Summary: The first in a series of 6 sermons that look at these foundational chapters of the Bible (Gen 1-11).
You’ve seen it in the news. Thousands of the world’s top scientists are collaborating in experiments on the Large Hadron Collider. The Collider is the world’s most powerful particle accelerator. It’s in a 17 mile long tunnel, 328 feet beneath the Swiss and French borders. The Collider will generate nearly 1 billion collisions between protons per second. Smashing the beams together at the speed of light will create showers of new particles that should re-create conditions in the universe just moments after its conception.
It’s the most ambitious and expensive civilian science experiment in history. It cost $7 Billion to make. It’s taken 20 years of preparation. And the other day..... IT BROKE DOWN!!!
Mankind is very, very clever. But you can’t help comparing the best we can do with the creative work of God in Genesis 1... He didn’t break down, he didn’t overheat! He just says, Let there be...
Before we look at the text I want to make 2 comments about science and scientists:
1. Christians shouldn’t fear science and scientists! The fact that they can be scientists itself points to God. You see, scientists can only do their work by studying the patterns and laws that exist in the natural world. There is a pattern, there is an order, a design in the universe. So they can study it. There is a design because there is a Designer. Many scientists would agree.
The universe is complex. But it functions with amazing order. It takes more faith to believe it all happened randomly than to believe there is a creative Hand behind it.
2. Science can help us to worship! It can unravel some of the beautiful complexity of the universe for us. Scientists tell us our galaxy is spinning at the rate of 490,000 miles per hour. But it will still take 200 million years before it makes just 1 rotation. Some scientists think that there are as many stars in the universe as there is sand on our sea shores. That makes me read Psalm 19:1 with real conviction: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.... they display knowledge.”
But at the end of the day Genesis 1 isn’t concerned with the ‘origin’ of God. It isn’t concerned with the question of evolution. It isn’t concerned with arguments about how literal these 6 days were. It isn’t concerned with how God might have created and collided protons at the speed of light to form matter.
But Genesis 1 IS concerned with teaching us some timeless truths about God, Us and Creation.
I) Important Truths about God
It shows, 1, how God is eternal. In the beginning God. Get over it!
It shows 2, how he is all-powerful. He creates with a Word.
It shows 3, that God is a creative God – a God who delights in detail and differences.
It shows 4, he is an orderly God – he’s not chaotic, he works in days or stages.
It shows 5, he is a resting God – he’s not obsessed with work. He creates the concept of a day off! We ignore this at our own peril!
II) Genesis 1 teaches us Important Truths about Us
with wonderful rhythm The text builds to a climax. There is light, sky and water, land and seas, sun, moon and stars, fish and birds, there are animals. Then suddenly a new part of God’s creation takes centre stage - Man. It says:
We are unique in creation – in all creation it’s only humans that share God’s image. Verse 26. Just like God you and I can think, we can speak, we can create things, we can have relationships. As Genesis will show us, we can have a relationship even with God himself. Here we see that humans are valuable – each one is an image of God. Pantheists tell you you are a pitiful slave of the gods. Many of today’s scientists tell you you are an accident of chance. The Bible tells you you couldn’t be more special. You are the image bearer of God. You life couldn’t be more significant. It couldn’t be more valuable. So important were you to God that he would send Christ to die for your sins and rescue you.
If you came to church this morning feeling worthless, I pray you’ll go home knowing how valuable you are to God.
Secondly, Genesis 1 says we have God-given responsibility for looking after the earth. They must protect and tend and nurture the earth. If you’re wondering if Christians should be concerned about the environment, wake up and read verse 28! God’s people should be those who press for good creation care. God’s people are against waste and greed and careless treatment of God’s creation. Not because it’s trendy, but because God says so.