Genesis Ch. 1v1: How It all Began!
By Ken Humphries
Now, as we come to the first book of the Bible, the book of Genesis, I am assuming that you have a least some knowledge of the New Testament otherwise you will be somewhat confused. No one can come to the Old Testament and immediately understand it, for anyone to understand the Bible we must begin in the New Testament! WHY? Because the key; to the Bible is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Having discovered that Jesus Christ died on Calvary’s Cross for you, “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures;(1 Corinthians 15v3-4), having discovered that Jesus Christ is the one whom God sent into this world to make a way back to Himself “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6v37), having discovered that Jesus Christ is the promised sin bearer “Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1v29) then you can turn to the Old Testament with the key to open all God’s wonderful truth’s.
Someone said “The New Testament is in the Old concealed; The Old Testament is in the New revealed”
The New Testament is a revelation of the Old Testament, but until we know the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord the precious truths of the Old Testament will be like hidden treasure to us, never to be revealed. The Old Testament is a dark store house unless we have the light of God to show us the way and reveal to us its secrets. It will be dark to one who has no light, but Christ is the Light of revelation to all who are saved.
The Hymn writer put it well:
When we walk with the Lord
In the light of His word
What a glory he sheds on our way
While we do his good will
He abides with us still
And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
So I trust the wonderful book will be a blessed study for us indeed!
This first chapter of Genesis is one of the most God-cantered chapters in the Bible. God is mentioned by name some thirty two-times in thirty one verses. Add to that the use of personal pronouns, and He is mentioned no less than forty-three times. The idea being, on the very first page of Scripture the Holy Spirit brings us into the presence of God and keeps us there. Is it any wonder the Devil hates this book so much, is it any wonder he has tried so hard to discredit this book?
This book is a revelation of the Greatness, Grandeur and Glory of God!
Disbelieve the book of Genesis as factual and unreliable, declare that it is mere mythology, say it is simply a doctored up copy of the Babylonian creation story, complain that it is totally unacceptable to the thinking of modern science, and Satan has won the day. You see, if the Holy Spirit cannot be trusted when He speaks about creation, how can He be trusted when he speaks of Salvation? If the Holy Spirit is unreliable when He speaks of earth in Genesis 1 can we believe what He says about heaven in Revelation 22? If we cannot trust the Holy Spirit in Genesis 1 how can we trust Him in John 3v16?
“In the beginning God” What an amazing statement! There it stands in all its powerful force. Notice—no attempt is made to dilute the statement, no attempt is made to apologise to a sceptical world for the statement, no attempt is made to make an argument to prove that God Is! Notice again—the Holy Spirit simply brushes aside any idea of atheism by accreting His existence, He brushes aside any idea of polytheism (more than one) by declaring Himself to be one, He brushes aside any idea of pantheism (God is everything) by separating Himself from matter and other teachings.
As I have said this is not an argument about God; it is a statement: “In the beginning God” therefore the Bible is going to be a revelation of God, and that is what it is. Nobody can understand the Bible unless they will accept those first four words; and if you accept that, “in the beginning God,” the entire Bible will be plain to you. If you do not accept that, you cannot go any further in your understanding of God.
You see when we accept, “In the beginning God” we will not be surprised about anything we read. If this book is about God, it must contain a lot that we will not understand until we see Him face to face.
Lets take that phrase for a moment “In the beginning God.” You have!
The Revelation Of The Creation Of The Universe-----
1. The Unknown Date Of The Performance! (In the beginning)
“In the beginning”… “God” Genesis Ch. 1v1:
“In the beginning”… “The Word” John Ch. 1v1:
“In the beginning”… “Thou Lord” Hebrews Ch.1v10:
2. The Unquestionable Deity Of The Performer! (God)
“He spoke and it was done” John Ch.1v1-5 + v9-14:
“The worlds were framed by the Word of God” Hebrews Ch. 11v3:
God stepped out from behind the curtain of nowhere stood on the platform of nothing and made everything!
3. The Unlimited Power Of The Potentate! (Created) (Bara—Created)
God created--The universe—The Creatures—Humankind:
Even Lucifer Was Created--Ezekiel Ch.28v11-19: Isaiah Ch. 14v12-17:
4. The Unbounded Greatness Of The Power! (The Heaven and The Earth)
“The Heavens And The Earth” Gen. Ch. 1v1:
The Atmospheric Heavens: The Stellar Heavens: God’s Heaven:
“And thou Lord hast laid the foundation of the earth” Heb. Ch1v10:
“And the heavens are the works of thine hands” Heb. Ch.1v10:
5. The Unchangeable Principle Of The Truth! ! (In The Beginning God)
In The Beginning of Inspiration—It had to be God!
In The Beginning of Salvation—It had to be God!
In The Beginning of Sanctification—It had to be God!
When anything that ever had a beginning began, it began with God!
Anything that starts with me fails! It must be God working through me!
My ability, my knowledge, my gifts, my prowess, my presentation is not enough: “But the anointing which ye have received of him abides in you, and you need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is true, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, you shall abide in him” (1 John 2v27).
Now of course he is not saying we do not need others to teach us? Look for text! When the apostle asserted that believers do not need other teachers, he was not advocating a mystical anti-intellectualism that spurns all human teachers. On the contrary, the Lord has give the church godly pastors, elders, and teachers “for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4v11-12 + 1Cor. 12v28).
John’s point is that believers must not rely on human wisdom or man-centred philosophy (1 Cor.1v18--2v9 + Col. 2v8) but on the teaching of God’s Word by Spirit-gifted human teachers and the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit.
If we are going to succeed for God it must begin with God!
“In the beginning God!”
To make God a momentary Creator who once and for all finished his work would be cold and barren. . . . We see the presence of divine power shining as much in the continuing state of the universe as in its inception. John Calvin:
And since this book is about God, it must be a revelation.
God must be revealed to us.
We live in a world where God cannot be seen.
We live in a world where God cannot be found.
If the human race, in its present sinful condition, comes to know God, it must be God who reveals Himself; so in this book we have the revelation of God.
Dear people, the Bible is a revelation of something which we could not otherwise find out. For example: God did not reveal all the powers that exist about us, such as electricity, you see down through the generations mankind has been given certain insights and abilities to discover and finally harness such things for himself.
Mankind may say, well, I am a worshiper of nature, “I go into the woods to worship.” Well, he may. He can take with him a microscope and turn over some leaves he has walked upon, there he may find some little creatures that only live for twenty-four hours that cannot be seen by the naked eye and they are just as perfect as the heavens above. He may find and can find what God has created, but he cannot find God. You can find God’s footsteps, but you cannot find God. If we are to know God, He must reveal Himself to us. He must show Himself in some way!
Can you by searching find out God? Can you find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is (that is, the study of God), as high as the heaven; what can you do? (Job 11v7-8).
We are told that Christ is exalted higher than the heavens. If you have to find Christ where he is, higher than the heavens, how are you going to do it? The study is as high as heaven. What can we do? Why, man can’t find out even the things he sees here, the more he looks at them the more he wonders and marvels at them. It is as high as heaven; what can you do? Deeper than hell; what can you know? (Job 11v8).
What does any man know about hell? Only what the Lord has told us and that is all! What do we know about God? Only what God has told us. You see if there is no book that has come from God to inform our understanding about God then we remain in the dark with respect to our knowledge of God. But Praise The Lord! He did leave us a book, He does tell us about Himself, He has given us a wonderful Revelation about Himself in this book we call the Bible. For all the Gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens (Psalm 96v5).
Now do you see the distinction there? The heathen nations have their idols, and they call them gods, but they are not gods like our God. There is one remarkable difference; there is not a nation that ever created the idea of God in the form of an idol that made that god the creator of heaven and earth. That belongs alone to the Bible, to our God, the Almighty, the Eternal, and the Great I Am! The false teachings of the nations about their gods never rose to the height of saying that a certain god created the universe. But that is the very first statement in the Bible: “In the beginning God Created.” So God the creator is the revelation of this book.
Think of that statement again! “In The Beginning God” Now that gives us a statement of two things: the first, God Exists, God is; and the other statement is that God always was. Don’t you see the gods of heathen nations were themselves created; they never get back to the beginning where their gods began. But notice this powerful, potent statement; “In The Beginning God” He was already in existence. So those first four words give you the eternality of God in one single statement, and in believing it beloved, means there is nothing strange between the covers of this book.
Therefore when we read, “In The Beginning God Created” Genesis 1v1 we have a statement that tells us, the world in which we live, and the heavens we live under, are indeed the handiwork of our Great and Holy God. My reason for labouring this point dear friend is, by the time we leave this single point of God as creator, we will so believe this great and wonderful truth we will have no doubt at all about any other truth we find in the amazing book.
As said earlier, if we cannot believe God in Genesis 1 and what he says about creation how can we believe what He says in John 3v16 about salvation?
If God cannot be trusted to tell us the truth about earth in Genesis 1 how can we trust Him to tell us the truth about heaven in Revelation 22?
There is an important thought here: the importance of Genesis 1 is emphasized by the constant use of a significant figure of speech, the polysyndeton (polli-sindi-ton), which always shows up in the King James Version by the multiple use of the word and. Count up the “ands” in Genesis 1, there are almost one hundred of them.
In our every day writing, of course, it is usually considered improper to have more than one conjunction in a sentence. Not so in the Bible! (The polysyndeton is one of the most common figures of speech in the Scriptures. It can be seen in clearly in Genesis 22, Luke 15, and indeed in many other passages, look for it, you will see it every where. The polysyndeton is used to slow us down and draw our attention to each phrase or word thus joined together, what’s the idea? I believe the Holy Spirit would have us weigh every word and phrase, for He is writing with great precision.
I repent me of the ignorance wherein I ever said that God made man out of nothing: there is no nothing out of which to make anything; God is all in all, and he made us out of himself. He who is parted from God has no original nothingness with which to take refuge. George Macdonald (1824-1905)
It is so impossible for the world to exist without God that if God should forget it, it would immediately cease to be. Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (1813-1855)
A house testifies that there was a builder, a dress that there was a weaver; a door that there was a carpenter; so our world by its existence proclaims its Creator, God. Rabbi Akiba Ben Joseph (C. 40-135)
To me it seems as if when God conceived the world, that was poetry; he formed it, and that was sculpture; he coloured it, and that was painting; he peopled it with living beings, and that was the grand, divine, eternal drama.
Emma Stebbins (1816-1876)