In the Beginning

By Jessica McKillip

We just spent our week studying one verse! Genesis 1:1 is a familiar verse to many of us. So familiar, in fact, it’s easy to skim right past it when we start our new Bible reading plan on January 1. However, I’ve found in my own life, the more familiar I am with a story, the more shallow my understanding may be! Dwelling on this verse this week forced me to slow down and really focus on some key attributes of God.  

In the beginning, God . . .

The definition of the word eternal is without beginning or end, lasting forever, existing outside all relations of time, not subject to change.

Compare that definition with Psalm 102:25-27:

Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, but you are the same, and your years have no end.

God is eternal

God existed before the beginning. God exists independently of matter and time. I really have to pause and think about that. So many of our decisions are because of time. We are under time constraints, both in our day, but also overall in life. We know our time is limited on earth so we make decisions based on what we need or value during that time, but those time constraints also cause us to not do our best or to be stressed. I might be short on time, so I skip cleaning the floors. Other days, I’m stressed because of a deadline. But God is not skipping out on something because of a time constraint. God is not stressed. As women bound by time, it’s difficult to fathom the eternality of God, or to understand not being bound by time, but we can be thankful. 

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Secondly, this verse tells us God is the creator.  Everything that exists begins with God and he created everything out of nothing!

Let’s look at Colossians 1:16-17:

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

What did God create? All things. It’s easy to think of God creating something beautiful in nature — a sunrise, the mountains, a rainy day, and that is definitely true. This verse reminds us that He also created thrones (the chair of state, or royal power), dominions (sovereign power or supreme authority, the right to govern or rule), rulers (one that rules), and authorities (persons in command). God created the visible and the invisible. God existed before His creation and he holds his creation together for all time. 

Finally, God is self-existent.

He is totally self-sufficient and needs nothing more than Himself in order to exist or act.  A.W. Tozer writes, “God has a voluntary relation to everything He has made, but He has no necessary relation to anything outside of Himself.” 

Warren Wiersbe writes, “God needs nothing, neither the material universe nor the human race, and yet He created both.”

Genesis was written to tell the Israelites who their God was. They had lived in Egypt for 430 years and been exposed to the greater and lesser gods of Egypt. Now, they were headed to Canaan which would also expose the Israelites to a polytheistic culture. Moses is writing to remind the Israelites that their God is different. The Israelites served the one, true God—the  eternal, creator, self-existent God. The Israelites would repeatedly struggle (and fail) in the temptation to worship the false gods of their neighbors. 

As we start a new year, take some time to dwell on who God is. Just like the Israelites, we need to read Genesis 1:1 as a reminder that our God is different than the false gods in our culture.   

There’s no better place to start than the beginning: 

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

One Reply to “In the Beginning”

  1. Thank you for your thoughtful blog. You made me think, to expand my thoughts about who God is. A very good beginning to the series.

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