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Still Waters: Devotional Thoughts

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."

Modern scientific reasoning is right about this, the physical universe had a beginning. The question is when and how. Was that beginning billions of years ago? Did it happen through chance, through random, unplanned and uncontrolled events? That is the conclusion that most in the world of science have reached. As I type these words, I am looking out a window through trees at Pressley Mountain that sits opposite of Anderson Mountain where our home is located. The sun has just risen and is shining in my eyes, warming me and causing shadows on the back sides of the trees in my view. The sky is cloudless and the morning is brisk and cold. My mind contemplates the thoughts that I am typing, sends the message down to my fingers and then, pressing the right keys on my IPad, those words and thoughts appear. The IPad is pretty amazing. It speaks to me of smart minds that planned, designed and built this unique tool sitting on my lap. It is not nearly as amazing, however, as this world around me that I am contemplating looking out the window, or the means by which I view it and contemplate what I am seeing. Creation far exceeds any accomplishment of mankind. The IPad screams to me of intelligent design and human ingenuity. The creation around me screams even louder of an All-knowing, All-powerful God that “created the heaven and the earth” by His intelligent design and glorious omnipotence. (See Job 26; Psalms 33:6-7; John 1:1-14; Colossians 1:15-17)

“In the beginning God....” Acceptance of the Biblical account of creation takes faith; faith in God and His Word. Does belief in evolution not take faith also? Yes, it does, for evolution, like creation, is not a provable fact. One would think that last statement to be false if you listened to some when they speak of their facts of evolution’s theory, but the theory is unprovable. We must be honest to say that neither is creation, or the existence of God for that matter, a provable fact. How does one consider which of these explanations of the material universe makes the most sense? The answer to that question is that the facts that are available must be considered.

The Apostle Paul wrote of that in Romans 1 when arguing the need for Christ’s salvation; a need that is present in all. He stated, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse....” (Verses 18-20) His reasoning is that when the material universe is examined, with all of its amazing intricacies and wonders, no other logical conclusion can be reached but that there is an Almighty God Who created all things. So clear is that evidence that all are “without excuse” when it comes to accepting the fact of the existence and power of God.

If another generation of humanity in some distant future were to find buried in the rubble of our day an IPad, do you think for one moment that they would conclude that it came into existence from the right elements being present in that rubble for billions of years coming together in the right proportions naturally? Absolutely not! They would quickly conclude that brilliant minds worked together over a period of time, through trial and error, failure and success, to manufacture that amazing little device. Intelligent design and manufacturing genius would be the only logical explanation. Creation screams even louder that all of this amazing creation came into being through the wisdom and power of Almighty God.

Why then have so many in our world today determined that God either does not exist, or that if He does exist, He cannot be known and creation was not the work of His power? Note what Peter wrote in 2 Peter 3:5-7, “For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” Willful ignorance means that when truth is revealed, men choose to reject it because of its implications. If I accept the fact that there is an Almighty God that created all things, then I am accountable to Him. I must face the reality of His existence and of my need to acknowledge His Word, His demands and my guilt before Him. Paul wrote, “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.“ (Hebrews 4:13) The facts are simple. There is an Almighty God that created all things and all are accountable to Him. These facts must either be accepted or rejected. For some the choice is rejection, and evolution’s theory provides for them an alternative to facing the reality of God.

There is another angle of creation and evolution that must be considered. Some in the world of professing Christianity have chosen to accept evolution as God’s means of creation. Theistic evolution accepts all of the claims of science that argues for billions of years of natural selection and random events resulting in the material universe. They have no problem believing that man came through the process of development from lower and simpler life forms over billions of years. This, however, is merely a way of molding Scripture and the belief in God to fit unbelieving man’s opinions; an effort to make Christianity more acceptable in our modern world. In reality, this is man creating God in his own image rather than God creating man in His. The Apostle John wrote, “We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” (1 John 4:) Theistic evolution is of the “spirit of error” and is unacceptable as an explanation of creation, and must be rejected by those who have faith in God and His Word.

In Hebrews 11:6, we read the following words; “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” He that comes to God must believe that He is God. Can we fully understand God? No! As far advanced as mankind has become over the centuries in every field of consideration, he is still incapable of fully understanding the Infinite, All-knowing and all Powerful God that created all things. He that comes to God does so through faith, believing that He is. The way Paul introduced that great chapter on faith in Hebrews speaks volumes; “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) Substance and evidence come through faith. As vast and measureless as this universe is, and as complex and amazing are all of its components, I can hardly understand how God spoke it into being. Consider your own body and all of it’s organs and how they function. How did God create such things? I cannot answer that question except through faith. I cannot accept that all of this wonderful creation came into being by chance, but I can accept that God spoke it into being. That is why the first four words of the Holy Bible are so important and so full of meaning and thought; “In the beginning God....” Can you accept and believe those simple words that describe such a profound and far reaching truth? Can you believe in God?

Consider one last thought on those first four words in the Holy Bible, “In the beginning God....” If there is an Almighty God that created all things, a God of infinite wisdom and power, would that God seek to be known by His creatures, or would He so design this master plan of creation in a way that we could never know Him, experience Him and appreciate Him? “In the beginning God...” is the beginning of His revelation of Himself to His creatures so that they might know Him. Paul’s statement quoted earlier about the natural world being such a strong testimony of the existence of God that it renders mankind inexcusable condemns unbelief. However, there is not enough witness in the material universe to bring clarity of thought concerning God, His Person and Will. For this there must be a clearer, accessible revelation available. That revelation is God’s Holy Word. Through the Scripture, God made Himself known to us, and gave us the opportunity to have a relationship with Him. That relationship, as we learn through His Blessed Book, is through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. “In the beginning God...” began a work through which men and women, boys and girls might know Him and have a relationship with Him through faith in the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. The greatest privilege of God’s crowning jewel of creation, mankind, is the opportunity to know, love and enjoy the Creator. Do you know Him?

Verse 1 is a simple statement declaring that God created the universe: “heaven” which speaks of the atmosphere surrounding the earth, and the region beyond that we would refer to as space; and the earth, the planet that God prepared to be inhabitable. The verses following explain in greater detail the processes of those acts of creation. We often speak of someone being creative, or refer to their works as their creations. These human acts of creation, however, differ from that referred to in Genesis 1:1. An artist takes materials that exist and uses them to “create” a work of art, a painting or a sculpture. The artist’s canvas, brushes, and paints are all materials that he uses to “create” his masterpiece. A songwriter takes words that exist and arranges them in musical cadence to produce his or her “creation.” When God produced His “creation,” He spoke all things into existence, not using materials that existed beforehand. God brought all things into being through the power of His word. Some might say, “I refuse to believe that God created all things from nothing, and will not believe until it can be proven in such a way that I can understand it.” As acknowledged earlier, God cannot be proven and neither can creation. Again, Scripture declares clearly, “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” (Hebrews 11:3) The creation of the universe is accepted by faith in those who believe God and His Word.

Pastor Steve


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