The opening chapter of the Old Testament has received much attention throughout the ages, for it is here that humanity has found the answers to at least two of the fundamental questions of life: (1) “How did physical reality come into existence?” and, (2) “Who is responsible for it?”
But Genesis 1 tells us more; in fact the emphasis of the chapter may be focused toward another question: “How well did God do?” Throughout the chapter we read God’s self-commendation—He called His work, “good” (vv. 4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31). Thus it may be best to think of Genesis 1 as God’s self-evaluation: here is God revealing that everything went according to plan. God has the capacity to create according to design. It is no wonder then that the Psalmist beseeches even the inanimate figures to praise their Creator (Psalm 148)! It has been said that if the purpose of the universe is simply to house humanity, then it is grossly overdone. Yet if God’s purpose was to reveal His wisdom and power, then—even with the recent advances in stellar exploration—we may be just scratching the surface of understanding the glory of God in creation.
While these thoughts provide us with enough matter for much worshipful meditation, there is a second idea we should consider here. Not only does creation reveal God’s wisdom and power, but it has become the stage for the great drama of redemption. In Psalm 136 we see the connection: verses one through nine accentuate God’s wisdom and power in creation, and the balance of the Psalm recounts the exodus—all with the refrain: “His love is eternal.” God’s redemptive purpose in creation is portrayed in Psalm 33, where the Creator is confessed as the source of national protection for Israel (vv. 12ff.).
But the story of creation does not conclude with Genesis 1-2 and the Psalms. In the New Testament we read that Jesus Christ was the agent of God’s creative acts. The Gospel of John records: “All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created” (1.3). When sin entered the world, Christ’s creative order was marred (cf. Rom 8.19-22). This makes His work of redemption all the more glorious—as Paul wrote:
“He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation; because by Him everything was created, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together. He is also the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He might come to have first place in everything. For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile everything to Himself by making peace through the blood of His cross—whether things on earth or things in heaven” (Col 1.15-20).
This theme is the basis for the storyline of Scripture. Creation not only reveals God’s wisdom and power, but it is also the stage for the redemption of humanity—enjoyed initially by Israel and those associated with her, and later by the Gentiles—through the person and work of Christ. It may thus be helpful to consider at least two questions:
(1) Do you see the wisdom and power of God in creation? If so, then you have every reason to trust Him in the days and months to come—no matter what they may hold.
(2) Is God’s plan of redemption the focus of your plans today? It may be that the account of creation should not only stimulate us to cosmological contemplation, but also to adjust all of our priorities around the advance of the Gospel. In light of what we have read today, any other course may be rightly called “foolish.”
*For a complete list of references, please see scripturestoryline.com