Summary: Making sense of a world gone of out whack by finding rest in the Lord, who is creator and who brings order from chaos
HOW TO MAKE SENSE OF MY WORLD
After watching the movie Cinderella, five-year-old Sarah started using her pinwheel as a magic wand, pretending she was a fairy godmother. "Make three wishes," she told her mother, "and I’ll grant them."
Her mom first asked for world peace. Sarah swung her wand and proclaimed the request fulfilled.
Next, her mother requested a cure for all ill children. Again, with a sweep of the pinwheel, Sarah obliged.
The mother, with a glance down at her rather ample curves, made her third wish: "I wish to have a trim figure again."
The miniature fairy godmother started waving her wand madly.
"I’ll need more power for this!" she exclaimed.
When God made the world we live in, I’m glad he did not have to say I’ll need more power. He just said let there be…
A. Who is God in relation to my world?
1. He alone is creator (1:1). There are no other competing gods. Assumes God’s existence as fact! Written as polemic or an argument against the polytheism of the ancient near east. In other words, Genesis 1 begins with God or Heb. “Elohim” – noun is plural but the verb is singular. Very clever use Hebrew word for the plural suggest intensification, and yet that same word conveys the greatness and power of the One God, it’s been called the plural of majesty (used by royalty). Reveals a personal universe governed by a personal God! That’s why this world has meaning! Not due to chance!
2. He brings order from chaos (1:2-31) Note the common elements of the creation day a) introduction “and God said” b) the creative word “let there be” c) the fulfillment of the word “and it was so” d) a name giving/blessing “God called” e) the divine commendation “and it was good” f) the concluding formula “and there was evening and there was morning – the _______ day. Notice that the 7th day omitted something. The omission of the evening and the morning formula is deliberate. Henri Blocher commented “There can be no doubt about it in a text that has been composed with such exact calculation.” Significance: the 7th day is a day that did not end. The world is in order and so the rest of God continues… It speaks of a God who is an artist, designing the world, leaving his Signature by crowning His creation with something that reflects a creature made in His image, man and woman! Speaks of the Greatest opening ceremony ever!
3. He invites us to rest just as he did on the 7th day (Gen.2:2-3, Ex.20:8-11). To join in the rest. Genesis is a call to faith in God who made this world for me (The fact is God did not stopped working John 5:17). To rest, in His love, He provides all good things, cease to work for your own sense of “I have arrived” or “I made it” or accomplishment. Rather our work is to believe he made it, he has arrived and conquered the darkness, emptiness and filled my world with life. The greatest work/accomplishment of God is you, NOT what you can do for Him, made in His image, invited to rule the world as He rules the universe. And God’s divine favor is on creation- as He pronounces blessing upon blessing on what he has done and finally can say, all is perfect, very good! God invented the holiday. Thank God! Holiday or holy day reminds us who is in charge of my world! The Sabbath is the institution of God that differentiated the Israelites from the other nations of the ANE. What a neat idea, or else if left to us Chinese folks we will work 24/7.
Think with me, what a deal that was for the former slaves of Egypt. Paul Johnson writes in his book A History of the Jews (1987,p,37)“The day of rest is one of the great Jewish contributions to comfort and joy of mankind.” Yeah!
Theologians call man the crown of creation, but the goal of creation is the Sabbath rest! Picture of complete perfection, nothing let undone!
B. What can I do in response?
1. Meditate on God’s creation: Who is God in relation to the world? Genesis 1-2:3 announce God’s completion of creation. Beautiful, perfect, nothing left that is empty, formless or dark. Not debating about evolution vs. intelligent design, not in the mind of writer. Ps. 8, 19. Walk with God in prayer – go out to nature, sing with me how great is our God! God’s purpose for the earth is to be filled with life.
“For this what the LORD says – he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create in to be empty but formed it to be inhabited.” Is. 45:18