“In the Beginning God…” Genesis 1:1
“In the beginning God” may be the four most important words in the Bible. This is the introduction for everything else that is to follow. If we do not understand it correctly, all conclusions regarding life, meaning, and purpose will be flawed. If you start in the wrong place, it is unfeasible to build a life that will fulfill its ultimate purpose and destiny.
Getting to the correct destination can be challenging if we do not begin in the right place. Before GPS, if you wanted to give someone directions to a location, you had to know where they were starting. It is not enough to say go West for 2 miles, turn left for three blocks, and turn right for several hundred feet, and your destination will be on your left. Directions like that presuppose an accurate starting location. So, we should not be surprised at where people end up if they do not start at the right place.
There are many things about God, Creation, history, and many other things that I do not wholly or, in some cases, even partially understand. Yet based upon what I do know, life would be futile and meaningless without “our sure foundation.” Faith is taking God at his word even when we do not understand.
Consider Psalm 131: “Lord, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I don’t concern myself with matters too great or too awesome for me to grasp.” Psalm 131 (NLT) The ways of God are beyond my ability to comprehend (Isaiah 55:8-9). If my effectiveness in leading people to Christ depends upon my ability to explain the mysteries of God, not many people will be impressed.
Two truths serve as an anchor for my faith. The first one is these four words at the beginning of the Bible, “In the beginning God,” and the second is acknowledging that God is good. Some of you may be disappointed that I did not say that my faith was based on John 3:16 or point out the centrality of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as being the fundamental truths upon which my faith rests.
Rest assured, I consider all of them to be of great importance, but even those great truths must rest upon the acceptance that God is eternal, that everything started with him and that he is good and has good intentions toward us. The cross would be meaningless if God were not there at the beginning of Creation, and if he were not good, he would not have come to the earth as a man to save us from our sins.
A Greater Reality
Many things in the Bible seem to the ordinary human mind like impossibilities because they defy reality as they know it. A few examples were when the sun stood still for Joshua and the army of Israel, Elisha, and the floating ax head. How did Noah get all those animals on the ark? I would not even attempt to give you a scientific explanation for any of them, but because I believe by faith in those first four words of Genesis, for me, no further clarification is required.
However, for those who do not believe those first four words of Genesis, no explanation will be sufficient. Therefore, the attempt to convince them of the validity of the miraculous supernatural power of God can be a pointless endeavor. Still, if we accept by faith that those first four words of Genesis are true, then we must also believe that nothing is impossible for God. If you want answers to all your questions before you put your trust in God, it will never happen.
He First Loved Us
Additionally, the first four words of the Bible serve as a foundation for who we are to be in Christ. In a genuine sense, the message of redemption begins in Genesis 1:1. Elsewhere we find confirmation of this fact. Revelation 13:8 reminds us that Christ was “the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.” Or “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes” Ephesians 1:4 (NLT).
There was a song many years ago that said, “When He was on the cross, we were on his mind.” He thought of us before the beginning of Creation. When we begin to understand that we have been part of his plan from the onset of Creation, we begin to exude the confidence that comes from knowing that God loves us.
Other verses in the Bible may bring us more joy, give us more comfort, stir our imagination, or inspire us. But I propose that unless we comprehend the significance of the anchor, reference point, and beginning that is given to us in Genesis 1:1, we will have difficulty navigating through our doubts and the mysteries that confront us.
There are many things that I cannot explain, but I have quiet confidence in the one who spoke everything into existence and who provided a plan along with a perfect sacrifice that enables you and me to live as sons and daughters of the Most High God.
In the end, it is not scientific proof that draws people to God. It is a combination of the Holy Spirit speaking in the heart, “convincing the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment,” along with the witness of the transformed lives of those who have committed their lives to God that has the most significant impact on people. As Paul said to Timothy, “I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day” 2 Timothy 1:12 (NIV).
We must anchor our lives in the assurance that God was there in the beginning. We remember that he had a plan for the redemption of humanity before he created the world. Finally, “Christ in us is the hope of glory.” These are the most effective tools in our witness and testimony. Always remember: “In the beginning God!”
Image Credit: NASA (1968, Apollo 8, Earthrise)