Welcome back to the HTS Genesis series by Dr. J.P. Mosley, part 4! We will look at these opening verses with this theme in mind: We hear God beginning His great work of creating everything out of nothing.
As we consider this theme over the next several blog articles, we are going to consider first, this is, as revealed to us in Scripture, God’s first great work of inspiration. In other words, God literally spoke (breathed out) all of creation into existence. With the power of His voice, we exist!
Moses begins as he gives us the setting and the timing of this great work of God when he says, In the beginning… This speaks so much, not only for the first readers, but for all those who read this same passage by faith. The setting is simple. God exists, and apart from Him, nothing else exists. This is probably the most basic point of Moses’ opening statements. The setting is wrapped up in the beauty and excellency of our majestic God. We must think upon this for a moment. We must be wrapped in the majestic beauty in knowing that long before anything ever existed, God was.
Before God created, we see what God is: eternal, infinite, and incomprehensible. This is the setting of the beginning of all things, namely God. In fact, the timing of this event becomes null and void when we come to understand that before God created time, it did not exist. Time itself is a created element of measuring the beginning and the end.
What we have is the beginning of time, and in future blog articles on Genesis we will see more. Before the creation of time, we have eternity past. This seems to be a strange phrase, eternity past, but it is the most apt phrase to describe the period before the creation. All that existed before the creation was the eternal God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is, to many degrees, beyond our comprehension. We can confess this truth, but to fully grasp what it means to be eternal, only God can truly know. God existed long before our comprehension of God. The majestic beauty of God is so far beyond our comprehension that what Moses is giving us compares nothing to the way in which God understands His very own existence.
Moses goes on further as he explains the characters in this great event, namely God. With this one word from the pen of Moses, we already have a point that would drive us into the next point, but we will leave this word for just a moment. In a previous blog article, I considered the faith fact concerning this name of God as it points us to the Trinitarian work of God.
We must continue to see what Moses describes God doing in our passage; He created the heavens and the earth. We finally find one of Moses’ purposes for writing this book. What Moses has done for the people of God is give us something that we could not assume to understand on our own.
We need Moses to point us to this wonderful note of the created order. We could very well see creation and understand that a supreme being was at work in this inspired work, but as we notice from the many religions around us, as Paul put it, they suppress the truth for a lie. In other words, they would rather believe that either several gods got into a fight together, and the one that lost was turned into humanity, which is what many ancient religions believed. Others go all the way back to Greek philosophy and believe that mankind came from a single organism, very primitive, like a thick liquid substance, and suddenly life sprang up from that organic, primitive substance evolving into mankind. All of this takes much faith to believe in, but what Moses clearly gives to us this day is pointing out creation is written by the very inspired breath of God.
It is what the many psalmists praised God for and warned man with. Here are just some of the wonderful praises in the Scriptures for your personal consideration: Psalm 89:11; 02:25; 69:34; 115:15; 121:1-2; 124:8; 134:3; 146:6; and 148:13. Then, we also find warnings of judgment, such as Psalm 50:4.
This and much more is what our God is known for, and yet, there is much more in what Moses has written. We see how God has inspired the created order to point directly to Him as the Creator, but now we must see something that creation can never point to, which is why Moses had to write this book for us, to show that creation was a great work of the Trinity. We will consider this in our next blog article.
Dr. J.P. Mosley, Jr., is the Academic Dean and Registrar as well as Heidelberg Theological Seminary’s Professor of Biblical Studies and Systematic Theology.