September 23, 2012

My Thoughts on Genesis 1:1

As an exercise in faith seeking to understand all that God has provided for me in His written Word, I began writing some thoughts down as I read Genesis 1:1. There is a lot that could be written on this verse, but my aim was simply to look at what it says and what I can learn from it. I also included a note about the first book of the Bible, of which this verse is the opening one.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 
(Genesis 1:1 ESV)

Moses began this Genesis story with a statement of fact, the fact that Elohim (God) created the heavens and the earth. The heavens and the earth include everything. The only uncreated thing is God, who alone is Creator. The beginning was when and where it all started. Nothing created is without a beginning in space and time. This verse presents some of the qualities or characteristics of the God of Israel as eternal, powerful, creative, and beyond space and time. But creation is presented as temporal and dependent. There was a time when the heavens and earth did not exist, so we say they were made from nothing.

Some clear and logical observations from Genesis 1:1 are that:
1. God is the creator.
2. The heavens and the earth are his creation.
3. The beginning was the time of creation.
4. Which leads us to understand that our existence depends on God.
5. We belong to God as his workmanship.
6. We may naturally feel awed by God when we are in awe of his created works, and so direct our worship to Him.
7. As God's creatures, we are dependent on him for the right knowledge of him and for the right knowledge of ourselves and how we ought to live.

A little about the book of Genesis:
The first book of Moses, or Genesis, was written to people who naturally were descendants of Adam and Eve, God's first created human couple. That would include all of us.

It was also written more specifically to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, three of the most prominent characters in this story. They were the Hebrews, or Israelites. Here, Moses instructed the Hebrews about their God and their beginnings. This is why Genesis is called the book of beginnings. It tells of the beginning of creation, as well as the beginnings of nations, languages, kingdoms and culture. The beginning of creation is followed by the beginning of rebellion and death, which leads to the beginning of redemption and the promise of a new creation to come.

Additionally, it is important to note that the New Testament plainly teaches that Jesus Christ created all things. In fact, the Trinity - God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, each had a role to play in creation. This is a topic for another post, but nevertheless cannot go unstated.

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