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Sunday, September 1, 2019

posted Sep 1, 2019, 4:35 PM by Site Administrator

GOD CREATED THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH

 

Genesis 1:1-25,31

Key Verse 1:1 

 

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

 

Genesis is the first book of the 66 books of the Bible. The English word Genesis means origin. In this book, we see the origins of many things – the origin of the universe and everything in it, the origin of sin and death, the origin of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the origin of nations and languages, the origin of marriage and family, and the origin of the chosen people Israel, and much more. We pray that through studying this book, we may meet the God of Genesis, and find ourselves before Him.

 

First, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (1:1). Lets read verse 1 once again. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. When: Here, the phrase, In the beginning refers to the beginning point of time and space. From this time on, things came to exist. In eternity, God chose a certain point to start his creation of the heavens and the earth – that beginning point was called, “In the beginning.” By the way, how many years ago was that beginning? The Bible shows that it is about 6,000 or maybe, 7,000 years ago, and all ancient written documents or archeological records show that the human history is about 6,000 years, and even with generous assumption based on the archeological records, less than 10,000 years. For example, Google shows that civilization first began in 3500 B.C., along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in the Middle East – maybe, this was the area where Noah’s family settled after the flood. Again, Google shows that from the same area, the Sumerian kingdom first appeared in archeological records around 3,100 B.C., and lasted about 1,000 years. This historic record really fits for the Bible’s record as well. After Noah’s flood, those 8 people who had survived the flood multiplied quickly that when Noah died about 350 years later, the population was about several million. There, they established a kingdom, and all people togetherbegan to build the tower of Babel, and God stopped them and scattered them by confusing their language. Then, some people went to India and developed the Indus River Valley Civilization around 3,000 B.C. My country, Korea’s history began with a kingdom that was established in 2,333 B.C., and lasted until 108 B.C. These are what the archeological discoveries and ancient written documents testify in regard to human history. It’s about 6,000 years, or maybe 7,000 years. About 6,000 years ago was the beginning of everything. But wicked people, coming up with sophisticated sounding formulas, say that the earth is about 4.5 billion years old; or they say that Homo Sapians, the first modern humans appeared in Africa about 200,000 years B.C.and by 8,000 B.C., there were 5 million people. (ref. https://humanhistorytimeline.com/) This is what United Nation Population Department says. Now the world population is 7.7 billion. United Nation Population Department shows that in 1975, the world population was 4 billion, and it will be 8 billion in 2025; it takes about 50 years to double. This is normal. I checked out how many people should be there today, if there were 5 million people in 8,000 B.C., and found that according to their suggestion, the population should be so big that even the whole universe cannot contain them. When you go home, please check it out. If we say that there were 2 people in 6,000 B.C., considering the age of the earth as 8,000 years, there should be several thousand billion in the USA alone. What these people say, what Evolution suggests, what Big Bang theory talks about – these are all lies – the wicked people’s struggle to remove God’s name from the society. Don’t be deceived by such lies.   

 

In the beginning, about 6,000 years ago, God created the heavens and the earth. Who: Here, we see that even before the beginning point of time and space, there was God! He is beyond time and space. John 1:1 specifically testifies this, saying, In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. What kind of person was God? In Genesis 1, Gods name is Elohim, which means, a God of power,emphasizing Gods mighty power - God created the heavens and the earth with his mighty power. Also, Elohim is in plural form in Hebrew. God is a Spirit, but in verse 2, we see another person, named, the Spirit of God. And in verse 26, we see God saying, Let us make man in our image, in our likeness... Later, theologians came up with the understanding of the Trinity God. Our God is the Trinity God - Three Persons in One God - God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. In the beginning the Trinity God created the heavens and the earth. 

 

What: The heavens refer to the spiritual world where the spiritual beings such as angels live, and the earth refers to the planet earth. So, Genesis 1:1shows that God is the Creator of both the spiritual world and the physical world. Colossians 1:16 reads: “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.” God create the heavens and the earth. After this proclamation, God does not talk about how he created the heavens, what happened to the heavens, what he did for the heavens, what would happen to the heavens. Instead, in the entire Bible from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22, God just focuses on what happened to the earth, what he did for the earth, what would happen to the earth. We can see that the earth is very important to God. Why? Its because we humans who live on the earth are important to him. You are important to Him. What happens to you, how you live your life, and what you do are all important to God.  

 

The word, create is different from make. The word, create is bara in Hebrew, which means to make something from nothing, while the word, make is asah in Hebrew, which means to make something from other resources. Genesis 1 uses these two words very distinctively. In verse 16, we see God making the sun, the moon, and the stars, and here the word asah” is used, indicating that God used some resources to make the sun, the moon, and the stars. In verse 25, we see God making the land-animals, and here, the word asah,” indicating that God used some resources in making the animals. What resources did God use? In verse 24, we see God saying, Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds:... God used the land as resources in making the animals. In verse 26, God says, Let us make man,... indicating that God used some resources in making humans. What resources? As we see Genesis 2:7, God used the dust of the ground to form human body. But verse 21 talks about God creating birds and sea creatures - here the word, bara is used, showing that God did not use any other resources, but created them out of nothing. Now verse 1 proclaims that in the beginning, God created, God bara the heavens and the earth. God created the spiritual world and the physical world from nothing. All things that are visible and not visible did not come from what had been made, but from nothing, and the only cause of their existence was God Himself. Indeed, God is the cause of all these things. They are from God.

 

Genesis 1:1 is the first verse of the first book of the entire Bible, and here, from the beginning of His book, God proclaims as the Creator of everything, saying, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. In the book of Isaiah, God says, I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give glory to another, or my praise to idols. (Isa 42:8) Throughout human history, people try to give glory to gas, amoeba, monkeys, and even aliens. But God proclaims in his book that it is He who created the universe and everything in it, by saying, In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. These simple words sound so solemn and awesome demolishing all man-made sophisticated stories and theories. This proclamation brings bright light into our lives, showing us who we are, where we came from, and how things came to exist. Actually, all philosophers and scientists struggle or concern is about this - who, what, where, and how - because, without having answers to these questions, all people are in complete darkness, without knowing who they are, or what they are, and why they are here on earth. One unbelieving philosopher, after much consideration of these question, said, Why havent you committed suicide yet? That’s the only conclusion people can have, if anyone is really sincere about such questions without God. One scientist suggested that we came from amoeba, and the whole world welcomed his idea and developed it more and more that nowadays, they say that our closest relatives are sharks and pigs - people feel really awkward. Another scientist suggested that a big explosion called, Big Bang created the universe and this beautiful earth, and you and me. Many so called brilliant people welcome this idea, but no one believes that terrorists bombing creates beautiful world. People are simply crazy. People say such things not because they have any knowledge about the origin of all these, but because they deliberately deny the existence of God; their whole purpose is to remove God’s name from human society. Don’t be deceived by such lies.

 

What is the truth? God proclaims in Genesis 1:1, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. All things we see and hear about came from God, and all things exist because of God. This simple sentence unlocks the infinite mystery of the universe: What is the universe? The universe is the creation of God. What is the big Pacific Ocean, which supplies unlimited amount of seafood, especially sashimi? It is the creation of God. God made her. What am I? I am the creation of God. God created me and sent me into the world for His absolute purpose. Thats why I am here. Thats what I am. When we realize that we are Gods creation, we can boldly say to the world, I am a child of God. I came from God and I am going back to God.

 

Now, we need to stop a moment and think again about verse 1. We realize that there is God who created us; this establishes a certain relationship between God and us - He is our Creator and we are his creatures. When the relationship is set, then, a certain code of conduct comes. How should we treat him? What should be our attitude toward Him? The fundamental attitudes we must have toward God are gratitude and respect. Our parents gave birth to us, so we honor and respect them - thats our fundamental attitude toward our parents; if anyone does not honor and respect his or her parents, that person is sinning, and even according to Gods commandment, such a person does not deserve to live so long. Likewise, we must honor God as our Creator and appreciate him for creating us, for giving us this life. Romans 1 specifies that mankinds two fundamental sin problems are ingratitude and not glorifying God. Give thanks to God for who He is and for what He has done for you. 

 

Also, now as we recognize Him as our Creator, we come to have a question: Why did He create us? Why did He send us into the world? We must figure it out, because thats the very purpose of our existence - the purpose of our life. And once we figure it out, we must live for it; otherwise, we are in rebellion against God, and we have no direction for our life. These are the two fundamental obligations we have as Gods creatures. How can we know Gods purpose for us? God wrote a book taking about 1,400 years, introducing Himself to us, showing us who He is, what He has done for us, and what He wants us to do. Thats why the Bible is Gods special revelation - He specially wrote about Himself, his works, and his plans. So, now it is mankinds obligation to study the Bible and figure out who He is and what He wants us to do, and once we figure out His purpose for us, we must live for it. 

 

Second, Let there be light (2-25). Look at verse 2. It reads: 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. When God created the earth in the beginning, the earth did not have any form whether square or round; it was formless, empty and dark. Now the earth is beautiful – solid land and beautiful oceans all separated. The earth consists of 70% water and 30% the land. But the earth in the beginning was not like this. All things were mixed together, water and the dirt, gas and oil, and everything else so that it was very sloppy, clumsy and gooey; there was no atmosphere. It had no form, and once anything fell on the earth, it would sink all the way down like a stone in a sloppy, muddy pond. There was no real solid substance either, and there was no light - pitch black. That was the primitive form of the earth in the beginning. It had no beauty, no real value or substance. But verse 2b shows that the Spirit of God was working continuously - the Holy Spirit was incubating this primitive form of the earth, doing His creation work continually. Then, when the right time came, God arranged things properly - dirt to dirt forming the land, water to water forming big bodies of water such as the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean; as a result, the earth became beautiful. 

 

In verses 3 through 25, we see how God transformed the primitive form of the earth, which was formless, empty and dark, into the earth we live on, harmonious and beautiful. The first thing He did was to create light. Verse 3 reads: And God said, Let there be light, and there was light. The first word of God echoed in the universe was, Let there be light. Then, out of nowhere, bright light shone into the darkness, and things became visible. This light is the source of energy and power. That was the beginning, the first day.

 

When we did not know God, when we messed up by doing what we were not supposed to do, we were in deep darkness; we couldnt see any direction, or hope or vision for our life. Then, God created light in our hearts through his words; when Gods word was given to us, we began to some hope and vision for our life, the hope to start all over again, the reason to live, the reason to study and work hard. That was the beginning of our life in Christ Jesus our Lord. About this, the apostle Paul says, For God, who said, Let light shine out of darkness, made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. (2 Cor 4:6) 

 

On the second day, God said, Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water. So, the planet earth was covered with atmosphere, and above it, was the layer of water. Then, on the third day, God separated water from dirt, and made the seas and the land. Then, God commanded the land, Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds. Suddenly, from the land, living plants sprouted and grew up, from little bushes in the desert to the tall and awesome red trees, and all kinds of fruit trees – delicious Washington apples, monkeys favorite bananas, avocados, grapes, peaches, and mostly my favorite: California oranges and big plums. 

 

On the fourth day, God created the sun, the moon and the stars, so that they might serve the earth. On the fifth and sixth days, God created fish in the sea and the birds in the air, and all kinds of living creatures on the land. God created the earth in three dimensions – the sea, the sky, and the land, and filled these three dimensions with all kinds of living creatures. In the sky, the bald eagles, the symbol of the USA, night owls, seagulls, Jack sparrows, pigeons and doves, and in the ocean, killer whales, sharks, turtles, and red snappers, and in the land, tigers and lions, dogs and cats, rabbits and wolves...  

 

During these latter three days creation, we see the expression, according to their kinds, or according to its kinds repeated. God created the plants, birds, fish, insects, and animals according to their various kinds. So far, according to Google, 14,000 different kinds of butterflies have been found; 12,000 species of ants have been found. Ant is small, maybe, less than two inches in size, and it has a simple structure - 3 body parts (head, thorax and abdomen), and 3 pairs of legs. If he designed 12,000 different kinds of ants based on these simple structure, then, it means that he can design more; the only limit is God himself; when he decides to stop, that is the limit. Gods wisdom is infinite. During winter, we see snowfalls – billions upon billion snowflakes fall, but amazingly, all the snowflakes are unique. There are 7.7 billion people in the world, but they are all different from each other, having different DNA; all their pupils are different; all their fingerprints are different. Who could imagine this kind of things? Gods wisdom is infinite. Think about the beautiful sky. We are never bored about the sky.

 

At the same time, whatever God designed came to exist, showing Gods almighty power. With his infinite wisdom and power, God created the world wonderfully - not a boring world at all, but really wonderful, with such great variety. Sometimes,we feel that there is no way out; we feel stuck there. But in Gods eyes who has infinite wisdom and power, there are ways all the time; just turn to God for help and He will guide you out of your dilemma. 

 

By the way, how did God create all these? When we check out the passage, we see the expressions, God said, and it was so repeated. When God said certain words, things were formed according to his words. At Gods command, things that were not there came to exist; at Gods command, oceans were formed and trees grew; at Gods command, the land produced animals and dogs began to bark and horses ran. Hebrews 11:3 reads, By faith we understand that the universe was formed at Gods command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. This shows that Gods word carries Gods mighty creation power. When we think about how we came to have this new life, we see that God did his creation work through his words as well. When one word of God was given to us, Gods word created life in us, that even if we had been dead, we crossed over from death to life - at Gods command, a great miracle happened. There are so many people that are dead on our campuses - their spirit is dead that they cannot show any response to God who is Spirit - it is impossible for them to have any spiritual relationship with God. But when Gods word is heard in them, Gods word creates life in them and they too cross over from death to life. People desire real change in their life; every year, they come up with the new years resolution, but eventually, nothing changes - they are still the same - weak, sinful, terrible. Nothing can save them from their doomed condition. But Gods word can create light and life in them; Gods word can change them from children of destruction to children of God; Gods word can make their lives beautiful and fulfilling. Those who wrestle with the word of God are blessed, because they offer God a chance to do his creation work in their heart and life.

 

Third, It was very good (4,10,18,21,25,31). In each days creation was over, God shared his testimony. Verses 4, 10, 18, 21, 25, and 31 say that God saw what he had made each day, and it was good. It means after creating light, God said, Good! Wonderful! It means that he was satisfied and happy with what was created each day. If anything was not satisfactory, then, like a potter who is not satisfied with his articles smashes them to the ground, God would delete it, and start all over until it came out perfectly as he designed. This shows us that fundamentally, each day, his creatures existed for only one purpose, that was, to please God. Anything that did not please God had no meaning to exist. Light existed to please God. The tress, birds, fish, and animals existed to please God. We humans were created to please God. For his own happiness and satisfaction, God created the world. We exist to please God - this is the purpose of our existence. There are only two ways of life - one is to please God, and the other is to please humans, i.e., ourselves, our parents, our children, or others. We must not live to please humans but God alone.

 

The fact that God made everything to his satisfaction and said, Good, also shows how good all his creatures were. When Mozart composes a music piece and says, Good, it means that the music piece is really good, manifesting Mozarts quality as a musician very well. In the same way, when God, after making a certain thing said, Good, it meant that it was really good, manifesting Gods quality as the Creator very well – his infinite wisdom and his almighty power.  The first thing God made was light, and it was good. Light is still a mystery - how the sunlight travels at the speed of 186,000 miles per second from the sun, and how it supports all the lives on the earth, how leaves of the plants transform the solar energy into delicious food through photosynthesis - such design, power, mechanism and organization all manifest Gods eternal wisdom and power very well. Indeed, the heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. (Psalm 19:1) When God saw this, He was happy and satisfied. In this way, the sun, the moon, the stars, trees, fruits, animals and everything in the universe were well made - simply, they are good, well manifesting God as the Creator. 

 

In verse 25, after creating the animals, God said, good.But after creating man the same day, He shared his joy, saying, Very good! This indicates that humans are his masterpieces. Each person is very great, perfect and glorious in Gods eyeswhen they live in the way God originally designed. In each person, Gods glory, Gods wisdom and Gods power are packed fully. So when God sees him, He says, Wow! Very good! Wonderful! Beautiful! There cannot be any inferiority complex for God-knowing people, who know Genesis chapter 1. No fatalism or defeatism in Gods masterpiece. Some people may brag about how brilliant they are, saying, I am a Harvard graduate, or saying, My nose is higher than yours. Then, we say, I am growing in Gods holiness, becoming like Him in love, in righteousness. I praise God because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Gods works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:14.) God created us so greatly so that we can reveal His glory to the world. This is our life purpose. What is the purpose of our existence? It is to manifest Gods wisdom and power through our lives. Why do I exist? To reveal His glory and please Him! Thats why we must struggle to live inthe way God originally designed; that’s why we must live inaccordance with his will and purpose. When we do so, we are found as pleasing children to God.

 

By the way, the fact that each day in his six days creation, God made everything good shows what kind of Person our God is. He is a good Person who has no ill intention; evil cannot stand before Him. He is a good God. He will never backstab anyone; He will never betray anyone. When you trust in Him, you will never be disappointed. When you entrust your life in his hands, you can be rest assured that He will guide you according to his good and perfect plan, and you will be satisfied. I pray that we all may trust in Him completely and follow Him wholeheartedly doing whatever He asks us to do.

 

In this passage, we studied about Gods creation of the universe. Who is God? He is the Creator who created the universe and everything in it. Because of him, the universe exists. Because of Him, we are here. So we must respect Him and thank Him - we must worship Him. Also in this passage, we learned that God created us so wonderfully and fearfully so that we can manifest His glory, His wisdom and His power. As the heavens declare the glory of God, we too must reveal His glory. Lets pray and struggle hard that we may bring glory to God through our life here on earth. Also lets pray that we may live as His pleasing children in Christ Jesus. 

 

One Word: In The Beginning God Created The Heavens And The Earth

 

 

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