Summary: Exposition about Genesis 1:1-25.
IN THE BEGINNING
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth?(1:1).
Welcome to the study of Genesis. Martin Luther said, "Genesis is the womb of Christian faith and all its doctrines." In Greek, Genesis means "beginning" or "origin." Genesis tells us about the origin of the universe, of mankind and civilizations. It also tells us about the origin of sin and God’s redemption, and of God’s covenant with his chosen people. Through the study of Genesis, we can understand the foundation of our lives. We can also understand where the crisis of modern culture began.
Today’s passage teaches us about God the Creator. There is an "egg first or chicken first" kind of question: "Should man know who he is to know God?" or "Should man know who God is to know himself?" What do you think? The author of Genesis proclaims, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Then he explains how the world came into being through God’s creation. Apparently the author guides us to know who God is. Let us think about who God is.
I. In the beginning (1).
What was in the beginning? This is more than a scientific question. This determines a person’s worldview and his whole value system. Nearly one and a half centuries after Darwin, scientists have begun to realize that the theory of evolution is faith rather than reality. At the recent seminar of the most prestigious Evolutionary Morphologists at the University of Chicago, one professor who had been working on evolution for 20 years asked, "Can you tell me anything you know about the truth of evolution?" After a long silence, one person said, "Yes, I do know one thing: It ought not to be taught in high school." In spite of the collapse of the theory of evolution, I presume many people will still hold onto the faith that the world came into being from lifeless material somehow. One biologist at Cornell University, acknowledged the logical end of such a worldview: "No life after death; no ultimate foundation for ethics; no ultimate meaning for life; and no free will."
Man cannot live without meaning. I don’t know if a dog thinks about meaning in life, but certainly man does. We were made to know God and we need to know him. Anthropologists testify that man by nature is incurably religious. Ecclesiastes 3:11 states that God has set eternity in the hearts of men. There is a "God-shaped vacuum" inside each person. He designed us so that we wouldn’t be happy unless he himself fills the void within. St. Augustine gave us this often quoted prayer: "You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you."
Genesis 1:1 declares, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." This verse tells us that the universe came into being by God’s creation. The word "created"(H: bara) is used in the Bible only for God’s act of creating something out of nothing. Here the beginning refers to the beginning of time, space and matter. Mathematics affirms a beginning. Philosophy affirms a beginning. The science of astronomy and physics affirms a beginning. Before the beginning, God was there. God is eternal. God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM" (Ex 3:14) "God" in Hebrew is Elohim which means "The Mighty Ones," a plural noun that always accompanies singular verbs. The name Elohim is the first revelation of God to man. It reveals the mystery of the Trinity that God is three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. "The heavens" refer to the universe and "the earth" to our planet. Though the earth is like a speck in the vast universe, it is the center of God’s creation, for it is a place for living creatures and man to live in.