This past Sunday was a review of the first couple of messages in the Created & Called series and wrapped up the section on Genesis chapter 1. For the past several weeks, we have been looking at the biblical teaching on creation. This has always been an uncomfortable topic for me. I have wrestled with it, made peace with it, and wrestled with it some more. It seems so simple and yet so complicated, all at the same time.
One of the points that Jeff made this week is that there are lots of ways that we try to reconcile the first six chapters of Genesis with the findings and interpretations of data from science. We watch movies, read books, tune in to our favorite news outlets, and all of them are filled with presuppositions about evolution, the age of the earth, fossils, astronomy. I don’t know about you, but I love a good conspiracy theory. It fascinates me to read and learn about how people can take the same event and same evidence and draw radically different conclusions and opinions from it.
I am in no way insinuating or implying that evolution or the study of creation is a conspiracy theory. I do think that my fascination with conspiracy theories points to a yearning that I have for understanding and knowing more. Jeff said that our souls long for the words written in God’s Word, and I think that is true. We turn to the words written in Genesis about creation and because of what we read, watch on television, listen to on the radio, we doubt the literalness of the six days of creation.
I know and enjoy the fact that the entire Bible is a book about God. My tendency, though, is to avoid the parts that make me uncomfortable, or the parts I am not ready to believe in. So when we started this series, I was unwilling to even think about creation and what I believe. It was refreshing and even settling for me on Sunday when Jeff encouraged us to embrace grace when thinking and talking about this topic. Jeff’s encouragement was specific to embracing grace with one another, but for me, it is embracing grace with myself. I needed to admit that I’m not ready to take the leap of faith in believing the literalness of the first six chapters of Genesis and I needed to remind myself that I’m no less saved because of it. I loved the reminder that one of the reasons for attending church and listening to biblical teaching is to present our hearts and minds to God, asking that He would reveal truth, encourage us, and that we would have more confidence in His word and as a result, we’d be more bold in sharing about Jesus.
In my unwillingness to present my heart and mind to God during the first few weeks of this study, I almost missed one of the best introductions of all time. The book of Genesis is our introduction to God. In the first chapter, we see that God is good, that He cares for and loves His creation, and that His creation has a purpose. Starting in verse four, God declares the light which he created good. Then again in verses ten, 12, 18, 21, 25, and 31, He declares dry land, the seas, the vegetation, the sun, the moon, the stars, the living creatures, and man and woman as good. His declaration is an affirmation of His design and purpose. So, if His creation is good, He must also be good.
In verse 22, God blessed all the creatures he created and in verse 28, He blessed mankind. These blessings introduce His caring and loving character. He didn’t create and then abandon, He created and blessed. This was perhaps the greatest encouragement for me from Sunday’s message. I don’t think I (maybe even we) can be reminded enough that God created with a purpose and then He blessed, and continues to bless us. He did not abandon us after he created, and He won’t abandon us now.
Peter writes in 1 Peter 4.19, “So then, let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust themselves to a faithful Creator while doing what is good.” We are promised suffering and we are called to uncomfortable, and while I’m still wrestling with the all of the truth in Genesis chapter 1, I am confident that God is our creator and He is faithful. I’ll figure the rest out later.