Genesis 1:1-3 ESV
1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
Everything we know about anything begins right here. We see in the opening lines of Genesis the character and nature of the God who made us, the God we worship and serve. He is the creator of all that is. The earth was shapeless and without form; empty, a vast void of nothingness. And then God enters the scene, a power when there was no power. And it is here that we can see that God is a God of great imagination, as He forges, makes, molds, builds, and fills the nothing with something.
There is plenty to learn here but this morning see that God is a filling God, a God who adds and multiplies. From our very first introduction to God, we see that Him creating life, giving birth to existence itself. And it is with this tone that the whole universe begins, a tone of life and living.
God is not a God of subtraction.
Much of the world wants to take away from the Bible’s witness of God, painting Him out to be a God who is the author of destruction and division. But a close and honest reading of the Scriptures will show you quickly that it is God who is creates and gives, and humanity who destroys and takes.
To illustrate, one of the painstaking moments for me as pastor is when people come to me mad at God. They have read something in the Scriptures that didn’t suit them or God allowed something that didn’t line up with their version of God. So, they build a case against Him and further complicate their faith and religion. But if we read the accounts carefully and draw close to God in relationship, we quickly see that God is just in His actions and activity, that God is not a destructive force but rather a redeeming one.
Judgment is never easy to accept, but we must be aware that the situation that lead to judgment in the first place was what complicated the matters and brought down the trouble we are facing. When something has happened that requires the response or wrath of God, it is because God has judged it with a righteous judgment and the verdict is just.
I hear so many arguments against the love of God in the Old Testament, especially in regards to Noah and the Great Flood. How could a good and loving God wipe out all those people?! How could we worship such a God? And then they are directed to the text, where it says,
“The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the LORD said, ‘I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them’” (Genesis 6.5–7 ESV).
Do we ever think about how much it takes to grieve the heart of a holy, loving, benevolent Creator?! That the Scriptures record that it grieved God’s heart actually grieves MY heart! I can remember many times farming with my granddad and my dad, when we would have failed crops or dying trees. Whether it was our vegetables or our trees, it HURT when something didn’t come up.
We could clear, plow, put in seed, irrigate and be sure there was plenty of sun and something would still go wrong. Was too much water, too little? Maybe the seeds were too shallow and the sun burned them up or the groundhogs ate the vines. Maybe the deer ate the leaves off the trees and they never got healthy enough to flourish. God forbid, maybe it was disease or blight, or maybe the soil was just give–out and needed to lay fallow for a time. One way or the other, all that hard work down the drain.
It hurts when something goes wrong. But how does God handle it? He finds a few good seeds, cleans out the weeds, turns the soil over and plants Noah and His family back into the ground of grace where the world will get another chance…and another…and another…and another.
This is the God we serve, the One who has created out of a holy imaginative love. He is a creative Creator, who makes a way when there is no way. This holds true from the book of Genesis to the book of Revelation. God is a redeeming God, making hard choices for the greater good EVERY SINGLE TIME. And it is only God who can make such hard choices and still steer the ship onto the right course.
So to those who desire to make a case against God, good luck. To those who try to out run God and hide from Jesus, I’ll quote theologian Abraham Kuyper who said,
“There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!”
Every square inch of matter, dark matter, anti-matter, belongs to God. Whether we look to the broadest views of the heavens or through the most powerful of microscopes, we will see the fingerprints of God. God as Creator has His hand on everything.
At the end of the day, my simplest answer to the one running from God is this, “Give up. Surrender. Rest in the arms of the One who made you.” God is prepared to hold you, carry you, place you where you need to be but you must let Him take the helm of the ship. Stop trying to captain a boat you can’t control. Will you let God be ‘God’? Let’s trust the Creator and Father of us all. Amen.