: “Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; AND IT WAS SO” (verse 7).
You will notice the same sequence in verses 9, 11, 14-15 and 24 — “God said… and it was so.” When God would say something, it could be made or created.
So awesome and attractive is God, even in His Words! He declared:
“As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-12).
And consider what Jesus Christ, the Son of God, said:
“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63).
Should we not be attracted to Him, because of His Words?
Unless, we are spiritually deaf or spiritually unconscious, our respond to God’s Call would be just like what Peter did: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).
Besides, His work is beyond reproach.
Those who find fault with His work are those who measure His Goodness with human standard. They could not grasp His Divine Goodness.
But we read in the first part of verse:4, “And God saw the light, that it was good…”
After God created the light, God’s Word states, He “saw the light, that it was good…” His Word declared repeatedly, whatever He had created “God saw that it was good” (verses 10, 12, 18, 21 & 25).
And it was emphasized in verse 31: “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good…”
Not only what He did is good, He Himself is Good. David said in Psalm 119:68:
“You are good, and do good;
Teach me Your statutes.”
In fact, according to God’s Word, “No one is good but One, that is, God” (Mark 10:18). And the goodness of what He made transcends the excellence of any human accomplishment!
Now, let’s focus on the last part of Genesis 1:4, “… God divided the light from the darkness.”
Other translations render it, “God SEPARATED the light from the darkness” as we read also in the New International Version.
God divides or separates. He does not mix the light with darkness. John 1:1-5
In Genesis 1:5, we read:
“God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.”
After God separated the light from the darkness, He did not just stop there.
He distinguished them by naming them. He called the light “Day” and the darkness “Night.”
We also read in verse 7 and early part of verse 8:
“Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. God called the firmament Heaven…”
And verse 10 tells us that “God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas.”
But apart from His Glorious Name, God called the believers the wonderful name:
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him” (1 John 3:1).
He called them His children.
Contrary to the teaching of others, God did not call everyone His children. As we read in John 1:12, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.”
God “gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.”
Should we not be so thankful to God and draw closer to Him in admiration for calling us “Children of God”?
If Creator God will make Himself known to us, we will surely admire Him and be hopelessly attracted to Him, His Son and the Holy Spirit. Afterwards, then no one would ever need to convince or force us even to worship and to follow Him.
For He is Supremely Attractive even in the beginning… He can make things out of nothing. Bring everything from nothing, Bring order from chaos. He does not only hover over, but even dwells in His people. His Word has Life and Power. He is echelons beyond Good and He excels in exactly everything. He separates the “light” from the “darkness.” He called sinners out, and believers His children.
And this is just the first chapter of the Book of Genesis, the very Beginning!
In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Let us now Pray,
Creator and Creating God,
As we are made in Your image, we give You thanks for the seed of creativity You planted within each person. We thank you for creating order from chaos and then telling us the story that we should, through it, be attracted only to You!
Thank you for giving us Your Holy Scriptures. Help us surely, truly, to live in a deepening appreciative awe of the creativity that you have planted within. Give us the patience and courage to nourish, from beginning to end, that creativity, and the strength and persistence to express it. In Your name we pray, Amen