The Book of Genesis

The Book of Genesis

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When preparing to study the Bible, beginning in Genesis, it seems only fitting to begin at the beginning of the beginning. Yes, the book of Genesis contains profoundly more information than just the beginning. Genesis contains the beginning of many things. The world, the beginning of time, the beginning of man, the beginning of God and how He deals with His creation on a large scale and on significantly smaller scale. Genesis marks the beginning of redemption and salvation. From the first man to the first nation called by God, God is depicted as one who loves and protects those He calls His own.
Yet, probably one of the most simplistic yet profound statements in the Bible is the one found at the beginning of the Bible, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth". The psalmist, the prophets, and the apostle have affirmed this simple yet magnificent verse. Although, it is the subject of much debate. The Bible assumes and never argues the existence of God. Although everything made, at one time had a beginning, God has always been. The vastness and enormity of this one statement is equaled by no other for it assumes and states many things concerning the greatness and truth of God.
First assumption being the existence of God; for it is said that He, which was in the beginning, is the one who creates something from nothing. The very sentences, "in the beginning God created," asserts the beginning of things and time. While it is understood that there is no empirical proof of the existence of God but creation itself, and belief in such a theory is based on faith alone. One can not argue the probability of a higher being possibly being responsible for such a complex and magnificent design. Proof of the designer is in the design itself. It would require more faith to assume creation just happened, then to believe God created it. In looking for a rational explanation as to how things came to be, assuming for a moment the big bang theory to be correct, the question still arises, who was responsible for setting such actions into motion? The answer would have to be God.
Genesis 1:1 assumes His eternity; for it states that in the beginning He created, not He was created. His existence is based solely on the statement that at the beginning of creation, at some undisclosed period of time, or more correctly, at the beginning of time as one would measure time, God was already there.

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God is before all things, and as nothing comes from nothing unless created, one must conclude that God Himself must have always been. The beginning of things, naturally is contingent on something being before and eternal. Even if the Bible and the verses contained within were not a factor in determining the existence of God and the eternalness of God, the reality of God is evident, and creation screams her testimony concerning her creator.
It also implies His omnipotence, for He creates a complex system, a vast universe, a human race, perfect and complete by His very word, which indicates He is a being of infinite wisdom, power and absolute intellect. God creating is the omnipotent act of giving existence to things that did not exist. The wisdom, power, strength and ability to hang the earth into nothing, can only be accomplished with power beyond all human understanding. The prophet Jeremiah wrote, "Ah Lord GOD! Behold, Thou hast made the heavens and the earth by Thy great power and by Thine outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for Thee". (Jeremiah 32:17 NASB). God has the power to control the sun and the moon. He is able to manipulate and manage the rotation of the earth giving seasons to the earth. His very hands have the power to raise mountains and hold the ocean at bay for He alone set the boundaries that even the sea does not dare to cross. No other matches the unfathomable power and strength held by the one who is in the beginning.
Verse two of Genesis is equally filled with a wealth of information, that to the untrained eye could easily be missed leaving the reader to ponder certain truths concerning God, Satan, creation and much more. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth". While filled with an immense amount of information that was, by no means dealt with to the fullest measure above, it is for all intensive purposes a statement of fact. No details other than these facts are given at this point, for the most pertinent information is given; in the beginning God alone was there, and He alone is responsible for the vast creation called earth. The Eastern culture in writing places the important information first. The reader is privileged to more details as the events of creation, through the Hebrew language, began to unravel before his eyes. Geneses 1:2 states, "And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters". At first glance, it would seem to be a simple statement of fact as well. Expect the word "was" creates multiple interpretation possibilities. The word "was" or ht'îy>h' is the qal perfect 3rd person feminine singular of the to be verb. Meaning, be as an event or something that has began to be, or come to pass. If the word is to be translated as something that was simply created to be, or something that was created to be, the conclusion that would be drawn is; the world was created, or came to pass formless and void. Without any further look at the language, one would have to conclude that this interpretation is incorrect for scripture refutes it. The prophet Isaiah states "For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, But formed it to be inhabited), ‘I am the LORD, and there is none else'". (Isaiah 45:18 NASB). If scripture is to be taken literally, and assuredly it is, than God did not create the world a void and a waste place. An alternate interpretation of the word ht'îy>h' must be examined.
The second alternative for ht'îy>h' is became or be as a change of state. And the world became a void and a waste place. An example of the word being used as "became" is in the book of Exodus during the time of the plaques. Moses wrote, "So there was hail, and fire flashing continually in the midst of the hail, very severe, such as had not been in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. (Exodus 9:24 NASB). The word "became" indicating a period of time that Egypt was not a nation and at one point "became" a nation. If the interpretation "became" is correct, there should be a logical explanation in scripture as to how the world "became" a void and a waste place and who was responsible for the damage.
This subject is known as the "gap theory". The gap theory is the time between Genesis 1 and Genesis 2. The common idea of the "gap theory" is the world was created perfect and complete in Genesis 1. Some catastrophic event, at some time, changed the perfect creation in Genesis 1 to the void and waste place found in verse 2. Many believe the "gap theory" to be a futile attempt by the religious community to harmonize the Bible and the account of creation with millions of years of the geologic record. Bert Thompson stated in his paper, Difficult Texts From Genesis, page 1,
To discuss the opening chapters of the book of Genesis, as we shall here, is to discuss the matter of origins, since Genesis is, as the name aptly suggests, the "book of beginnings." Yet a discussion of this subject, or this book, evokes strong reactions among many people for to them this is the thorny, controversial area where the battle of "science verses the Bible" is being waged. For too may people have come to believe that the Genesis account of origins and modern science are somehow opposed to each other. Some even would say they are mutually exclusive. Though true science and true religion never are opposed to each other, the false theories of some scientists and the false ideas of some religionist often are, and it is here that the conflict has been both fueled and fanned. (Bert Thompson, Difficult Texts From Genesis, Apologetics Press, Inc. Montgomery AL, page 1)
Even with all that has been written on the subject, none is more reliable than the Bible. According to Genesis 1:2 something changed the perfect condition of the earth. While there are several possibilities, only one will be examined for it is the most logical. If the earth was created perfect then a look as to what or who destroyed it is a good place to begin. The book of Ezekiel speaks of the anointed cherub, one that was in Eden, the garden of God. The description of this one is; he is blameless, found on the holy mountain of God walking in the midst of the stones of fire. He is said to be arrogant against God, lifting up his heart because of his beauty. Because of his pride he was filled with evil and violence and sinned against God. Therefore, he was cast down from the mountain of God, and cast to the ground. This is paraphrased from Ezekiel 28:13-18. The context for these verses is God speaking to the king of Tyre. While contextually that is correct, certain aspects of what Ezekiel wrote are not conducive to the king of Tyre. The king of Tyre was never in Eden, the garden of God. He was not blameless, nor did he walk on the mountain of God. With a simple look at these verses, one would have to conclude that Ezekiel was speaking of no one other than Satan, for only he matches the description given.
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