Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
The book of Genesis was written by Moses for the people of God around 1445 BC. He began with the best explanation of who God is: the creator of the universe.
Notice first, the universe began to exist. There was a time the universe did not exist, and this is powerful evidence for the existence of God. If anything is clear to us, it’s that something cannot come from nothing. If there was nothing more than a single grain of sand in the entire universe, it would still prove that God exists, since out of nothing, nothing comes.
Nevertheless, some have argued that the universe is eternal. And if it always existed, then it did not need to be created. But in the last century scientists discovered the universe is expanding and, therefore, had a beginning.
If you play the movie of an expanding universe backward, you will see it become smaller and smaller, until it no longer exists. And if you play the movie forward again, you will see the universe pop into existence at a particular point in time. An expanding universe proves that it is not eternal, but had a beginning—just as the Bible teaches.
Notice second, the greatness of God who exists outside time and space, and is the best explanation for both. When I was a child I tried to imagine the beginning of time. I traveled back to the very first moment when everything began. But then I wondered, What was before then? Then I traveled to the edge of space where I could only imagine a massive brick wall. But then I wondered, What’s on the other side of that wall?
We cannot imagine the beginning of time or space, but we can easily think of the God who made them both. Time and space find their source in God, and lead us back to him.
Notice third, nothing is impossible with God. Unbelievers scoff at biblical miracles like the virgin birth of Christ (Luke 1:35), and the resurrection of Christ (Matthew 28:1-7). This is understandable, since by their very nature, miracles are rare and hard to believe.
However, if you accept the first and most spectacular miracle of the Bible—that God created everything out of nothing—then there is no reason to think he could not part the sea (Exodus 14:21-22), make the sun stand still (Joshua 10:13), or preserve a man inside a fish (Jonah 1:17). Nothing is logically impossible for a God who creates everything out of nothing.
Genesis 1:3 God said, Let there be light, and there was light.
But God did not make the sun for another three days (Genesis 1:16), so we ought to think about where this light came from. The best explanation is that it came from God himself. God is light; in him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5), wrote John.
After God made the world, he began to reveal himself. He did this progressively to Adam and Eve, Abraham, Moses, the prophets and many others. God revealed himself more and more until he came in the person of Jesus Christ who said, I am the light of the world (John 8:12). Isaiah didn’t say it; neither did Jeremiah, Ezekiel or Daniel. Only Jesus Christ could say, I am the light of the world, because only Jesus Christ is divine.
And coming to Christ is like God turning on his light in our hearts. For God, who said, Let light shine out of darkness, made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6), wrote Paul. We live in spiritual darkness until we understand the gospel. Then, suddenly, the light comes on.
Through Jesus Christ we come to know God, not by argument or inference, but directly and personally. There is excellent evidence for Christianity, but we are not Christians primarily because of the evidence. We are Christians because Jesus Christ revealed himself to us through the gospel.
Nor is he done revealing himself. The city [of God] does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp (Revelation 21:23), wrote John.
Notice the progression: God said, Let there be light, and there was light (Genesis 1:3). Then he revealed himself further to Abraham, Moses and the prophets. Then he came in the person of Jesus Christ who said, I am the light of the world (John 8:12). Then he made his light shine in our hearts (2 Corinthians 4:6). And soon, we will live in the city where God himself is the light (Revelation 21:23), because God is light; in him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5).
Genesis 1:16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.
Moses wrote for the Israelites who spent many years in Egypt. There they learned about the sun god, the moon god, and many other gods. Moses had to teach them that those gods do not exist. The God who just redeemed them created the sun and the moon. He also made the stars.
Credible estimates put the number of stars in the sky to be more than all the grains of sand on earth. To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing (Isaiah 40:25-26), wrote Isaiah.
But God was just getting started. After he made the stars, God created birds, fish and every other creature (Genesis 1:20-25). Over a million species of life on earth have been catalogued, and that is probably only a tenth of what exists. If the name BOB written in the sand proves intelligence at work, how much more the world and all its amazing creatures!
Hummingbirds are a fine example of God’s intelligent design. They are the smallest birds in the world, and some weigh less than a penny. Their wings rotate a full circle allowing them to fly forward, backward, sideways and even upside-down. They fly about twenty-five miles an hour, and can dive up to sixty miles an hour. Some can fly over twenty hours without rest, and migrate over two thousand miles. They breathe over two hundred times a minute, and their hearts beat over a thousand times a minute. They visit about a thousand flowers a day, and pollinate every flower they visit. How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all (Psalm 104:24), wrote the Psalmist.
Reflection and Review
Why does the first miracle make it easier to believe other miracles?
Why did Jesus claim to be the light of the world?
How does creation prove that God exists?