God the Creator Genesis 1:1

Genesis 1:1

by John Kitto, Daily Bible Illustrations

When we open the Sacred Volume, the first aspect in which God is seen to present himself to us, is that of the Creator of the world. In the fullness of that knowledge which has become our heritage since He, who “at sundry times and in divers manners spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son” (Heb_1:1), very few of us can appreciate the entire force and importance of this disclosure. The doctrine which it teaches, is to us so elementary, that it requires some knowledge and some thought to grasp the whole of its significance. Yet it is very important. We know not, indeed, any fact which so distinctly brings out the full extent of our privileges as this—that a doctrine so great, so solemn, so awful in old time; which was clearly known only to the chosen people; and which, if guessed at, as inherited remotely by the thoughtful men of other nations, was set forth only in dark hints, or muttered faintly to a privileged few under the shades of night, with fearful ceremonies, in caverns, and in solitary groves—that this great ancient secret, has become in our days so common a possession, that we scarcely heed its value, any more than we do that of the air, in which, notwithstanding, our life lies.

Yes, this great doctrine, written as it were upon the posts of our doors, and proclaimed upon our house-tops, is among  the truths which many kings, and priests, and wise men of old, groped after darkly, if haply, they might find it, and found it not; and desired to see, but saw it not. But blessed are our eyes, for they see; and our ears, for they hear—not only this, but the more deep and hidden mysteries which even the angels of God, who shouted together for joy on the morning of Creation, desire to look into.

It is when we behold the highest intellects of ancient Greece perplexed in the inquiry—whether the world, in its present state, from all eternity existed; or whether the whole of this goodly fabric was not at some time formed by a fortuitous combination of pre-existing materials; and when we see the highest pitch to which human thought could reach, was that of the one or two who taught, that although the substantive matter of the word was eternal, it was molded by an intelligent Deity into the form it bears—we then begin to appreciate the clearness, if not the importance, of the belief which the ancient Hebrews received from the first sentence of Holy Writ—“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth;” and which at once placed the mind of the humblest peasant among them, high in divine knowledge above the most enlightened of the ancient heathen.

Even in our own day, those whose lot it is to dwell in the lands where pagan darkness reigns, can tell with what wonder and delight the youth in the schools hail the mighty doctrine which this verse discloses. To them, who had deemed it natural to believe that the world should be self-created, and had no intelligent Author, Note: “The world appears to have been self-created, as it was natural at all times that the world should be self-created, and perish by itself.... It does not appear that this world has been created by any one”—Upham’s Buddhist Tracts. it is a great and astounding revelation—it lets in a flood of light upon the mind, to know, that, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

But it is not needful for us to explore the darknesses of  ancient or modern Paganism, to know the importance of this doctrine. It is written with a sunbeam in the Old Testament; and it is well that we should strive, for our profit, to realize that vivid impression concerning it, which has perhaps been too much deadened by our familiarity from childhood with the sacred record which sets it forth. We all know that the Hebrew polity and doctrine was full of shadows, which were fulfilled in Christ; and that the ultimate object of the separation of the seed of Abraham from among the nations, was to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah. Yet, we also know, that the immediate and manifest object of that polity was to maintain this great doctrine of the creation of the world by one independent and Almighty Being; and that it might never pass out of mind, one day in seven was set apart for the commemoration of it. Hence the Hebrew poetry find prophecy abound in allusions to this great truth, and the whole Scripture is replete with acknowledgment of this central fact; any remote allusions, even darkly hinting at which, have been sought with care in the ancient pagan writers, but have been found with difficulty.

Now, that to which God saw fit to give such prominence under the old law, must not be altogether forgotten by us, or, although acknowledged as a matter of course, excluded practically from our meditations and our devotions. Yet how seldom do we adore God as the Creator—in which capacity he saw fit to present himself so conspicuously to his elder children. Nor is this the doctrine of the old law only, but of the new. The new sets it before us in fresh find endearing relations. It shows to us, that He by whom the world was made, was no other than He who, in a later age, came down in sorrow and in suffering to redeem that world from its pollutions, and to repair the ruin which sin had caused in his own fair work. The Creation belongs no less to the New Testament than to the Old. The Gospel connects creation and redemption—the Creator and the Redeemer. They are one; and we shall do well to regard them, not separately, but together. In the beginning of the Old Testament  the Son of God is by us recognized in the Creator; in the close of the same, his approach as a Redeemer is announced. In the beginning of the New Testament the Son of God has come as the Savior of the world; at the close of the same, another coming, for which creation groaneth, is announced; and happy are they who can from the heart hail that announcement in the words of the Evangelist—“Even so, come Lord Jesus, come quickly.”