2015.01.19

Our church has undergone this year to start memorizing scripture.  Each week, the congregation is given a new scripture verse to memorize that week.  This is a great way to begin to write God’s Word on our hearts.  We decided that a good place to begin was where God started it all…Genesis 1:1.

 

Genesis 1:1

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

Im Anfang schuf Gott die Himmel und die Erde.

Dios, en el principio, creó los cielos y la tierra.

“Au commencement, Dieu créa le ciel et la terre.”

Nel principio Dio creò i cieli e la terra.

It doesn’t matter what language you speak (or can read), because of the way many of us read books, Genesis 1:1 is often the first words actually encountered by many people of the Bible.  At least, these were the first words that I remember encountering in the Bible.

There have been so many debates on this simple verse.  I remember one of my first classes at Seminary was “Introduction to the Old Testament.”  It was taught by a very respected scholar in the field, and someone I have come to respect quite a bit.  He spent a considerable amount of time walking us through issues in Genesis.  I don’t think it’s too far off to say that we spent the first three weeks talking just about the issues surrounding Genesis and specifically the creation account in Genesis.  We examined ancient texts from the Ancient Near East written in a time period contemporary to the composition of Genesis, we looked at arguments for the narrative account of Genesis 1 and 2, and we investigated ancient worship liturgies from the Ancient Near East.

All of that to say, these words carry with them considerable weight and authority.  While the Bible is Scripture, the creation account is one that seems to be touted by everyone as something that can be thrown out the window.  On countless universities and colleges around the nation and world, young Christian men and women are hearing from skeptics, teachers, and propoganda spouters that the Bible is unreliable and cannot be trusted because we know the “truth” of evolution.  Let me be clear about evolution for a second: the jury is still out.

I could write until my fingers were blue in the face about evolution and creation, but that would be a very serious side-track.

This scripture verse is about so much more than creation or evolution, it’s about the very nature and supremacy of our God.  “In the beginning GOD…” screams to my heart and makes it leap for joy!  This one single verse emphasizes the immutability of God, the omnipotence of God, and the infinite nature of God.  For many centuries this verse has been read, prayed over, and rejoiced upon because of the wonderful acts of our God.  This verse declares that God is all powerful, creative, and good.  Our God is a God that creates, that brings new life, and that does so simply because He IS.

It’s this God that I want to worship.  It’s a God that is willing to create, and not simply create a world of specified mechanical constructions, but create a world with beings that are capable of making their own decisions, some for good and some for bad; this is the God we worship.  This is the God that speaks to us in many ways, but has given all mankind a text they can approach on their own terms and learn about His good, loving, and creative nature.  The love of this God compels me to learn more about Him.  For this reason we as a congregation are memorizing scripture; for this reason I am challengin you all to join us.

Genesis 1:1

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”