When we worship God, what god do we worship? Do we worship our best friend and buddy, one who’s always there when we need that shoulder in the sky on which to cry? Do we bow before a deity sitting on the mountain top, unattainable and wrathful, begging and hoping he won’t strike us down? Or do we picture our god somewhere in between?
Or do we worship the God of the Bible? Who is that God?
Genesis 1-3 gives tremendous insight into the God we are to worship. The opening verse begins, “In the beginning God . . . .” God. In the beginning. Just God. In fact, this period is the first moment after time was created by God. When time began, God was. Even before time existed—though that’s beyond our finite understanding—God was. And today, God is. Tomorrow, God will be. God.
Supreme. Eternal. God.
The verse continues, “God created.” This eternal deity, God, created. There was nothing except him. No space particles, no space dust, no floating anything. Nothing but God. That is, until he created. God created. The rest of chapter one outlines what he created: everything.
Nothing exists in nature that God didn’t create. From the massive whales and elephants to the tiniest sub-particle within a quark (part of a part of an atom), God made it all. He also programmed it.
Just look around you, look at yourself. See how meticulous the detail is that God created. Every color in the spectrum, both visible and invisible, God created. Every sunrise and sunset displays his artwork. Every cell reveals his bio-engineering. Every part of the universe cries out, “Made by God!” In the beginning God. In the beginning God created.
God: eternal, supreme, supernatural, creator. God.
And mankind is part of that creation. In fact, we are the pinnacle of that creation. We are special, uniquely chosen and formed; we are created in God’s image. This means we share some of the characteristics of God, but we are by no means a deity nor shall we ever be. Forever we are a finite creation; forever God is infinite creator.
Within western civilization, Progressivism has forwarded the idea that the human race is good and improving over time. Call it evolution or social progress, the idea is the same: humanity improves over time. Those who do not improve die off, thus allowing the race to progress toward its ultimate goodness.
Progressivism also emphasizes that the community, culture, or collective matters more than the individual. If the individual interferes with the group’s progress, the individual is expendable. Furthermore, if the individual desires to improve, or be saved, the culture or social group must be changed. Salvation is collective according to progressive thinkers.
But this is not biblical. In the first two chapters of Genesis, God communicated directly to man, Adam (Gen 1:28, 29-30). Later, after placing Adam in Eden, he gave him instructions, once again communicating with him (Gen 2:16-17). But not only did he communicate with Adam, he provided a family, a partner, a wife for him: Eve (Gen 2:18-24).
The God who created, related. He did not form the universe and world, then sit back and watch to see what would happen; he provided for Adam, talked with Adam, communed with man. And this was not merely being in the presence of his creation, God related to the individual; he related to Adam.
This is further seen in chapter 3 after the fall. Adam and Eve heard God walking in the garden (Gen 3:8), the first theophany (though probably a Christophany, but I digress). They hid from God, not because he is God, but because of shame due to their sin (Gen 3:8, 10). What happened next did not require God appear in Eden as he did. He could have communicated with Adam the same way he did before. However, God showed up. Why? Fellowship. God communed with Adam and Eve. He loved them, cared for them, and had a relationship with them as individuals.
God asks them to confess their sins, they blame each other, the serpent, and even God, then God deals out the punishment: death. Because of their sin, the fellowship which was to be eternal was broken, and Adam and Eve, along with all creation, now faced death.
Despite Adam and Even’s sin, the God who created and related, still provided. He clothed them (Gen 3:21). He still loved them. And he desired that fellowship, that special relationship, be restored, so he provided a means by which that would happen: Eve’s seed would redeem people and creation (Gen 3:16). Jesus is that seed who atones for sin, redeems creation, and restores that lost relationship. Why? Because God loves. He loves his creation. He loves mankind. He loves individuals. God loves you.
Genesis 1-3 is more than a story of creation’s origins. It is more than a story of the first humans. Genesis 1-3 is a story God:
God is eternal.
Man sins, but God remains God: infinite, holy, righteous, and caring. God cares about each individual person. While he may allow us to fall down and suffer because of our sin, or because others sinned, he still cares about you.
Sin’s pervasive corruption brought pain, suffering, sickness, hardship, and death into this world. But fast-forward sixty-five books. God declares his love once again. In the Lamb’s Book of Life are names written (Rev 19:11-15). These are the names of the redeemed, the saved. These are believers in Christ Jesus, his followers, his disciples. But it’s not “mankind” or “the saved” listed. Individual names are written down.
In the end, God will restore and sanctify his creation. All those who accept Christ as Savior—those whose names are in that book—will once again have that full, eternal relationship with God Adam and Eve enjoyed in Eden.
God loves individuals. Jesus saves individuals. Will you accept Christ today?