V1 – In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth
Some people believe this is the biggest miracle in the entire bible. If it is true, then doing other, seemingly smaller miracles, should be child’s play for a creator that can bring the entire universe into being from nothing! Even a resurrection!
If you can understand, comprehend, and believe this very first verse, then the rest of the Bible is understandable
Two primary worldviews you can hold – either the universe and everything is the result of a cosmic accident and random chance, just physics and chemistry…OR
The universe is the result of deliberate design by a creator
The atheist or skeptics want to point out that we Christians just believe God always existed, and that is an easy way out. But then they turn around and argue that the universe, or the multiverse generator, has always existed. So both sides are arguing that something has always existed
The atheist believes that the universe created itself. The Christian believes that the universe was created by God. There really is no other perspective, at least not one that doesn’t bring you back to this ultimate starting point
Our education system, media, and indeed, our culture, have explained away God in the minds of many
Many people believe that science has explained everything, and so there is no room left for God
Therefore, because it runs contrary to that way of thinking, Genesis is the main hang-up for many
After all, Adam/Eve, an apple, a talking snake, the flood, Tower of Babel, the ark, etc.
If a person believes that they can’t trust Genesis, why should they trust what Jesus said?
If we can’t get a person past Genesis 1:1, how are we ever going to get them to John 3:16?
So, back to V1…”In the beginning”. We are all so familiar with this first part of this verse, that we don’t take the time to appreciate exactly what is being said here. Let’s take a look at it a bit more closely
Modern science of course teaches the Big Bang theory. Now whether you believe that or not is not all that important right here. The main takeaway is that there WAS a beginning!
Why is that important? Because for all of human history, all the way until the 1920s, people, including scientists, thought the universe was eternal, that it had always existed!
But thanks to people like Albert Einstein and Edwin Hubble, scientists proved that the universe indeed had a definitive beginning. In other words, it was not eternal, it had not always existed! Not only did it have a beginning, but it was actually expanding
This was a huge discovery, one of the greatest discoveries of the 20th century, and took scientists completely by surprise
In fact, scientists did not like this discovery. Why? Because it sounded way too familiar. Way to much like Genesis 1:1
Scientists spent a couple of decades trying to disprove the findings, but were unable to do so
Genesis was written approximately 3500 years ago. So about 3400 years before brilliant scientists figured it out, the Bible told us that the universe had a beginning.
Not only that, in the second half of the first verse, it told us that the cause of that beginning was God.
In the beginning, “God created the heavens and the earth”
The universe was created by a willful act of God. Science operates with handcuffs on, because it is limited by self-imposed rules to only allow “naturalistic” explanations.
So not allowing a supernatural explanation, they are not even permitted to consider God, and so all they are left with is to try and offer up the best naturalistic explanation they can imagine. That is how and why they propose “the multiverse”
Nevermind that there is no evidence whatsoever for a multiverse, that doesn’t matter. So even though it is pure speculation, at least it doesn’t involve God
But getting back to the Christian perspective, we know there was a beginning, which implies a beginner, which the Bible teaches
It also tells us God created the ‘heavens and the earth”
The term “heavens and the earth” in Hebrew, the “shamayim erets”, refers to all of physical reality, the universe. What the Greeks referred to as the cosmos. All space, time, matter, and energy
So if all space, time, matter, and energy were created, then the one who created them must beyond them, must transcend them. To say it another way, if all of nature was created, then the creator must be beyond nature, or what we would call “super-natural”
Furthermore, the Hebrew word for “created” is bara, which means created “out of nothing”. There is a different Hebrew word when God creates out of existing material (asa). That is more akin to the word “made”. But that is not the word used here. This is referring to creation “ex-nihilo”, literally out of nothing! From previously non-existent material.
No matter, no energy…nothing!
We can “make” things. We can “form” things, but we are using pre-existing materials. Only God can create in the sense implied by bara
Observation – In the beginning, “God”- the word used here for God is “elohim”. It is a plural form of a word for God. But we know God is a singular entity. So why would Genesis use the plural in describing the one true God? Could it be a hint of the Trinity right here in the very first verse of the Bible?
Some have said that Jesus is on every page of the OT. I don’t know about that, but I am aware of what I believe are many allusions to Jesus in the OT, and I think this is possibly one of them
So when we read that “In the beginning God created, and we read the plural form of God “elohim”, it should at least cause us to ask the question and dig a little deeper.
Who actually created the Heavens and the earth? Was it God the Father, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit?
Col 1:16 , speaking about the preeminence of Jesus, scripture says “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” Who is the “Him” here? It is Jesus Christ!
Gen 1:2 – “ The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
Finally, in the very first verse of the Bible, it is as if God has anticipated so many false ideologies. He rebukes so many -isms and theologies
For example,
Pantheism- the belief that the universe is God. No, God created the universe. He transcends the universe. He is separate from the universe.
Naturalism – No, the universe did not just appear out of nothing. God created it
Polytheism – No, there is only one God, although triune in nature.
Atheism – there is no God. No, God exists and created the universe
Humanism – Man, not God is the ultimate reality. No, God is the ultimate reality and creator of all things
Many others…