Bible Lesson: Genesis 1:1-23
Theme Verses: Vs. 1-2 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
How life came into being? Was life created or it came by chance? Which is authentic: biblical creation or scientific discoveries? Does human evolved from monkeys or they are God’s creation? What was the duration of creation: six days or millions of years? There are lots of questions we grapple with regard to the origin of the universe. Humans are still trying to answer them with their limited understanding. Bible is the Word of God and it should not be taken as a manual of scientific theorems. However, it does touch upon some scientific areas with the concern to know the mind of God behind creation but it is not meant to teach us science. Galileo Galilee said, ‘The Bible teaches us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go.’ Interestingly, those who contributed to the scientific revolution making modern science were the priests. They received inspiration from the Word of God and acknowledged God’s power behind every discovery. Their faith in God of the Bible as well as their interest in exploring the universe helped them to reveal great mysteries of the universe. Genesis is the most important book in the Bible because it gives vital information regarding the origin of all things – universe, order and complexity, solar system, atmosphere and hydrosphere, origin of life, man, marriage, evil, language, culture, nations, religion and chosen people. When the writer of Genesis begins with ‘in the beginning God created….’ Through this he tried to address two major issues: Firstly, God’s presence was there before anything came into existence thus refuting man’s idea of atheism. Alister Mcgrath (former atheist and now a renowned theologian) said, “Spiritually, God is the oxygen of my existence; I would find it very difficult to thrive without a belief in God.” Secondly, God is the source of creation (visible and invisible) thus rejecting all scientific theories (particularly Big bang and Evolution) which tries to prove the origin of universe without the role of God. Scientific theories reflect the efforts of scientists but unfortunately there is no consensus within the scientific community because it has some loopholes. ‘By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible (Hebrew 11:3).‘
Genesis gives systematic, perfect and wondrous work of God who created the world that flourishes with abundance and diversity. Creation expresses the creative and purposive mind of God. It is an excellent expression of coordination of Triune God where God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit works together. The first two chapters lay the foundation of the creation theology and also present the spectacular picture of biodiversity. The sovereign Lord speaks and creation responds which depicts Creator’s authority over His creation. For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm (Psalm 33:9). Further in Psalm 92:5-6 Psalmist says: ‘How great are your works, Lord, how profound your thoughts! Senseless people do not know, fools do not understand.’ Really God’s works are marvelous and to understand His works we need to trust Him. Why His works are great? David in Psalm 8:3-4 describes God’s perfection in setting every created thing in its proper place which human mind cannot understand. Now science after centuries through the understanding of anthropic principle believes that the whole cosmos, from the very beginning, was ‘fine tuned.’ The life as we know it today would not have been possible if conditions had been slightly different. E.g. Oxygen comprises of 21% of the atmosphere. If it were 25% fires would erupt, if 15%, human beings would suffocate. Secondly, if the rotation of the earth took more than 24 hours, temperature differences would be great between the night and the day. If the rotation period was shorter, atmospheric wind velocities would be great. Likewise there are plenty of examples like these.
In vs. 2, God shapes and adds life and light to the formless and lifeless earth. He labors for six days to make a waste land transforming into a beautiful Garden of Eden. Similarly, when our lives get dull, darkened and smitten by the hopelessness, He creates New Life in us. God sends His Son to be the light of our lives (John 8:12). The Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:6 writes, ‘For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” Through this Paul draws a parallel between the original separation of light from darkness and the conversion of a sinner where a saved sinner displays God glory. God’s light strengthens us and gives us the New Identity in Jesus Christ. He is so amazing and incomprehensible that in order to give us a new life He died on the cross of Calvary. His interest in us is immeasurable. As Christians we need to acknowledge the work of God in bringing up this creation as well as His involvement in our lives as well as in the Church today. Our hearts should always be filled with thanks and praise as we see ourselves and beautiful fine-tuned creation of God.
I sing the mighty pow’r of God, that made the mountains rise,
That spread the flowing seas abroad, and built the lofty skies.
I sing the wisdom that ordained the sun to rule the day;
The moon shines full at His command, and all the stars obey. Isaac Watts