Summary: 1st in sermon series through Genesis. Looks at our Creator God and His significance in our lives.
THE START OF IT ALL
For the next couple of months, with a few interruptions, I intend to preach through the book of Genesis. Genesis is a great book, in the greatest and best-selling book ever written. In Genesis you are first introduced to God. In Genesis you have the beginning of creation. In Genesis you have the first life. You have the first job, the first sin, the first forgiveness, the first marriage, the first children, the first sibling rivalry, and the first murder. In Genesis God judges the world for the first time. In Genesis, different languages are first created. In Genesis you have God selecting a people for Himself.
Allen Rex Sandage, the greatest observational cosmologist in the world-who has deciphered the secrets of the stars, plumbed the mysteries of quasars, revealed the age of globular clusters, pinpointed the distances of remote galaxies, and quantified the universe’s expansion through his work at the Mount Wilson and Palomar observatories-prepared to step onto the platform at a conference in Dallas.
Few scientists are as widely respected as this one-time protégé to legendary astronomer Edwin Hubble. Sandage has been showered with prestigious honors from the American Astronomical Society, the Swiss Physical Society, the Royal Astronomical Society, and the Swedish Academy of Sciences, receiving astronomy’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize. The New York Times dubbed him the “Grand Old Man of Cosmology.”
As he approached the stage at this 1985 conference on science and religion, there seemed to be little doubt where he would sit. The discussion would be about the origin of the universe, and the panel would be divided among those scientists who believed in God and those who didn’t, with each viewpoint having it’s own side of the stage.
Many of the attendees probably knew that the ethnically Jewish Sandage had been a virtual theist even as a child. Many others undoubtedly believed that a scientist of his stature must surely be skeptical about God. As Newsweek put it, “The more deeply scientists see into the secrets of the universe, you’d expect, the more God would fade away from their hearts and minds.” So Sandage’s seat among the doubters was a given.
Then the unexpected happened. Sandage set the room abuzz by turnig and taking a chair among the theists. Even more shocking, during his talk he revealed that he had become a Christian at age 50.
He would later tell a reporter, “It was my science that drove me to the conclusion that the world is much more complicated than can be explained by science. It was only through the supernatural that I can understand the mystery of existence.” (Lee Strobel, The Case for a Creator, Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004)
Funny, that’s what the Bible told us all along.
- Genesis 1:1-8, 14-19
Did you notice verse 1? In the beginning, God created. The word translated here as “God”, is the name Elohim.
I go by, or am known by a number of names. Since I was born my mother has called me Eugene. Many of her friends know me as Eugene, because that’s what she calls me. When I started school, I started going by Gene. Drew knows me as Daddy. Some of you call be Bother Gene, or Pastor, or whatever. I won’t mention some of the names you & others have called me. Names are important.
Here, God is first introduced in the Bible as Elohim. It means, “Almighty” and it means “Creator”. God the Almighty Creator. This name for God, Elohim, the Almighty, Creator-God, is used more than 2,500 times in the Bible, and it is important that you and I understand that God is the Creator, He is the Almighty.
I want you to understand that God is the Almighty Creator. He’s not some little ol wimpy god, dreamt up in the imaginations of men. He is Elohim, the Almighty Creator. He made all things and He created all things out of nothing. He created the heavens and the earth out of nothing. He created light where there was only darkness. He created life. He created you and me. He is the great I AM. He is the Alpha and the Omega. He is the Beginning and the End. Before Him, there was nothing. After Him there will be nothing. He is high and lifted up. He is the same, yesterday, today and forever.
He is God. Elohim. He is the Almighty, Creator. On that hangs much of our theology and understanding of the rest of the Bible.
It is not a coincidence, a fluke, or an accident that one of the first things God tells us about Himself is that He is the Creator. It’s important to our understanding of Him and to our understanding of our relationship to Him.