5. bold and brave image-bearers

Men are designed to be IMAGE-BEARERS.

The final aspect of masculinity is seen in the fact that men are the glory of God.  “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” (Gen. 1:26)  Here we come full circle.  To be made in God’s image is to be a dominioneer or lord like him over the earth.

As an image-bearer we are representative of God, responsible to God, and reflect God to the world around us, namely our closes relationships.  “For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man.” (1 Cor. 11:7; cf. v.3; Eph. 5:23-24)

What is the significance of a man leaving his head uncovered before God represent?  Just as the woman covers her head to respect man, the man uncovers his head to show there is nothing between him and God.  Man uncovered respects God position and authority.  An uncovered head is a symbolic gesture that takes the hat or crown from man’s head and honoring the hat or crown upon the King of kings.

It is the image of God that man bears and no other.

Us men are prone to bear many images.  We sport jersey with our favorite team, we wear polo’s with our company name, we represent our roles as parents or grandparents with special t-shirts.  Yet the most important image we bear is God’s.  It’s an image you can’t wear.  It’s what you are.  You are a walking, talking billboard of God’s glory.

Putting this all together, we should have a good idea of where we are going or where we are to go.  Throughout the remainder of Genesis we see Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph struggling to adhere and apply these aspects.  Men are lords—lovingly conquering and subduing, husbandmen—patient and hardworking, saviors—hating and fighting evil, sages—learning from the wise, and image-bearers—worship with our heads uncovered.  Together those aspects show us what biblical masculinity looks like.  I want to look like that.  You too must want to look like that.  With God’s power we can.

DISCUSS:

  • How does man reflect the image of God and woman the image of man? 
  • What does it mean for a man to worship God with his head uncovered, but for a woman to worship God with her head covered? 

REVIEW: 5 Aspects of Biblical Masculinity

  1. lords of the earth
  2. tillers tending the earth
  3. saviors delivering from evil
  4. sages seeking wisdom
  5. bold and brave image-bearers

1. lords of the earth

Before taking a road trip it is a good idea to know where you are going.  Have you ever just got in a car and thought, “I don’t need to plan, I think I know the way”?  That is not a good idea in Chad.

I have a friend who drove a bus or semi through the Sahara desert from Sudan to Libya.  He worked with a team of chauffeurs who knew the sand covered road well.  They’d pack double the amount of food, fuel, and spare parts they thought they’d need.  They knew the route well.  They even buried barrels of water every 50 kilometers along the route in case of future emergencies.  One trip he saw an abandoned bus that had broken down.  It wasn’t broken down long, but in the desert you may not see another vehicle on the road for weeks.  What he saw shocked him.  There were 80 people dead.  The little food they had was scattered about, but they got so thirsty they drank the diesel fuel.  They were desperate.  What they thought would prolong their life only shortened it.

I have been lost in the bush once at night.  It was one of the most nerve-racking experiences of my life.  My trust was in a bush taxi driver and his knowledge of the bush roads, which are almost like reading a Choose Your Own Adventure novel.  Thankfully I am here to tell you about the adventure!

Sometimes life as a man can feel a lot like a Choose Your Own Adventure novel.  Yet it is a good idea to know where we are going.  It’s not wise to think,  “I don’t need a plan. I think I know the way.”   What men end up doing is drinking the diesel fuel of their cultures definition of a man and dying a quick death.  God doesn’t want you to be dead, but alive.  Let’s be sure we know God’s idea of manhood and masculinity.

We will look at Five Aspects of Biblical Masculinity from the beginning chapters of Genesis.  While this isn’t an exhaustive list it is a basis for understanding God’s idea where a man should be going.  When these are neglected or resisted the consequences for you, your marriage, and you family are very harmful. Today we will explore the one aspect and the next 2-weeks we’ll discover the other four.

Men are created to exercise LORDSHIP over the earth.

Man was created to exercise dominion in the earth (Gen. 1:26-28).

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.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 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

These verses describe WHO created us, WHY we were created, HOW we were created, and WHAT we were created for.  God created the world but He mandated that men be the dominioneers over the world that God created.  That doesn’t mean we are the lords and everyone or everything else is the serf or peasant.  That is domineering, God’s idea is dominioneering.

Did you have a fort or tree fort as a boy?  My first fort was in a willow tree.  It was low to the ground but well hidden.  There is something within every boy and man to want to conquer and subdue.  As a boy the terrain might begin in the backyard, but as a man that terrain expands to endless places.

In Genesis, the domain starts in the garden with man.  Adam is set there to take care of the garden, name the animals and walk with God.  The domains gradually expand to a woman, children, family, field (work), nation, and heart. The amount of domains to care for can be complicated for most men. For many Western men the Lazy-Boy and office are their easiest domains, while they struggle to have lordship over the other domains.

I see the abuse and neglect of the lordship mandate at its extremes everyday in Africa.  Many African men can be passive, distant, self-righteous, abusers, and womanizers.  Women in Africa have a very hard life.  They carry the wood, cut the wood, carry the water miles from the well to their home, till the hard earth, care for their children while their husbands are gone for weeks and months at a time.  All the while the majority of the men do as little work as possible.  The same man will complain to me that their life is very hard and they have no money.

Men were made for more than this.  God-hardwired within men is a desire to conquer and subdue.  Yet countless men abuse it or neglect that desire.  Some will say that man’s responsibility to exercise dominion ended with the Fall, but that is not true since God repeats the mandate again after the flood (Gen. 9:1-3).  While sin seriously affects our ability to fulfill this command, it doesn’t remove the responsibility placed on you by the command.

Jesus repeats the mandate himself when he said in Matthew 28:18-20, “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth (his domains) has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations (your domain), baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Men, your mandate is to conquer and subdue the world, the office, the home, your marriage for Jesus name.  You are lords of the earth following the Lord of the earth.  As you let him be Lord of your life, you will be a better lord over your domains.

DISCUSS:

  • How do see men abusing or neglecting the mandate to be lords over the earth? 
  • Where are the most difficult terrains for men to gain lordship and why? 
  • What do you learn from God about the right way to exercise lordship or dominion?  
  • How is a Christian man even more responsible to be a lord of the earth? 
  • What would you share with the African man I meet?

let there be light

christmas-star

This message is used by permission from my good friend Brian. Brian is a former physicians assistant and shepherd. Now Brian is serving the gospel to the least reached. He is living the Words he wants you to hear. Be a light in darkness this Christmas…

2 Corinthians 4:6 “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

For the first time in my life I made the connection between this passage and the creation account in Genesis 1.  The opening verses of Genesis are some of the most well known verses in all of scripture, right up there with John 3:16.  And we’ve probably heard or read these words at least 100 times before. But now I was beginning to make the connection between God’s strategy for saving the world and that which He was breathing into a visible and tangible form at creation.

Genesis 1:1-5 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 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. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.”

Every time I’ve read this or heard it, I always thought, Wow, God is a powerful God.  He is amazing.  He is a creative and awesome God.  For by the breath of His mouth, the universe and all of creation was called into existence.

But there is something even more amazing being spoken of in this passage.  Something  that I had never seen before.  Something that pulses deeper than even the glory and majesty of creation.  And its something that existed long before Genesis 1 ever did.

And that was God’s plan for redeeming the rebellion of humanity and winning His bride back to Himself.  I want you to see that when God called forth light out of the darkness, it was pointing to Jesus.  But not only was it poetically prophesying the coming of Christ, it was manifesting God’s design and call upon all those who would follow Him.

So I think there are 2 vitally important things we need to learn from this passage that relate directly to our lives as we pursue after God and seek to be imitators of Christ.

Light Shines in the Darkness

The first is that light was created to shine in the darkness.  Genesis 1 paints such a clear picture of this.  It starts out by saying that darkness covered the face the deep.  In other words, it was crazy dark.  You know, the kind where you can’t see your hand when it is right in front of your face.  And it was into this that God says: “Let there be light.”

Now I want to be clear about this because the practical applications of this are costly.  Its fun to talk about and intellectualize, but to change our lives to bring them in alignment with the truth of what this teaches is a whole other story.  So I want to make sure we are all on the same page here.

God did not call forth light to shine in the light.  It wasn’t because “light” covered the face of the deep that God says “Let there be light.”  It was because there was darkness.  God said, “Let light shine out of darkness.” Light has a created purpose and was designed to exist and shine in the darkness.

So now we have to begin to deal with the implications of this for our lives.  Because we are that light.  We are the light that was redeemed to shine in the darkness.

Matthew 5:14-16 says “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

Now I just want to make one clarification.  We are not the Light capital “L.”  When this passage says that “you (and I) are the light of the world,” it means we are the light of the world like the moon is the light of the night.  The moon is just a big round pile of dirt.  It has zero ability of producing light.  But when you go outside on a dark night and look up into the sky, the moon’s brightness can light up the night.

And we say, look at the moon. Look how bright the moon is shinning.  And in doing so, we ascribe or we attribute the ability to produce light to the moon, when in reality, it is only reflecting the light of the sun.  It can’t make one tiny shred of light itself.  And so it is no different for us.

In this passage and anywhere else in Scripture for that matter, when you see it referring to us as the light, just know that it is not us that is the light.  We only shine when we are reflecting the Son, “S-O-N.”  And just as the moon was created to shine in the darkness by reflecting the sun’s light, so we were made to do the same.

So the first issue we have to deal with is where are we shinning? I have to tell you.  I was so convicted by this, that as a youth leader I had the audacity to be so excited about taking our students on summer mission trips.  And I would get so excited about being this great beacon of light in those dark areas for one glorious week every year, but I did little to nothing to shine in the darkness the rest of the time.

And now Becky and I find ourselves living in the very neighborhoods that we served on our mission trips to those places and all I could think about is moving somewhere else.  It was good enough to do for a week on a mission trip, but to actually live there and start to raise our family in such a place was hard to come to grips with.

God is not calling us to have an experience every now and then when we shine in the darkness.  Its not about having this special little time in our lives once a week every year where we turn the light on for a little while and pretend this is how we live all the time or this is how we would live all the time if we only had the opportunity.  Because we do have the opportunity.  It just takes sacrifices that if we admit it, are probably not willing to make.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I’m not saying we shouldn’t do these things.  Engaging in short term missions is absolutely necessary.  I’ll be the first one in line when given the chance and I’ll be the biggest cheerleader encouraging anyone and everyone to go.  All I’m saying is that what happens in the that week should simply be a reflection of what happens in our lives every single day.

You see, I have come to the humbling place in my life where I began to realize I was doing all this “stuff” for the Kingdom, but it was all being done in the light.  I was involved in this and I was involved in that, and it was all good and worthy stuff, but it wasn’t about shining in the darkness.  I found I was just fooling myself behind this disguise of advancing God’s Kingdom without actually setting foot in the darkness.

His Kingdom is a Kingdom of Light.  No matter how hard we work or what great things we accomplish in the light, His Kingdom is already present there.  And if we are going to be a people who are about advancing His Kingdom, it can only be done in the darkness.

We were called into His marvelous light in order that we might shine in the darkness.   This means that our lives must be lived out in the those places.  Now I’m not saying that everyone needs to move to the inner city, but some of you might.  Some of you may need to go home and start packing boxes.  And don’t be looking round at your neighbor right now, cause I’m talking to you.  And maybe its not about where your home is, but where you work or where you go to school.

What I am saying is that we need to take a good hard look at where we are shining.    And we need to stop making excuses for keeping our distance from the darkness.  Its not comfortable.  Its too hot.  Its not safe.  The school district isn’t good enough.  Its too far.  Its too hard.  Its too costly.  It takes too much time.  It doesn’t align with our goals, or our family or our future.

To be a light in the darkness is costly.  It is not safe.  It is not always comfortable.  It is certainly not the easy way to live.  But why would be dare be content with anything else?  Don’t settle to be a light among lights.  Don’t compromise for the sake of safety or comfort.  We have but one candle to burn, and I’d rather burn it out where people are dying in darkness than in a place that is flooded with lights.

God Separated the Light from the Darkness

The second thing I want us to see is that God separated the light from the darkness.  That is, God set apart the light to be different.  While the light was created to exist and shine in the darkness, it was made to be fundamentally different from it.  When God created the light, there was no question as to which one was which.

God didn’t make a light that most days of the week looks like darkness except on Sundays.  Or one that maybe shines all week except for Friday and Saturday night.  And He didn’t make a light with a motion detector so that when left alone it was identical to the darkness, but as soon as somebody came around, it would turn on as if it had always been on.

Light doesn’t look anything like the darkness.  And there are some pretty hefty ramifications for our lives because of that.  It doesn’t walk the same.  It doesn’t talk to the same.  It doesn’t act the same.  It doesn’t spend its money the same.  It doesn’t have the same goals or values.  It is different from the darkness in every way, but yet was created uniquely to exist in beautiful harmony with it.

And this separation in essence is why we exist.  Because this is what distinguishes light from the darkness.  This is what separates believers from everybody else on the face of the planet.  Because the goal of the darkness is to make much of itself, but the purpose of the light is make much of Christ.

How is it then that the lives of sinful humans can display the glory of our Almighty God to the world?  How is it that we who are so little can make much of One who is so great?  I believe the answer is to echo the cry of John the Baptist found when he said in John 3:30, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

John Piper said this: “This is why we exist – to display the glory of God… It is our created nature to make much of God.  Not to fulfill this purpose… is to be a mere shadow of the substance we were created to have. Not to display God’s worth by enjoying Him above all things is to be a mere echo of the music we were created to make. It is to be a mere residue of the impact we were created to have.”

The overriding thing that separates the light from the darkness is an unbalanced passion for the glory of God and the Kingdom of heaven.  And I realize that for some of you that may make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.  Because a lot of times in our culture we associate unbalanced to mean unhealthy.

We talk about the need for balance in our lives all the time, right?  Balance, balance, balance.  We have to have balance.  We don’t want to be too far one way or too far the other.  And at times this is true, but I think sometimes we have watered down Jesus for the sake of balance.

There was a man by the name of Nee To-sheng, otherwise known as Watchman Nee.  He was born in communist China in 1903.  He came to know Christ at the age of 17 and spent the next 30 years traveling throughout China planting churches and shinning the Light of Christ in some of the darkness places on earth.  But in 1952 he was arrested for his faith in Christ and leadership among many of the local churches in China.  He sentenced to 15 years in prison,  although he was never let go and died in his cell 20 years later. Some of his teachings have been complied together into a profoundly powerful book called “The Normal Christian Life.”

Average and normal are not the same.  You see, average just means we look like everyone else.  Normal means we look the way Jesus expected us to look.  It means we shine the way Jesus expected us to shine.

Did Jesus really mean to love Him with ALL our heart, soul, mind, and strength?  Did Jesus really mean to love our neighbor as ourself?  Did Jesus really compare the Kingdom of heaven to finding a treasure in a field and selling everything for that field?  Because that doesn’t sound very balanced.

There is a word for someone who becomes that fixated on someone or something, but it isn’t balanced.  Its obsessed.  It is being driven by an all consuming passion to the point that none of what Jesus taught even sounds remotely crazy.  Quite frankly, it makes perfect sense.

If there is anything in life we need to be obsessed with.  If there is anything in life we need to be consumed by.  If there is anything in our lives that we need to be unbalanced about, it is the Jesus Christ.  It is the glory of God.  It is the Kingdom of heaven.

The more our lives display Christ’s worth above all things, the brighter He will shine in us.  This is why it is so fundamentally important for the light to be separated from the darkness.

Because when we look like we care about the same things they do.  When we look like we hope in the same stuff they do.  When we look like our values are the same as theirs, Christ will never look great in our lives.  Our lives must show that Christ is more precious than life.

To do this, we must make sacrificial life choices knowing that magnifying Christ is more valuable and more satisfying than protecting and preserving our own personal comfort or agenda.  So we may need to start asking ourselves some tough questions.  Questions that we may very well not want to know the answers to.  Because I think all to often we are far more content desiring to justify our actions instead of seeking to magnify Christ with them.

Now this is the part of the message where I would normally tell you some inspiring story about a missionary in Africa or Asia or something who is living this out.  The problem is, most of us really can’t relate very much to that.  So let me give another example that may hit a little closer to home.  Its a story about a guy who asked the right questions.

There is a pastor by the name of Francis Chan, maybe some of you have heard of him.  He has a love and devotion for God that you will rarely find anywhere.  He also happens to be an incredible speaker and when you put those 2 qualities together, it makes for a very dynamic pastor.  Thus the church he started in California grew like mad quickly topping 3000+ people.

They were making plans for building a 50 to 60 million dollar facility when he took a little trip to Uganda that changed his life forever.  He saw poverty first hand like he had never imagined.  And it got real personal for him when he saw little girls the age of his young daughters rummaging through garbage for food.

And all of a sudden it hit him, what does it mean to love my neighbor as myself?  Cause you know, Jesus said that.  In fact, He said it was so important, it was only second to loving God first.  So one of the first things he did upon returning to the states was to move his family of four out of their 2,000-square-foot house into one half that size so they could give more to missions and to the poor. He said: “I couldn’t reconcile how I could live in such a nice house while others were starving.”

The very next church board meeting Chan showed up with a one track mind.  When their church, (Cornerstone) first started and for many years there after, they gave away 4% of their budget.  Chan now walks in in the door and asked them to give 50% away.  His salary was slashed along with all other staff taking pay cuts and serious sacrifices in their programs were made.  But in less than 1/2 hour their budget was flipped on its head.

Instead of building a massive multimillion dollar building, they built an outdoor amphitheater saving countless of millions of dollars.  They have worship outside every Sunday, rain or shine.  And if it happens to rain on a Sunday morning, they get wet, but they know it is for the sake of Christ and His Kingdom.

Now here is a guy, living in the United States with the exact same pressures, the exact same influences, and exact same struggles that we face, but yet consciously and intentionally positioned his life to be separated from the darkness.  While the rest of America chases after it’s illusive dream, he has refused to be seduced by it.  Instead, his heart, mind, his soul and wallet are fixed on heaven.

C.S. Lewis wrote, “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next.  It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.”

My prayer is that Christ would be so prized in your lives that you would blaze so brightly it would fry the retinas right out of the eyeballs of those who look upon you.  That your  hearts be so fixed on Christ that everything else would pale in comparison.

My goal isn’t that you be moved by the stories of those people who are living radical lives for Christ, yet do nothing to act yourself.  But instead, that you would earnestly seek the face of God for where and how He would have you to shine.

I don’t claim by any stretch of the imagination to be living this perfectly.  That’s precisely why I had to preach it.  Because this message is for me as much as it is for any of you.  It is time we be the light we were created to be.  Its time we let our light shine in the darkness.  And its time that the only thing people see when they look at us is a life obsessed with Jesus Christ.

the God who speaks

The first information we have about God is obvious, God is [Genesis 1:1]. There is not a long argument, just a statement of fact, “In the beginning, GOD.” He is. God exists as He is. He always was and is. God simply is.

Shortly after God’s statement of existence we hear from God Himself, “Let there be light” [Genesis 1:3a]. God speaks. God speaks His creation into existence with the power of His words. God said and it was. He speaks first.

God is verbal. He is a God of language. God uses language to communication with His creation. It is clear that God uniquely gave language for mankind. Since God spoke we can understand Him, relate to Him, and plainly know is purposes for man. But what God intended to be a beautiful expression of His character man abused. Instead of praising their Creator with their lips, man curses Him with their lips.

But God in His creative redemptive plan entered our soil as the Word in flesh [John 1:1]—Jesus—God with skin on. If we want to see and hear what God is like, look at Jesus. When Jesus’ ministry began God spoke from the heavens, “This is my son in who I am well pleased.” [Matthew 3:17; 17:5] Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” [John 8:12] With words He was mocked, scoffed, scorned, and slandered, but from the cross with three simple words He redeemed sinful man, “It is finished.” [John 19:30]

All this is written about in the Word of God—the Bible. From the beginning to end the Bible records the written words and spoken words of God. It opens with “and God said” and closes with “I, Jesus have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches.” [Revelation 22:16]

Stop to reflect on the wonder of having a God who speaks—not just a distant deity who thunders orders from heaven, but one who actually wants to speak with you! Why would the God of all creation go to such lengths to communicate personally with each of us?

In our wordy world, it’s easy to take for granted the invaluable privilege of communication with God. If we are too busy or distracted to hear, His voice will not stop—but we’ll miss out on the riches of an intimate relationship available only to those with receptive ears.

If God has speaks then your highest aim must be to hear what He has said. You can hear Him today through His Word by His Spirit. Be still and listen.

Father, anoint my lips with praise. Use my words as an anthem of worship. Use me as a light to the nations drawing the darkened to the glory of Christ. I anticipate the day when I will gather before your throne hearing your beautiful voice and the voices of redeemed from every tribe and language and people and nation, praising your name.

 

the beginning of everything (except God)

In the comedic book, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams everyone is on the quest to find the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything. A super computer is built, named Deep Thoughts, to calculate the answer, but it must take 7.5 million years to compute. The great day arrives and the world awaits its answer. And the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything is, 42. Not the answer they were looking for. Deep Thoughts answers their disgruntlement, “So once you do know what the question actually is, you’ll know what the answer means.” Then Deep Thoughts suggests they build a computer, named Earth, to calculate the right question. The question will take another 10 million years, but a bypass is being built that just demolished earth. So long and thanks for all the fish.[1]

You do not have to build a super computer or search the worlds end to find the answer to the origins of life, the universe and everything. Genesis tell you a lot about the originator, and its origins. First, God created everything with order to reflect His character. Check out the precision and order to the days of God’s creation:

Day Day of the Week What God Made More Details Interesting Tidbits
1 Sunday [Forming] light and darkness The light rose and set. [Sun? Not sure.] Sunday is the same day Jesus rose from the dead. Jesus is the illumination of Heaven.
2 Monday [Forming] sky and waters separated Water in the sky, water in the clouds, water in the middle, and water below. In Genesis, God separates things by His Word. God does not say Monday is good!?
3 Tuesday [Forming] dry ground and waters separated Land and seas. God made things grow on Tuesday. Land appears 400 times in Genesis. Important. Also, you plant seeds in ground and grow with water. Seed is a key word in Genesis too.
4 Wednesday [Filling] sun, moon, stars (lights separated in Heaven) 2 lights. Great light: Sun. Lesser light: moon. How did God create light without the sun, moon and stars on Day 1?
5 Thursday [Filling] fish and birds God created things to swim in the water and fly in the sky. God is preparing man’s real-estate to be lived in. God blesses [v.22; 40x’s in Genesis]
6 Friday [Filling] animals and man, plants and trees God puts all the animals together in order [i.e. livestock/farm]. God gives the animals to man to use to help with work.
7 Saturday rest Sleep; day off from work to worship Days are for working and evenings are for sleeping.

Did God really need 6-days to create everything? It is just like asking the question, if God got tired after creating everything? No. God could have created everything in the blink of an eye or the snap of a finger, but He chose 6-days to demonstrate the week of work and need for day of rest. God made all this great stuff before He made you. He desires to take care of you from the get go. What a great God!

Second, without an understanding of Genesis 1-2, you cannot understand Genesis 3 and beyond. Without understanding how good God created everything, you cannot completely grasp what happens in the rest of the Bible.

Third, creation is a theme found throughout the Bible. You will see the notion of creation pop up other places in the Bible. It all starts in Genesis with God creating all things. Later in the Bible, Jesus Christ comes as the Savior of mankind, redeeming His creation. Those who believe in Him become new creations. Even later in the Bible, following the second coming of Jesus Christ, the idea of creation will reappear with the creation of a new heavens and new earth that are not stained with sin. God loves to create.

Fourth, since God created everything, everything is under his authority. You are responsible and accountable as a creation to your Creator. Why should I obey God? He made you. He owns you. He holds the deed to your life. You can still choose not to believe or obey, even create your own gods to worship, but that does not erase the fact that He is God and you are not. He owns your life, and you owe Him your life. Since, He is the authority everything will give account to Him. It is best to obey Him today than tomorrow.


[1] Douglas Adams, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy,Portland House, New York, NY. 1997. 117-122

the beginning word on God

The theme Genesis is God, “In the beginning, God.” The book is about God. All the books of the Bible are about God. All of history is about God. Everything is about God. Genesis is not exhaustive; it does not tell us everything about God. The book of Genesis covers about 2,000 years of human history. It covers as much history as all of the rest of the Bible combined.[1] Genesis is a selective telling of history by Moses. He gives the things that you need to know because they are most important and most related to our understanding of God. This leads you to what Genesis tells you about God.

The first information we have about God from Genesis is obvious:

God is [1:1]

There is not a long argument, just a statement of fact, “In the beginning, GOD.” He is. God exists as He is. He always was and is. God simply is.

However, God is not just simple, He is also complex. God is One [1:1, 26]. The Christian doctrine of the Trinity is that there is one God,[2] and this one God is three equal persons—Father, Son, and Spirit [cf. Isaiah 48:16; Matthew 3:16-17, 28:18-20]. Although Moses might have understood the Trinity concept completely because of progressive revelation, therefore, the rest of Scripture teaches that each member of the Trinity was involved in Creation: the Father created 9Psalm 19:1; Acts 17:28; 1 Corinthians 8:6], the Son created [John 1:1-3, 10, 14; Colossians 1:16-17], and the Spirit created [Genesis 1:2; Job 26:13].

God did not keep silent about His creation and plans with creation. God is a talker [1:3a]. God spoke His creation into existence with the power of His words. God said and it was. God created light, stars, planets, plants and animals all by saying so. He spoke to His creation and charged them on how to live. God is verbal. If God talks, you must listen.

God make everything [1:3-25]

The question is not often whether God created everything [Hebrews 11:3], rather how did He create everything. For the sake of time and space, I will not indulge in a scientific treatise of Genesis and creation. Yet I will give you a few thoughts to chew on. First, there are differences in opinion among Christians as to whether God created a young earth [7 literal days] or old earth [i.e. gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2]. There are tensions because in Genesis 1-2 there is a mixture of history and symbols. Second, there are even more differences in opinion in the claims of science. Scientists have wrestled with the origins of the universe and human kind for millennia’s [i.e. Darwinism, atheism, intelligent design, irreducible complexity, etc.]. The theories and hypothesis among scientists come in all shades of colors, sizes and textures.

Let it be known, Genesis is not a scientific textbook, but what Genesis does tell us is enough—God created everything. This must be clear or Genesis 2 and following do not make any sense. Galileo said it well, “The Bible is not preeminently concerned with telling us how the heavens go. The Bible is, instead, most concerned with telling us how to go to Heaven.”

When God made everything He made it good [1:25]. God openly says, “Let there be this, and let there be that,” not half-heartedness or with reckless speediness. He did not make cheap trinkets that would easily fall apart. He created everything good. In the beginning there was no need for a policeman, fireman, garbage man or handy man. Everything was created good—without death, defect, or decay.

God rests after making everything [2:1-3]

Why did God rest? Did He get tired from using all His creative juices? No God is limitless in His creative powers. He does not need a break because of tiredness or vacation from stress. He rested the seventh day because He knew in His infinite wisdom that His created man would need this as an example to live by. Man is a finite creature and needs to rest weekly in order to remain sane and Sabbath. Rest is something God models and makes for man. Rest is best for mankind.

God gets glory for His greatness

Every molecule, ameba, moth, mosquito, Madagascar hissing cockroach, muskrat, monkey, moose, mouse, mountain lion, manatee, and man were created to give back praise to their Creator. God made creation to glorify Himself [Psalm 19:1]. God made creation to pour forth His love [Psalm 136]. God made creation for Himself [Colossians 1:16]. God made creation to show you His attributes [Romans 1:20]. And God made creation to worship Him [Revelation 4:11]. Everything was made by God and for God. Only “the fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” [Psalm 14:1]


[1] Just Genesis 2, 3, 4, and 5, alone covers 1,656 years in a couple chapters.

[2] Cf. Deuteronomy 6:4; 2 Chronicles 15:3; Jeremiah 10:10; John 17:3; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; 1 John 5:20-21