This sermon was based on Genesis 1:1-25.
The Creation of the World
1In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2The 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.
3And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
6And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7And 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. 8And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
9And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
11And 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. 12The 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. 13And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.
14And 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, 15and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.
20And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” 21So 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. 22And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.
24And 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. 25And 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.
- One of the things that can be really easy to do when it comes to Genesis Chapter 1 is to immediately start thinking about the various debates there are over its interpretation among Christians. Questions inspired by this chapter have become long-running debates. Was the universe created in six literal 24-hour days, or some longer period of time? Is this chapter meant to explain a literal process, or symbolically represent the work of God? Is this the account of the absolute beginning moments of the earth’s existence or did God created something earlier in between verses 1 and 2? etc etc
- Rather than focus on the more scientific questions of how and when, this morning we’re going to look at the more theological questions of who and why? Because, though Christians may disagree on how God created and when God created, one thing is undeniable Genesis 1 says God did the creating! He is the creator.
- It can be very easy to get bogged down with this passage, trying to reconcile the creation account with modern science and miss the reason why this passage was given to us – to point us to the Creator and make us go “Wow!” and to worship him.
God Created Everything
- “In the beginning God created the skies and the land.” This line is summarising what’s going to happen in the rest of the passage, which starts with the next line “Now the land was formless and empty.” This phrase rhymes in Hebrew. The land was ‘tohu va bohu,’ ‘meaning “unordered and uninhabited.” This is the ancient way of talking about the pre-creation state, what we might call “nothingness.”
- “And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” The Hebrew word for God’s Spirit is ruakh, which can refer to wind, or breath, or God’s invisible presence. So, you can’t see it, but God is present in the darkness, ready to bring order so that life can flourish. And this ordering happens in a series of six days.
- On days one to three, God splits apart that unordered darkness into three ordered realms. Then on days four to six, God fills the uninhabited wasteland with creatures.
- As I’ve been preparing for this sermon this week I’ve been quite challenged to just stop and enjoy Gods Creation.
- I want to encourage you to take a few moments this week, stop, put your phone down and enjoy God’s creation, look at a tree, or a butterfly or a spider’s web or a rainbow or go out into the garden tonight and look up at the stars (if you can see them) and just enjoy it. Marvel at God’s amazing Creation.