In the Beginning
By Mary Kroeger
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)
It’s hard for us to wrap our minds around something that is foreign to our experience and understanding with its limited information. Yet this short sentence catches our attention, brings understanding, births questions and stirs our imagination! In the beginning! The beginning of creation! What needs to be present before the beginning? How is a beginning produced? What is the purpose of this beginning?
We are acquainted with beginnings, but not with a beginning where there is no material to produce the beginning. We may have a design for something in our mind, but without the necessary resources to bring it into existence, it remains hidden. The beginning gives us some information about the design, but it still leaves many questions unanswered.
This verse tells us that God is the creator. So we know that He existed before the beginning of creation. Since God existed before there was a beginning of creation, He cannot be a created being. He cannot have a beginning, for there was no one to create Him and no one to birth Him. Without a beginning there is only eternity. He is an eternal God! He always IS! The eternal cannot change. If it could change it would not be eternal. The eternal is invisible to us.
Before creation, there was no visible realm, nor was anyone present to be aware of this fact except God! Since God is eternal, He is invisible to our eyes. In order for us to know Him, He has to reveal Himself to us! If we don’t believe the revelation He gives us of Himself, our imagination will kick in and give us a false image of God.
“In the beginning God created…” God is the Creator, and a creator births an idea, a picture of something in his mind, and then brings it into existence. He has purpose and an objective for his idea. To reach his objective, he needs to follow a carefully laid out plan, have the materials needed to produce the design, and then build what he has designed. Here we see that the eternal God is both the designer and the producer of something new. He had an objective and a purpose in mind.
Since God is omniscient, He knew His plan would succeed in spite of the difficulties. He knew what would happen. He knew His Son would have to die. He knew the problems you and I would face. He knew He had the ability to do His will. He wanted a perfect bride for His Son and a great family created in the image of His Son! He would not have any failures! His plan was not revealed in the beginning, but would gradually unfold. It would be revealed in the pages of the scriptures and then in the fulfillment of the writings.
God had and has, a careful, well laid-out plan! As His plan unfolds, it increasingly reveals His wisdom, love, righteousness and ability! It had a great beginning – the creating of the heavens and the earth. What a beginning!
To our surprise, God’s beginning includes more than we would think of as a beginning! As we consider the vastness of the universe, the starry heavens, the planets, the galaxies, etc., it’s difficult to think of them as a beginning. Then the focus narrows down to planet earth, the planet for which God has a special plan. Its beauty and complexity reveal the wisdom and ability of God! It does not take a lot of intelligence to see that the creator of the universe had a plan, a purpose and wisdom that is beyond our ability to comprehend! The universe marks the beginning of God’s plan!
Since only the eternal God existed before He began to create, from where did He get the materials needed to create? Here our natural logic runs into a problem. How could He create without materials to work with? It is impossible to create out of nothing! Special materials, tools and ability are needed to create something. Since there was only God, and God is spirit, He must have created out of Himself! “By faith, we understand that the universe has been framed by the word of God, so that what is seen has not been made out of things which are visible.” (Heb. 11:3) This tells us that the unseen realm is greater than the seen realm! Our amazing God was not only the designer and creator of the heavens and the earth, but also the source for the substances needed to create!
We have confidence in the things that we see and understand. Only by faith will we believe that the unseen is greater, and that God and His promises are truth even when they are in the unseen realm! We also know that according to God’s Master plan, the unseen will come into the seen realm!
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” God created the heavens first, and then prepared the earth for habitation! Both are just the beginning of God’s Master plan! The heavens declare the glory of God! The earth reveals His handiwork! Our relationship with the earth comes in Adam, for he was formed of dust. Our relationship with God comes in life, for God blew His breath into Adam’s nostrils, and he became a living soul. Our relationship with the serpent began when Adam and Eve obeyed him, and God gave the serpent dust to feed on! The serpent could now feed on, and promote the thoughts that have their source in the death realm of the carnal mind.
In Jesus Christ, the perfect image of the invisible God, we have the revelation of the very being of the invisible God! In Him we receive a revelation of God’s unending love, His great forgiveness, and His marvelous salvation! In Christ we see God’s plan and goal for humanity! We shall all be changed into His image! “But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him." (1 Cor. 2:9) We need all the 66 books of the Bible to reveal the working out of God’s wonderful plan for all of creation!
God works in an orderly plan to bring us out of the darkness we were in and into the light that He is. This is exemplified in the days of creation. Each day began in the darkness of evening, and ended in a greater degree of light called morning. From evening (darkness) to morning (light) – one day. “And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” (Gen. 1:5) Here day does not refer to a 24 hour day. It is only from evening till morning. Instead, it is from darkness to a greater measure of light. Each day began with a measure of darkness (evening), and ended in a greater degree of light (morning). These days do not speak of a measure of time, but of a measure of light.
Even as in the beginning God created by bringing light into darkness, so He now creates His image in us by progressively bringing light into our darkness. Jesus Christ is the light, so as we receive greater revelation of Him, we come into greater light in our understanding! Israel also experienced this progressive revelation of God. In the revelation of His names and by His acts, He revealed Himself progressively to them. The exact revelation of the invisible God came in Christ – the very image of the invisible God! Christ is the Light, the Truth and the Way to God! He takes away our darkness - our false image of ourselves and our false image of God.
We all come into this world in the darkness of our sin nature. (Rom. 3:23) In Christ, the light, we are a new creation. (2 Cor. 5:17) In Christ we begin to know God! We don’t realize the extent of our darkness until the light exposes it. God’s progressive revelation of Himself to us, progressively removes our darkness. In the various trials and challenges we encounter, we learn to know God. We experience His love, faithfulness, ability, grace, mercy and trustworthiness! We learn that self-centeredness is darkness, and Christ-centeredness is light! With every experience in the obedience of faith, the light becomes brighter! Only the light that Christ is, can remove our darkness!
God is the Creator! The days of creation teach us the necessity of light in order to bring forth life! They also teach us that God is the Giver of light and life! He has to speak His words of life into us in order to remove our darkness! Nothing that had its source in SELF had anything to do with creation. It was ALL God!
Even as the creation of the heavens and the earth is God’s workmanship, so we are His workmanship! (Eph. 2:10) We are saved by His grace! (Eph. 2:8-9) His life in us is light! There is no darkness in Him! (1 John 1:5) Our growth in light and life brings us an ever-increasing knowledge of the depth of His love and ability to do His will!
Since God is the creator of all things, and there is no evil in Him, how did the devil come into being? Jesus said that there was no truth in the devil, and there never was any truth in him! In fact, he is the father of lies! (John 8:44) Lies did not exist until he was created. Since there never was any truth in the devil, we know that God created a spirit that did not have truth, nor did it have the ability to receive truth. Without the knowledge of truth, this spirit would always be against truth. Anything that lacks truth, is a lie. Since the devil is void of truth, he only speaks lies!
We know that the devil existed before Adam and Eve came into existence. So we conclude that the spirit world was included in the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth.
Why did God’s plan for creation include the existence of a devil and all the evil and misery that would result? The scriptures tell us that all things were created by Jesus Christ, and though Him and for Him! (John 1:3; Col. 1:16) God had a wonderful plan for His Son! He was to receive a great inheritance - an ever increasing multiplication of images of Himself! An image of Himself would have to know evil and hate it, even as God hates evil! Without this knowledge and hatred of evil, man could not be in the image of God! So God designed a plan and a way that this could be accomplished in Christ and through Him! Through Christ’s death and resurrection the sins of the whole world were taken away! In Christ we become a new creation! All things will be made subject to Him! After all has been subjected to Him, He will hand all to the Father, and God will be all in all! (1 Cor. 15:28) This is the fulfillment of God’s plan for creation! Praise His wonderful name!