There is a profound depth and startling simplicity about the opening chapter of the Bible.
The great philosophers have found that they are out of their depth in Genesis 1.
Nevertheless, a little child can sing in simple faith: “God who made the earth, the air, the sky, the sea, who gave the light its birth, careth for me.”
Simple, childlike faith is of vital importance if we are to appreciate what the Lord is saying to us through the Bible’s first chapter.
Many, who regard themselves as great scholars, miss the whole point of the Bible, because they come to God’s Word with a critical spirit, arrogantly dismissing those parts of Scripture which are not to their liking.
The way of childlike faith is scorned by those who portray themselves as the great intellectuals. They do not hesitate to disregard the teaching of the Scriptures and turn away from the God whom the Scriptures proclaim.
If we are to be truly wise, we must pay careful attention to the first four words of the Bible: “In the beginning, God”
This is the starting-point for understanding the Bible.
It is also the starting-point for understanding the meaning and purpose of our life on this earth.
It is no accident that God is the subject of the first sentence of the Bible.
The word, “God“, dominates the whole of this first chapter of the Bible.
The word, “God” catches our eye at every point as we glance over the Bible’s first pages.
First and foremost, Genesis 1 is about God. Essentially, the Bible is a Book about God.
If you read the Bible for any other reason than this: to learn about God, you are missing the point of the Scriptures.
We do not have the right to treat the Bible with contempt, as though it was a thing of little value.
As those who have been created by God, we must bow before His Word and receive its teaching.
When we read the Bible, we must open our minds to receive the instruction of God’s Word.
We must give our wills to the doing of God’s will.
We must allow our emotions to be grasped by the God of power and love, the god who created us in His own image that we might learn to know Him, love Him and serve Him.
As we allow the Word of God to instruct our minds, control our wills and fire our emotions, we will learn to see our whole life in relation to God.
When we ask the question, “Why am I here on this earth?”, we must go back to the prior question, “Who put me on this earth?”
Here, the first four words of the Bible must dominate our thinking: “In the beginning, God”.
Reading on from that first verse, we will discover that the God of the Bible is the God of power and the God of love.
From the Scriptures, we learn that God’s power is a loving power and His love is a powerful love.
The power of God and the love of God belong together.
It is in the light of God’s loving power and powerful love that we discover the meaning and purpose of our life.
God, in His power and love, has created us that we might to learn to live as His people, seeking to serve as His purpose of love.
God’s purpose of love is truly amazing.
When you consider the sinfulness of your own heart and the sinfulness of our world, it would be easy to imagine that God would give up on us as a lost cause. God has not given up on us. The Cross of Jesus Christ makes it perfectly clear that God loves us with a truly wonderful love.
If we ever doubt the reality of God’s love for us, the Word of God brings us back to the Cross of Christ.
When we think of God the Creator, we must allow our thoughts to turn also to Jesus Christ, our Saviour.
Here are some thought-provoking words from Helen Steiner Rice: “How wonderful to contemplate and to know that it is true that He who planned the universe gave us our Saviour too.”
We began by stressing that the words, “In the beginning, God” provide us with a starting-point for understanding the meaning and purpose of our life on this earth.
It must now be emphasized that the beginning of Genesis is only the beginning of the Bible’s answer to the question of life’s meaning and purpose.
From the Creation, we must move on to the Cross. From the Garden of Eden, we must move on to the Garden of Gethsemane.
In the Garden of Eden, we learn of our creation in God’s image. We also learn of mour fall from God, because of sin. It is only as we move on to thje Garden of Gethsemane that we really come to see the full extent of God’s love for us.
The Garden of Eden leaves us with a sense of our sin. The Garden of Gethsemane brings us to an awareness of our Saviour.
It is great to know of God’s activity in creating, sustaining and directing the universe. It is an even greater blessing to know that you are a new creation in Christ and that you are being kept for and directed towards a heavenly destiny which is far greater than anything you will ever know in this earthly life.
How wonderful it is to know that the “God who made the earth” is also the “God who sent His Son to die on Calvary.”
May God grant that each of us may know Him as our Saviour as well as our Creator. Knowing Him as both your Creator and our Saviour, you will know the true meaning and purpose of your life.