“. . . GOD . . .”
Genesis 1:1b
Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall
for August 29, 2004, AM

The first Person named in Genesis and the Bible is God. This is the logical starting point for God’s book. It’s all about Him, always has been, always will be.

Scripture’s emphasis is on the Creator, not the creation. Learn to keep life the same way. Live looking up. Know and love God. For this we were made.

The Bible nowhere tries to prove the existence of God. Holy Writ assumes the fact.

Genesis 1:1, remarkable for its simplicity, is not metaphor, poetry, or hyperbole, but history stated as a simple fact. The beginning was begun by One who had no beginning.

All other gods were begun, created by men. They will die. Jeremiah (10:11b) wrote, “The gods that did not make the heavens and the earth will perish from the earth and from under these heavens.” Only the God of Scripture ( Father, Son, Holy Spirit ( is eternal, without beginning, without end.

All else owes its origin and existence to Him. The living God is the only cause of the Universe.

Our English word “God,” derived from Anglo-Saxon, means “the good One.” The title Christians in any culture give to the Supreme Being has huge ramifications.

In Korea, early missionaries decided to use that country’s ancient name for the highest God. They believed the term was nebulous, allowing room for it to be filled with Christian meaning. Historians generally agree this use of the culturally familiar title helped spawn Christianity’s vibrant spread in Korea.

In Japan, missionaries chose to reject the cultural name for the highest God. They feared the name was too closely connected with pagan ideas. Their selection of a different title for God has made their work harder.

In Hebrew the title used for the Supreme Being here and elsewhere in the Old Testament 2570 times is Elohim. The word is plural, denoting God’s majesty and complexity of being. Christians believe this plural was a foreshadowing of the Trinity. The plural word is always used with a singular verb, thereby denoting God is One.

The term Elohim is based on an Arabic word meaning to fear, to reverence, to worship. Hebrews knew they served the sole Creator of all, the One whose nature roused and deserved fear, reverence, and worship.

The incarnation of Jesus later raised to its zenith our understanding of God’s love. In the beginning, God’s sheer omnipotent display of majesty and might in the creation engendered reverence more than love.

The creation was a breath taking event, causing morning stars to burst into song and shout for joy (Job 38:7). We believe with astonishment the Psalmist’s claim, “He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm” (33:9).

Creation catches, yea arrests, our attention. It mesmerizes us, bringing God to our notice.

A God like Elohim deserves our fear, our humble dependence on Him. He should have our reverence, for He precedes and oversees all creation. He deserves our worship, we should thankfully serve and bow down before this personal, Sovereign Creator.

In 1864 a Japanese man, while in China, was reading a geography book written by an American missionary. Its first words were “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” He wondered, “Who is this God?” He knew if such a God existed, He deserved to be worshiped. The man decided to go to America, the land of the book’s author, to find this Creator-God.

He kept asking about the Creator-God, and was finally taken under wing by a Mr. Hardy, a Christian merchant. The Japanese man became a believer, attended college, and returned to Japan to become one of its most outstanding Christian leaders. He correctly drew the only logical conclusion. A God who created all, deserves to be feared, reverenced, worshiped.

What kind of God do Bible believers serve? The Creator of all that is, who alone is worthy of fear, reverence, and worship.

What kind of God do Bible believers serve? Everything that exists is under His authority. Forces of nature, enemies, creatures, objects ( all are under His control and cannot hurt His children beyond what He allows.

What kind of God do Bible believers serve? A God above and apart from the creation. He is separate and distinct. In other words, He is Holy.

What kind of God do Bible believers serve? A God who did not abandon the original chaos (Genesis 1:2), but brought forth order, life, and light. Ours is a redeeming God, bringing life out of nothing, cosmos out of chaos, blessing out of cursing, light out of darkness.

He enters the brokenness of our lives to bring healing. When all is falling apart, He brings stability. He is vitally involved with His creation and in our lives. He loves this world. “He’s got the whole world in His hands.”

What kind of God do Bible believers serve? A loving God, who created a livable, well-stocked, beautiful dwelling place for us to live in.

Isaiah 45:18 says God “did not create it (the world) to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited” (Holman). Almost everything about Earth has “Human Home” written on it.

We humans live on a razor’s edge. Many factors have to line up perfectly for Earth to be our habitat. “Earth’s location, its size, its composition, its structure, its atmosphere, its temperature, its internal dynamics, and its many intricate cycles that are essential to life ( the carbon cycle, the oxygen cycle, the nitrogen cycle, the phosphorous cycle, the sulfur cycle, the calcium cycle, the sodium cycle, and so on ( testify to the degree to which our planet is exquisitely and precariously balanced” (Strobels, “Case For a Creator,” p. 157).

All the seemingly arbitrary and unrelated constants in physics have one strange fact in common. They are the precise values needed to have a Universe capable of sustaining human life.

Everything needed to support us is delicately balanced. Our world has the precise conditions needed to sustain life. The slightest slip, and all would be lost and dead.

If the moon were larger, its gravitational pull would cause tidal waves to engulf the continents. If Earth had two moons, the oceans would be unstable.

Closer to the sun, we’d fry; farther away, we’d freeze. Our atmosphere has precisely the amount of oxygen needed for us to breathe. Jupiter’s huge mass and strong gravitational pull act as a shield to protect Earth from too many comet impacts.

Humans require 26 essential elements. Scientists are thrilled at discovering water, one of the 26, on Mars. The odds of finding in the Universe any orb other than Earth with all 26 are essentially nil.

On and on the list goes. Everything about Earth is tailor-made for human life. All these favored factors are exactly what we would expect from a Creator, as described by the Bible.

The dials are set too precisely to be random. It’s too amazing to be happenstance. Our habitat gives every evidence of having been carefully crafted, precisely designed.

Fred Doyle quipped, “Somebody has been monkeying with the physics.” Indeed! The scientific evidence for design theory is stronger than it has been in one hundred years. Physics could almost be nicknamed practical theology.

Research by our fellow southwest Missourian, Edwin Hubble, seemed to indicate Earth was a privileged planet, situated near the center of the Universe. Hubble, not a believer, didn’t like this possibility because it hinted at a favored planet situated in a favored position. This possibility too easily led to implying the existence of a Bestower of favors, which we Creationists believe to be the case.