What God Says and Does, I: In the Beginning God
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1)
by Everett Wilson
February 18, 2012
The first sentence of the Bible affirms that God is. Then it declares that his first act was to make everything else—all that is included in earth and sky: "the heavens and the earth."
The statement is definitive in what it includes and what it omits. It includes all that is created; it omits a description of "where God came from."
There is no mystery here, no cover-up. This was the absolute beginning, when there was nowhere to come from. "God is" does not refer to the beginning of God, because God is the beginning of everything that is not himself—of what human philosophy calls the "cosmos," the Bible calls the "heavens and the earth," and we call "stuff."
The stuff and its invisible internal motion were simultaneous with its creation. Time was its consequence, requiring concepts such as then, now, early, late, before, after, development, decay, deterioration. Atomic speed meant that nothing stayed the same long enough to be observed and understood; in any case, at the instant of creation there were as yet no human observers to understand it. The only Observer was the Doer. Only God, from his eternal vantage point outside of creation, could comprehend it
After humans were created, we learned an awful lot from observing the stuff, its intricate movements, and its relationships within itself; but we have also been discovering, grudgingly, that investigation of existence produces inference and speculation, no hard data, about pre-existence.
So the Bible stays away from that discussion to state, in the indicative mood, that God created. The Bible still tells us this, and will keep saying it to the end of time.
"In the beginning God." Everything follows from that beginning. Keep in mind that our subject is God, not the stuff he created. It we take "In the beginning God" as it stands and commit our hearts and minds to follow where it leads, our response will be two-fold, We will conform to the reality thus created, and we will worship its Creator.
to give and give, and give again,
--"Not here for high and holy things"
By G.A. Studdert-Kennedy
In The Oremus Hymnal.
About the Author:
In this series Everett Wilson invites his readers to join in him in a straightforward understanding of God as the Bible speaks of Him. Wilson holds advanced degrees in theology from North ParK Theological Seminary and Lutheran Theological Seminary in Canada. Some of his books are available through Amazon and Amazon Kindle.
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