I don’t know about you, but I hear a lot about me at church – what I can do for God, what I’m doing wrong, what I should be doing that I’m not doing good enough, etc. Even things that point to God seem to center mostly on us – what God is doing in our lives, what Christ did on the cross for us, etc. Rarely do we just focus on God and try to discover who He is, outside of who we are. Yes, Christianity is relational, towards both God and other people. But in my relationships with others, I don’t focus on who they are in the light of what role they play in my life or what they do for me. I get to know them on the basis of who they are as individual people. I think we should try that same approach with God.
So who is God? That is a huge question, with an infinite number of answers. To even begin to explore and understand it, we’re going to start where God starts – at the beginning. At creation.
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). First of all, God created everything. There is not one thing in this universe that was not created by God himself. If we read further into the story, we see that God created everything (except for Adam and Eve) simply through spoken word. When He creates Adam and Eve, He takes special care with them – first shaping Adam with His very breath, and then tenderly bringing Eve to life from Adam’s rib. We also see repeatedly that everything God created was “good” in his eyes, and in verse 31, after He creates humans, He sees that His creation is “very good.”
There is an infinite number of things to talk about in the creation story, but I’m going to narrow it down to four:
- God is powerful.
- God is good.
- God speaks to us through creation.
- God has great love for humans.
First of all, God is powerful. He displays this power through the fact that He speaks everything into being. I want you to think about that for a moment. Try to speak something into being. A pizza. Your favorite toy you lost when you were three. A winning lottery ticket. We can’t do those things. But God can. He spoke into being the stars in all their brilliance, the towering mountains, the vast seas, the delicate flowers, the raw, open sky – all of it was brought forth by words. The universe, in all its complexity, was created by the power of God alone.
Secondly, God is good. God is perfect. His creation reflected that. When we paint a picture, write a story, design a building, or create in any way, we put ourselves into our creation. Van Gogh’s style of painting is different than Monet’s, and both of their styles are different from Picasso’s or Vermeer’s. And many times, we can tell whose work is whose just by looking at it. Art reflects the artist. So God’s creation reflects Him. If God’s creation was good and perfect, it could have only come from a good and perfect God.
And in this way, God speaks to us. Psalm 19:1-4 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.” Through His creation, God sends us a message. “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them,” writes Paul in his letter to the Romans. “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made” (Romans 1:19-20). God intended for us to look at nature and see Him. He designed everything in the universe to point back to Him, to His existence, His power, and His divinity.
He also wants to show us that He loves us. Look at how God created the first humans. To create Adam, He used His breath and earth. He took extra care with Him. And to create Eve, He removed a rib from Adam to bring her into existence. Nothing in the universe was created in either of these ways. Psalms 139:13-14 says, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Not only did God take special care when He created Adam and Eve, but He has the same attitude toward all humans. We are His beautiful masterpiece, the precious work of His hands. God does not toss us around carelessly, or place us on a high shelf and forget about us, or throw us in the garbage – no, God has love and devotion for each one of us, just as He did for Adam and Eve.
He also shows His love for us in that creation is a gift for us. He created this beautiful universe so that we could be surrounded by His love and beauty constantly. He wants us to see what He has created and draw closer to Him. He wants us to search for Him in the mysteries of the universe. God’s creation is a display of who He is – the Creator, great in power and perfect divinity, who has great love for His creation.
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.”