In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1—NIV)

One of the significant memories of my childhood was the broadcasted reading of this great text by one of our astronauts on Christmas Eve, 1968 as Apollo 8 circled the moon. I had only been saved for two years when this was etched in my memory. This first verse of the creation is elegantly beautiful in its simplicity yet rich in its instruction. I would like you to consider the majesty, breadth, power and significance with which this text introduces you to your Creator.

  1. Notice what is coupled and balanced together: God and beginning, heavens and earth, eternal and physical, and also the curious linkage between the Creator and one solitary planet in the midst of all of the universe.
  2. In the Hebrew language the Name of God is Elohim, a plural of majesty. This introduces us to the cooperation of the God-head, triunity. See how this truth is shown in the context. In the oneness there is implied unity of creative and sovereign purpose. Superlative teamwork and unrestricted power come to mind.
  3. The very fact that creation is ascribed to God demonstrates the scope of His power. It spans the universe. In this scientific age with new discoveries of the intricacy of creation one cannot escape the recognition that God is thoroughly original in all that He does. Also implied in His act of creation is His right of ownership of all the works of His hands. This includes you and me.
  4. I also find it fascinating that the simplicity of the text indicates that God is unexplainable, nor does He need explanation. There is no statement of His origin, His beginning, or His pre-temporal occupations. The verse supports the reality that though God is present throughout creation, He is not the "creation." He is not a tree, an animal, "mother earth" or some such nonsense.
  5. It is also comforting to know that God put Himself personally into the effort of creating all that exists. He did not just set up the process, get it rolling, and then walk away.
  6. His creation consisted of the heavens and the earth. This brings to mind the heavens as we know them in our exploration of the universe with all its wonders known and unknown. Also one cannot help but think of the heavens of the atmosphere, the universe, and the place of blessed dwelling of the departed saints.
  7. The creation of the mass and space also tacitly witness the creative work of God in establishing the laws and disciplines of math, science, physics and time, to name a few.
  8. One more thing—the verse plainly points out the close relationship between the pre-existent God with the earth. There is a special, caring focus on what goes on here. With this verse the rest of the Bible is ably introduced.

Such simplicity, such majesty, such significance, such knowledge—trust and obey!