1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7 And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. 8 And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
9 And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
11 And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.
14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.
20 And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” 21 So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.
24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.
4 These are the generations
of the heavens and the earth when they were created,
in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
If you held a grasshopper in your fist, what could the grasshopper know about you and your nature? Maybe two things. First the grasshopper would realize that you are big and powerful enough to hold him. And, second, the grasshopper would know that you are worth fearing because you could crush him in an instant.
The grasshopper would know more about itself as well – how small, weak, and helpless it is. And it might try to do different things to keep from being crushed – like wriggling around to creep you out so you drop it.
The same is true of us and knowing God. Left to our sinful selves, all we can know about God is that He is bigger and more powerful than us, and that He should be feared because He can destroy us. And you see people do all sorts of silly things they think will keep God from crushing them.
The ancient Greeks would do all sorts of things to appease the gods they thought were in control of the various parts of the universe. The Muslims do everything in submission to Allah to show their obedience. Today, atheists try wriggle their way out of God’s hand by lying to themselves that they aren’t in His palm. And, sadly, even us Christians try to do things that we think will make God more pleased with us. But all of that is based only on false perceptions of who God really is.
So, go back to thinking about a grasshopper in your hand. How could that grasshopper know more about you and your nature? For that to happen, you would have to become a grasshopper and talk to it in grasshopper terms and interact with it as a grasshopper.
This is what God has done for us in Jesus. Jesus, the eternal Son of God, came down in our likeness and our nature. If you want to know what God is like, the answer is found only in Jesus of Nazareth.
Apart from Jesus, all we can know about God is that He is big and powerful, but once Jesus enters the equation, we see that God truly is merciful and gracious just as He says He is. With Jesus in the picture, everything that God does becomes the story of how God loves us, creates and cares for us, redeems us, and sanctifies us.
As you heard the account of creation, I hope you had the opening verses of John’s Gospel running in the background of your mind informing what you were hearing. If not, here you go:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. For from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, He has made Him known” (Jn. 1:1-3, 14, 16-18).
So, sinners, hear of God and how He is. Though you are a sinner, deserving nothing good and having nothing loveable about you, God died so that your sin could be set aside, answered for, and forgiven.
Because of this, you no longer need to be afraid of the God who, in the beginning created you. He is your Father because of Christ’s atonement on the cross.
Now, when you look at the Scriptures and see all of God’s actions, look at them through the lens of what Jesus has done for you on the cross. See how in the beginning, God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit was there creating all things good. See how even now, God is sustaining all creation even though we have sinned against Him.
See how God moved the course of history so that at the fullness of time He sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law to redeem us who were under the Law (Gal. 4:4).
See how God the Holy Spirit uses the Scriptures to convict you concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment (Jn. 16:8).
When you are convicted of sin don’t flee from God. Flee to God because He has died for you. Be convicted of your righteousness recognizing that your righteousness does not come from what you have done, but what God has done for you in Christ. Be convicted of judgment knowing that when you appear before God with hands that are empty of good works, God sees all the works of Christ and His blood which covers you.
And know, that according to Jesus’ command, you have been baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Mt. 28:19). God has placed His name on you and will not ever forsake you.
The infinite, unfathomable, and incomprehensible God, in His boundless mercy, has created you. Though you sinned against Him, He has come and redeemed you. And He is pleased to lead and guide you through His Word.
Today, rejoice and sing, “Glory be to God the Father. Glory be to God the Son. Glory be to God the Holy Spirit. Glory be to the One, true God, now and forever because He has shown mercy to us.” Amen.
The peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.