“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” – Genesis 1:1, The Bible
This powerful opening line of the Bible brings such comfort, assuring the reader, with the fundamental assurance that “GOD IS” and that “GOD CREATED.” These records of creation do not intend to prove the existence of God but rather assumes God’s existence, his power and design in the creation of the World. He was there in the beginning, and he has been there from the beginning – he is eternal, enduring, unchanging. God exists, he lives and he is the source of all that exists and lives. He predates creation and he is the cause and creator of all things.
These opening words of the Bible changes your outlook on and experience of life dramatically.
Because “God is” you are never alone. Wherever you go God is there. This truth moved David to sing “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?” [i] In the “highest heavens [or] deepest ocean”, even in death[ii] (Hebrews “Sheol”). David knew God is present. Even in his moments of “great darkness”[iii] David knew God is present and ready to help.
Elsewhere David wrote that “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted”[iv] meaning the Lord relates to and supports those who suffers emotional pain. Often one hurting feels alone even in among friends because he or she feels David knew you never suffer alone because the Lord is compassionate[v] – he identifies and feels with you. That’s a primary reason why Jesus came to earth, why he “became flesh and walked among us”[vi]: to be tested and to suffer in every possible way in which you could suffer.[vii]
Because GOD IS, you are never without help, never without hope. There is a God who exists and is “near to all who call upon him”.[viii] In the beginning there was nothing, but there was God, and He created beautiful and vibrant life out of nothing. Where God is there is hope. David sang “If it had not been the LORD who was on our side… then they would have swallowed us up alive… the flood would have swept us away… [But] our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth!”[ix]
And because GOD IS – the Almighty, All-Knowing, Omnipresent, Unchanging God – you will never face anything too big, too powerful, or too difficult. There is never anything insurmountable, because he us the God who he created everything, including “all things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers… And He ranks before all things, and in Him all things consist.” [x] He created all these things[xi] – nothing is out of his control nothing is beyond his reach. God said to Jeremiah “Look, I’m the LORD, the God of all flesh; is there anything too difficult for me?”[xii]
Because God is near, you never need to be intimidated by any person, group or situation, as David sang “Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear.”[xiii] and elsewhere “For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall.”[xiv] The security of God’s presence brings peace in a fallen world filled with violence and terrorism, infested with disease and sickness, characterized brokenness and uncertainty.[xv] With God I am never intimidated, never on the back-foot, never caught off guard. With the Psalmist we can confidently declare “The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”[xvi] Therefore you are you are never outplayed, never outweighed, never outwitted and never outnumbered.
This opening line of the Bible also reminds you that God created you and therefore you are never without direction, never without a purpose and never without a future. God, your Father, knew you and consecrated you for his purpose and pleasure even before he “knit [you] together in [your] mother’s womb”.[xvii] Regardless of how you might have missed God’s purpose, regardless where you might have derailed from His path – still He has “plans of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope”[xviii] for you. With God, your journey has not ended!
Because God created you, you are not left to your own plans for the future and you are never abandoned to solve your own problems. Your preservation or prosperity does not depend on your own powers, plans or possessions. Even if your own foolishness or sinfulness left you stuck in mud, you can like David cry for help and be delivered and restored to His praise.[xix] God, your creator, knows your purpose, knows your circumstance, and still knows the way to the “future and hope” he planned for you! So “trust in the LORD with all your heart… and he will make straight your paths.”[xx] Our God has made “a road in the sea… and a way in the wilderness” [xxi] before – he will make a way for you where there seems to be no way.
God created you in his image.[xxii] You are not a misfit, not a mistake. You are never insignificant, never unnoticed. It is not your [supposed] success that makes you significant to God, and neither does you lack of performance make you insignificant to him. Your significance rests in your image: “indeed, we are His offspring” [xxiii] and therefore bear his image. That is what David marveled of in his song “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens… what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” [xxiv] You are significant because you are related to God: created in God’s image for relationship with him and reigning with him.[xxv] You are invaluable and precious to God, uniquely crafted in his image. He has not forgotten you nor forsaken you; He cannot because “your name is engraved in the palms of his hands” and like breastfeeding mother has her baby continually in her thoughts, God has you in his heart and mind.[xxvi]
How does Genesis 1:1 arm the believer in the face of uncertain and difficult times? This opening line of the Bible brings hope: GOD IS – the transcended God who is almighty, all-knowing, ever-present, everlasting and unchanging. Nothing that you face will be too big for him – you are safe in his presence! But not just his transcendence (God’s unfathomable bigness), also his immanence (God’s nearness and relatedness) brings great comfort: GOD CREATED you in his presence to relate to him and reign with him. Thus he also relates to you and has compassion on you; he is near and ready to grant mercy and grace on all who approach him boldly.[xxvii] You are never alone, never without help, never without hope.
[i] Psalm 139:7
[ii] Psalm 139:8
[iii] Psalm 139:12
[iv] Psalm 34:18
[v] Psalm 145:8, compare Exodus 22:27
[vi] John 1:14
[vii] Hebrews 2:17-18; 4:15-16
[viii] Psalm 145:18
[ix] Psalm 124:1-8
[x] Colossians 1:16-17
[xi] John 1:3
[xii] Jeremiah 32:27
[xiii] Psalm 27:1,3
[xiv] Psalm 18:29
[xv] Psalm 91:3-9
[xvi] Psalm 118:6
[xvii] Jeremiah 1:5; Psalm 139:13
[xviii] Jeremiah 29:11
[xix] Psalm 40:1-4; compare Romans 10:13
[xx] Proverbs 3:5-6
[xxi] Isaiah 43:16-19
[xxii] Genesis 1:26-28
[xxiii] Acts 17:28
[xxiv] Psalm 8:1,4
[xxv] See Genesis 1:26-28; Psalm 8:3-6; Psalm 115:16; Romans 5:17 and 2 Timothy 2:12
[xxvi] Isaiah 49:15
[xxvii] Hebrews 4:15-16