God Created the Heavens and the Earth
Open Your Bible
Genesis 1:1-25, Isaiah 45:12, John 1:1-5, Hebrews 11:3
In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.
All children, except one, grow up.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…
Of all the most memorable first lines in literature, I’ve always loved the opening of God’s Word most:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
When I read these words from Genesis 1, I’m often tempted to focus on the “how” in this opening passage. How has God always existed? How did He create creation? How does He hold everything together? I try mining the text for answers about timelines and processes. But the Bible doesn’t emphasize the “how” as much as it draws our attention back to the “who” at the center of the story: God created. God saw that it was good. Genesis 1 doesn’t explain the details of how God created everything as much as it focuses on the nature of God Himself, the Creator.
God speaks and acts with purpose. He speaks the universe into existence. He moves the sky, mountains, trees, and oceans into place. Animals swarm and plants flourish at His command. None of this happens randomly—each part of the universe is arranged by Him. We live our lives in the world He’s created and sustains with purpose.
God is good, and He made everything to be good. Genesis 1 repeats the phrase, “and God saw that it was good,” six times (we’ll see it a seventh time in tomorrow’s reading). As God reflects on His creation— His handiwork—He tells us it is designed to be good. Later we’ll read how sin darkened the world with sickness and death, deception and decay, betrayal and greed. But it wasn’t created this way. It was created wholly good, and God had a plan to make it whole and good once again.
Our good God wrote—and is writing—the story of the gospel.
For the next two weeks, we’ll read through the movements of this gospel story: creation, fall, redemption, and restoration. The word gospel means “good news,” and that news for us is this: when the time was right, the kingdom of God broke through on earth in the person of Jesus Christ.
In His life, death, and resurrection, Jesus, the Son of God, accomplished what we could not accomplish for ourselves—forgiveness for our sin and reconciliation with God. The Creator demonstrated His love for the created in that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
The gospel story is for you, whoever you are, right where you are today. It is for those who believe, to remind them of the truth that continues to change them every day. And it’s for those who don’t believe, who are seeking or doubting, or anywhere in between.
The opening words of Scripture are the beginning of an invitation to know and be known by the God who still speaks and acts with purpose, and who is working to make all things truly good.