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Sunday, February 20, 2022

Creation: Day 1 - Light

The world we live in is breathtaking and complex.  The artistic genius of it points to Something/Someone higher, greater, more wonderful than we can even imagine.  How did it all come to be?  Was it merely an accident or does nature’s harmony point to a Higher Power?

Come along with me on a journey back to where it all began—Genesis Chapter 1.  Over the next 7 weeks, we will explore the depths of the Creation story as told to God’s people for thousands of years.]

Genesis 1:1-5
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.

Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. Then
he separated the light from the darkness.
 God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.”

And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day.

God created the heavens and the earth – everything!
Much debate has surrounded the origins of the universe, planet Earth, and life.
However, there is something we can all agree on.  This world is amazing!  

The farthest known star is 13.2 billion light years from earth.[i]  In other words, it would take you 13.2 billion years to go there if you could travel at the speed of light!

The smallest living organism (the porcine circovirus) is only 17 nanometers in diameter.[ii]  3,000 of these organisms could easily fit on a single grain of sand.[iii]

The blue whale is the largest living animal, weighing 180 tons or 360,000 pounds (that’s as much as 13 school buses)! 

Much more impressive than facts about any single specimen, is the intricacy of how the whole of creation works together.  Plant life absorbs carbon dioxide and uses it to live.  Plants produce oxygen so animals can breathe.  Animals absorb the oxygen and turn it into carbon dioxide so plants can live.  Fungi live in the soil producing chemicals that allow plant roots to take up important nutrients and even enable roots from one tree to communicate with other trees by chemical signals!

Countless fragile ecosystems work in perfect harmony with every living thing—from the smallest bacteria to the largest blue whale—playing a crucial part to contribute to the success of the whole.  Many have looked at the amazing interconnectedness of these living systems and describe the whole system as living organism in its own right.  So one could describe Creation a one BIG living organism made up of millions of tiny little parts instead of a planet made up of many different living organisms.

Within the infinite vastness of space, planet earth stands as the only known haven of life.  We are so small, and yet so incredibly precious.  Whether you believe this is all a happy accident brought on by chance or the result of an intentional act of creation by a Divine Power, is a matter of faith.  Science cannot contain something so unfathomable. 

The account in the book of Genesis of how it all began was given thousands of years before the advent of science.  It was never intended to describe the creation of the world in purely rational, scientific terms.  Genesis was written to speak to the mysterious longings within our hearts to know the Truth about God.  In these verses, the creation story reveals the character of God and the life He offers us.  If you want to know God, you can know Him by studying the story of creation in Genesis.

On the first day, God created light.
The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters.  The original Hebrew describes a place that is a wasted, worthless thing.  Darkness (in Hebrew:  ḥšeḵ) figuratively describes misery, destruction, death, or ignorance.  These things are contrary to the character of God.  One might say the creation of the universe was inevitable.  For the Creator to abide in formless, empty darkness, was as unnatural as for a rooster not to crow at the dawning of new day.  And so God said, “Let there be light: and there was light.”

This light is not necessarily the light of the sun.  It is simply light.  It is illumination.  It is the ability to see things clearly.  It is the ability to perceive.  It is the opposite of darkness, misery and ignorance.  Light is cheerfulness—as when your spirits brighten when the sun breaks through the clouds—even for just a moment-- n an overcast and gloomy day.  Light is understanding—as when a light turns on when you get a new idea.  Light is the symbol of Truth.  Not scientific information.  What God gave the world swallows up scientific information as one small part of His larger Wisdom.

Today, we think so highly of science (as if it has all the answers).  Science has only been part of our culture for a few hundred years.  We don't know what new discipline might replace science in 100 or 500 year.  But the human longing for Divine Truth has been in with us from the beginning and will last forever. 

God brings understanding and Truth.
We see something important about God’s character in the very way that Genesis tells the story.  God works systematically, day by day, to bring order out of chaos.  Day one is simply light.

Day two is the sky.  Day three is land and vegetation.  Each day, God moves to more and more complex systems until He finishes with the most complex of His creation—humanity. 
This was not a random act.  It was purposeful and ordered, because the Creator is enlightened.

It is God’s intention for you to know understanding and Truth.  When we open our lives to Him, God does the same thing for us that He did for all Creation.  God offers you understanding about your purpose in life.  God seeks to awaken you so that you live your life on purpose in an enlightened state of being.  While animals may wander the earth according to their instincts in a lower state of consciousness, you were meant to live for so much more. 

You were meant to know God.

Seeing God in Creation
Romans 1:20 says, “For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.”

When I was a young man (18-19 years old), I moved away from home to attend college in Marietta.  I was studying to be an engineer.  For the first time, I felt I was an adult and trying to really decide what I believed about life and religion and my purpose.  I was studying a lot of science and wondering (as many young adults do) if all that I'd been taught about God and faith as a child was just myths and superstition.  Was it time for me to leave behind those outdated, childish ideas?

I thought of this often as I studied in my classes and lived the life of a college student.  One day, I was contemplating all this as I walked across the beautiful campus.  The grass was freshly cut and birds and squirrels were busy gathering their food.  And as I walked through a thin stand of pine trees, I saw a parking lot through the trees filled with cars.  And it struck me how different people are from all the other animals.  Biologically, we are the same material--flesh and blood and bone.  And yet, of all the animals on earth, we are the only ones who can take the minerals and materials from the earth fashion them together into rubber and steel and plastic and make a car with and internal combustion engine and an electrical system.  Humans are so different from the other animals; so special.  And it occured to me that it could not have come to be this way by accident.

About this time, I also read an illustration that made so much sense to me.  It told the story of a man walking along the shoreline on a beach who found a watch in the sand and he picked it up.  He came to the logical conclusion that someone was walking on the beach and dropped the watch. Now, it is true that all the elements and materials that makeup the watch are present in the ocean.  However, it would be ludicrous to think the elements naturally present in the ocean randomly and spontaneously came together in just the right way and in just the right amounts and order to accidentally form a watch.  The idea would be ludicrous and no one would believe it.  

The world is far more complex than a watch.  Yet science would have us accept that this incredibly complex and amazing world randomly and spontaneously came to be after an explosion.  The theory requires far more faith than any religion!  And so it confirmed for me that there must be Someone, Something higher and greater and beyond creation that made it all.  And these thoughts drove me to dig deeper and want to know more about this Higher Power that must be in charge of it all.  Soon, through my searching, I came to believe at the core of my being that the God of the Christian Bible is indeed the One Tre and Living God.  The realization set my feet firmly on the path of seeking Him and soon serving Him and led me to the life I live today, working as a Christian minister, living as a child of God putting all his hopes in Jesus Christ.

The first day of spring in only 4 weeks away. I already saw a cherry blossom tree blooming yesterday.  As we see new life beginning to bloom, I challenge you to open your eyes and look for the Truth about God in nature—His invisible qualities, His divine nature, His eternal power.

Look at the birds in your yard and see the incredible creativity of a Master Craftsman who designed them.  Study your pet dog or cat, whose ancestors started out as wild predators, but now is your companion and understands you better than most people.  Contemplate how the flowers and grass grow from the warmth of the sun and live their own life while also providing food for animals and a virtual forest ecosystem for billions of tiny bugs and microorganism we never even see or consider. We literally walk by them every day without a care or thought. Yet without them, we could not exist.

And through all your observations, consider the God who made it all. 
I invite you to pray to God now and ask Him to reveal Himself to you as you study His creation.

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