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In the Beginning Chapter 1 Part 1 (Genesis 1)

by David Johnson

By David Johnson

(Transcribed from the Words of Life Radio Program)

 

     It is great to be together again as we look into the Word of God.

We are beginning a new series today dealing with the book of Genesis.  A very important book even the foundation, the bed-stone or bedrock of scripture.  The title for the lesson is “In the beginning.”  Our text is Genesis chapter 1 verses 1 through 5.    

Please listen to the Word of God.  “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he 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 —the first day.” This is the Word of God.

     The greatest attack against the Bible have usually been against the integrity and authority of the book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible.   In the twenty-first century many make the assumption that our complex universe evolved over billions of years and someway apart from the infinite creative power of a Creator God.

The English title Genesis come from a Greek translation the Septuagint which means origin.  The Hebrew title for the first book of the Bible is derived from the very first Hebrew language word translated ‘in the beginning’.  

     The book of Genesis is foundational to the entire Bible.  The Bible without the book of Genesis would be like a building without a ground floor.  Or like a bridge without support. 

Genesis reveals the origin of all things as created by God.  In English from our word Genesis, we get our word generate and generation.  Genesis reveals the origin of the material universe and of life itself.  No other book of the Bible is quoted or referred to a frequently as Genesis in the other 65 books of the Bible.  Therefore, Genesis is indeed the bedrock, the touchstone of scripture.

     The first five chapters of this truly amazing book reveals a wealth of insight into our Creator and his creation.It’s been said that what we believe about Genesis chapter 1 and verse 1 speaks volumes of what we believe about God, about heaven and earth.

     Genesis chapter 1 verse 1 “In the beginning”.  This marks the origination of the universe in time and space.  The concept of time in the beginning is meaningful only in terms of entities and events existing to measure the transpiring of time.  “I the beginning, God” notice that scripture does not debate, argue or attempt to prove the existing of God, simply reveals the Creator, the supreme being who is God.

     The original Hebrew term is “Elohim”.  Which according the Hebrew language scholars is the general term for god.  ‘Elohim’ stresses the majesty, omnipotence, sovereignty and supremacy of God.  Something very significant regarding the term ‘Elohim’ is the ending ‘im’ as being plural, for example, regarding angelic beings, cherub is singular, however, cherubim is plural.  Yet in the normal usage in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament ‘Elohim’ refers to the one true God.  In the case of ‘Elohim’ the plural sense here expresses intensification rather than number according to Hebrew language scholars.  ‘Elohim’ has been called the plural of majesty or potentiality” allowing for the doctrine of the godhead of one God in three persons.’  So, ‘Elohim’ is a plural name with a singular meaning. It is basically ‘uni-plural’ suggesting a uni-plurality of the Godhead or trinity.    Nothing is impossible for God that is in his will.  He is the pre-existent eternal supreme being. 

     In the beginning God created, the original Hebrew word used here is of God’s creative activity alone.  The context demands that this creating was without preexisting material.  God created instantly out of nothing. No other cosmology, which is the study of the universe, whether in ancient paganism or modern naturalism even mentions the absolute, the exact origin of the universe.

     Genesis chapter 1 and verse 1 is unique in this.  All other theories of cosmology begin with the space, time, matter universe already existing in a primeval state of chaos and then attempt to speculate how it might have evolved into its present form.

     Moreover, God did not need to create the universe he chose to create it.  But why? 
Consider that in First John in the New Testament, First John chapter 4 and verse 16 it reveals that “God is love,” First John chapter 4 verse 16 and love is best expressed towards something or someone; so, God created the universe and everything in it, including human beings as the apex, the pinnacle of his love.  For this reason alone, God deserves mankind’s worship and reverence in awe toward him.

“In the beginning God created the heavens”.  The points to our English word for ‘space’.  The Hebrew word for heavens is plural.  Therefore, here it is used to describe everything that is above the surface of the earth, planet earth.

     “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

That is specifically planet earth and therefore matter.  It is regarding the earth that God’s creative focus is revealed in the Scriptures.  Yet God’s creative power is of an incomprehensibly vast universe.

It is incredibly noteworthy, what in one verse with only ten words in English, that God reveals:

  1. It reveals and teaches philosophically that God exists refuting atheism.
  2. It also teaches that God is transcendent or apart from His creation refuting pantheism – which claims the universe is God.
  3. It teaches that God is sovereign and supreme not humankind refuting Humanism.
  4. It teaches that matter had a beginning in time and space and therefore not eternal refuting materialism.
  5. It teaches that God created instantly, out of nothing. Therefore, it did not develop or change over eons of time refuting evolutionism.

Incredibly the first, the very first verse of the Bible also teaches the pre-science concepts of:

            Time – ‘In the beginning”

            Force – “God”

            Motion – “created”

            Space – “the heavens”

            Matter – “and the earth”

     Dr. Henry Morris, a fine expositor of scripture writes:

“The existence of a transcendent Creator and the necessity of a primeval special creation of the universe is confirmed by the most basic principals of nature discovered by scientists, for example,

Genesis chapter 1 verse 2 says in part “the earth was formless and empty”.

The Hebrew terms mean ‘not finished in its shape and not yet inhabited by creatures – empty’.  So, only matter (the earth) existed before God gave it organization and structure.

Also, in verse 2 “darkness was over the surface of the deep”.

 ‘Deep’ in the Hebrew refers to waters.  Therefore, evidently all the basic material elements were suspended in a watery matrix completely static in darkness.

Also, in verse 2 “and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”

     That is the Spirit of God (literally in the Hebrew) ‘vibrated’ or ‘moved’ in the presence of the waters.  Possibly here waves of gravitational energy and waves of electromagnetic energy began to pulse forth from the Prime-Mover-Creator of the universe.  Therefore, the unformed matter of earth as well as the waters rapidly coalesced into spherical form under the new forces of gravity.

Genesis chapter 1 verse 3 “And God said, ‘Let there be light’ and there was light.”

Almighty God effortlessly spoke light into existence thereby dispelling the darkness.  Light made God’s creative works visible and life possible according to the natural laws God designed.  Here God created the essence of light itself in the universe apart from His own outshining radiance.

     Genesis chapter 1 verse 4 says in part “God saw that the light was good.”  Why state this?  Wasn’t everything God created good?  Goodness here emphasizes God’s absolute goodness and greatness as Creator of the Cosmos.  Originally His creation was absolute perfection with no mistakes, no disorder and nothing, nor anyone else to challenge or thwart God’s creative power.  Everything originally, according to Genesis chapter 1 verse 31 was indeed “very good.”

     Genesis chapter 1 verse 5 says in part “and there was evening, and there was morning – the first day.”

So, God established the pattern of creation according to days.  In the Hebrew ‘day’ with numerical adjectives (first, second, etc.) always refers to a 24-hour period.  Such a cycle of darkness and light means the earth was rotating on its axis.

     So, what do Genesis chapter 1 verse 1 through 5 and following mean to human beings ultimately?

Consider the alternatives of a Creator God versus evolutionary theory without God.  According to the Scriptures human beings have value, dignity and potential glory into eternity.

According to evolution human beings are all just by random chance presently a superior surviving species that returns to dust on an insignificant dot of a planet lost somewhere in a hostile universe.

Yet Scripture also affirms that human beings are the pinnacle of God’s creation.  Formed by a loving God, in His own image.  Who can be heirs of eternal life with their Creator through saving faith in God.

Also, that we are surrounded by a magnificent cosmos created for our study and enjoyment.

The choice is ours: informed, reasonable faith or forlorn without hope beyond this life.

Choose faith in God as our Creator who also desperately, deeply wants to be our Father through the blood of Jesus and faith.

 

David Johnson is minister of the Sellersburg Church of Christ in Sellersburg, IN.

 




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Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

2 corinthians 1:3-4