Peter Misselbrook's Blog
Jan 1 2019 - Genesis 1:1-25 – God the Creator

I am told that a good story has to grab you from the opening sentence. This is surely true of the Bible with its assertion that God "created the heavens and the earth." That is to say that God made absolutely everything, and he did it all simply by the power of his word. Creation displays his sovereign power.

Ah Lord God, Thou hast made the heavens
And the earth by Thy great power
Ah Lord God, Thou hast made the heavens
And the earth by Thine outstretched arm
Nothing is too difficult for Thee…

When the Book of Genesis was written, many peoples considered the Sun and Moon to be gods and thought that the stars played a significant role in determining human fate. Many still are fascinated by astrological charts and follow their horoscopes in the newspaper. But the Sun, Moon and stars are not gods; they were created by the one living God whose glory is displayed in all that he has created; they are his creatures. This God is the one who brings order out of chaos, light out of darkness, life out of barrenness. He is the one who delights in all that he has made and pronounces it good, very good.

But we have to ask, "Why did God create the universe?" The "beginning" spoken of in Genesis 1:1 is the beginning of the universe, but it is not the beginning of God. He was there before anything was created. Why then did he make this world and the billions of other worlds that make up our universe?

It is not easy to answer this question, though the New Testament declares that all things were made through Christ and for him (see John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:15). In one sense, God made the universe as a gift for his Son who, along with the Spirit, worked with the Father in this great work of creation. But perhaps we can also say that God made the universe as an act of love. God who is love created a world on which he could lavish his love and kindness. He created the world that it might enjoy his love and that all creation might respond to his love, glorify him and give delight to him.

But God's great work of creation, described in Genesis 1:1-25, is more than a miraculous act in the distant past. Our God does not simply light the blue touch paper and retire to a safe distance; he is the one who continues to sustain all that he has made. At the beginning of creation, God calls light out of darkness and the evening and the morning are the first day. Note that order, "evening and morning… evening and morning…" In Hebrew thought, each day begins with evening, the darkness that marks the night, before giving way to morning, what we call day. Each day is a new act of creation as darkness flees before the light – 'Morning has broken like the first morning...' Each day is a brand new gift from the hands of our Creator. It's not the mechanical rolling of the spheres but the grace, faithfulness and goodness of God that brings us each new morning.

'This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.'

Creator God, whose Spirit hovered over the face of the void at the dawn of creation, by your Spirit bring light into our darkness, order into the chaos of our lives and breathe into us your life. Through your word and Spirit, make this day a good day.

Peter Misselbrook