Summary: Genesis begins "In the beginning God..." What does that mean for us, and what does rest of the first chapter mean for our lives?
(It’s a video “Creation Calls” by Brian Doerksen. I immediately followed video with quote by Abraham Lincoln and then immediately began to read from the entire chapter of Genesis 1)
Abraham Lincoln once said: “I never behold (the heavens filled with stars) that I do not feel I am looking in the face of God. I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how he could look up, into the heavens and say there is no God.”
Genesis 1:1-31 (READING AND PRAYER)
The very first book of your Bible is called Genesis.
Genesis means “beginnings”
It tells of the beginning of the world.
The beginning of mankind.
The beginning of sin.
The beginning of sacrifice for sins.
And the beginning of God’s special relationship with the people He’d created.
Someone has said that it’s nearly impossible to fully understand the rest of the Bible unless we understand the very first 12 chapters of Genesis. Those chapters form the FOUNDATION of the rest of what the Bible is all about.
For example, notice the very first words of Genesis:
“In the beginning… God”
Before anything else happened… there was God.
Scripture DIDN'T start out:
“In the beginning, the earth was without form and void.”
OR “In the beginning before the sun and solar system existed”
OR “In the beginning in a land far, far away”
It simply says "In the beginning… GOD”
Many people get the mistaken impression that the Bible is Geo-centric (Geo - “Earth” as in Geography)
In other words they believe the Bible is centered on the earth and mankind. And that’s partly true.
Bit the Bible is actually “Theo-centric” (Theo - ”God”)
It’s centered on God.
Hebrews 1:10-12 says: "In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed.
But you remain the same, and your years will never end."
Everything in scripture is built - not so much around the earth or man - but around God.
Now, why is that important?
Why is it important that the Bible starts out saying “In the beginning God?”
1st – because God formed the earth.
He created it. He owns it. It belongs to Him.
We may be actors on the grand stage of life, but God owns the stage. He owns the props. He owns us. Everything that you see and touch in this world - belongs to God.
ILLUS: A group of scientists got together and decided they no longer needed God. One of them said to God, “We’ve decided we no longer need you. We can do all kinds of things through science. We can even clone people and make body parts, so we just don’t need you anymore.”
God listened patiently, “Let’s have a man making contest just like in the days of Adam.”
The scientist agreed and bent down to grab himself a handful of dirt.
And God smiled and said, “No, no, no – you get your own dirt.”
It’s all God’s.
Everything is His.
Once you figure that out, everything else in Scripture begins to makes sense.
But you have to START with God.
The 2nd reason Genesis starts out saying “In the Beginning God" is because without God nothing else matters.
Nothing has purpose. Nothing has real value.
You take God out of the picture and you end up with an empty, meaningless universe.
ILLUS: About 50 yrs. ago, a man named Hugh Morehead wrote several famous people - people who were accomplished and had made something of their lives - and he asked if they’d help him by telling him what they thought of the following question:
“What is the purpose of life?”
* Isaac Asimov wrote back, "As far as I can see there is no purpose to life."
* Arthur Clark, the author of “2001”, wrote, "I'm afraid I have no concrete ideas of the purpose of life."
* A famous American Philosopher Thomas Nagle "I'm afraid the meaning of life still eludes me"
* Comedian Fred Allen replied. “I say: ‘Life is a slow walk down a long hall that gets darker as you approach the end.’”
* With a sense of resignation Joseph Heller (author of “Catch-22”) wrote, "I have no answers to the meaning of life and I no longer want to search for any."
These are famous people. They were people who had “arrived” in their respective fields of endeavor. They were successful in this world… but they were apparently people without God in their world. And because of that - they had no answer as to purpose of life.