Genesis 1 – Creation
Posted: 26 July 2010 in Genesis

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In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day…….

Genesis 1 does not give a scientific account of creation. That is not its purpose. Instead its purpose is to talk about the great theological truths of God as the creator and sustainer of all that is. It talks about God’s omnipotent word efficaciously bringing about whatever he decrees. God speaks….. and it is. That is a refrain which runs throughout the opening verses of Genesis.

It is this depiction of God’s activity which makes me feel uneasy when God is spoken of as a designer. The word “designer” conjures up a picture of somebody sitting at a drawing board, long into the night, trying to overcome some problem he has encountered. To use that as a metaphor for the omnipotent God, whose mere word gives effect to whatever he decrees, does a grave dishonour to the glory of God. Even the notion of design dishonours him. Genesis 1 describes a universe which is spoken into existence by God, without any other effort on his behalf being necessary – especially not the effort of a designer. God is truly beyond our comprehension, and we must be on our guard against anything which reduces him to something we can more easily comprehend.

Later on in the chapter, the special role of man in God’s creation is mentioned. There may be intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, but the Bible does not address itself to that question. Here on earth, however, man is created so that he can act as God’s representative and rule on his behalf. Being created in the role of God’s ambassador is probably what is meant by being created in God’s image. This clearly makes man into a servant – God’s slave even – and his dominion over creation does not, therefore, give him a licence to do as he pleases with God’s handiwork.

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