“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” – Genesis 1:1
A 6-year-old little boy was browsing a book about the universe. The book contained a lot of pictures of the moon and planets in our solar system and the different constellations. And although he could read what is written there, there were a lot of words and concepts he did not know or understand. Nevertheless, he was utterly fascinated. Closing the book, he ran to his mother and asked, “Ma, saan ba galing ang lahat?”
We have heard a lot of stories like this, of children wondering about the world and how everything came to be. Some would answer the question by trying to explain the Big Bang Theory, only to be confounded by a follow-up question as to what caused the Big Bang in the first place. While scientists, scholars, and philosophers try to think of a reason about the origin of the universe, the Bible has a short, simple, and direct answer. It is found in the first verse of the first chapter in the book of Genesis: everything, the universe and all things in it were created by God.
We learn several things about God from this short and assertive verse.
On God’s Being
The first part of the verse, “In the beginning, God,” reveals to us three things about God.
First, God exists. Written unapologetically and stated as fact, God is. There is no hint of any doubt here. Think about it. God is! If you have ever thought about how meaningless and hopeless life is, here is the good news. God exists. That fact alone has changed many people’s lives, given them hope that there is more to life than barely trying to survive. Are you despairing? Are you lonely? Are you sick? Does life feel like you are going through a dark tunnel that has no end? Do not fret. Look ahead. Look up. You are not alone. Because God exists.
Second, God is eternal. God was in the beginning. The beginning of what? The beginning of everything. Before the universe existed, He was already there. He has no beginning and has no end. Indeed He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. This means that God is the one thing that is constant at all times. He does not change. Therefore, if He loves you, there will never be a point at any time when He will stop loving you. People who love you can change and hate you for one reason or another. But know this, God is eternal. His love is eternal. And so, His love for you is eternal. Let this be a comfort to your lonely heart.
Third, God is primary, everything else is secondary. Since God is the creator of our universe, our reality, He is the most important being of all. He is the source of life because He is Life. The Bible says in Hebrews 1:3 that Jesus, the Second Person of the divine Triune Godhead and “the exact imprint of his [the Father’s] nature,” “upholds the universe by the word of his power.” Meaning, every thing’s existence depends on God’s power and His will to allow them to exist. This shows us not only His greatness, but also his goodness and graciousness, allowing everyone to be, including those who oppose Him, deny Him, and are apathetic to Him.
But perhaps you are looking for some direction in life. Go to God. Let God be God in your life. Give him the primary place in your heart and mind and He will guide your steps (read Proverbs 3:5-6) and you shall have peace that surpasses all understanding (read Philippians 4:7), even during times of extreme hopelessness and helplessness.
The realization of God’s existence, His attributes and character, evoke different feelings for different people. Some feel gratitude, relief, hope, and a desire to worship a great and awesome God. Others remain doubtful and skeptical. Some, even hostile.
But no matter how you feel about God, I appeal to you. Consider carefully what the Bible is saying. Consider the one and only true God who created all things, is eternal, good, and gracious.
We will learn more about God when we discuss the next half of the verse in the next article.