Sometimes when wondering where to begin with explaining who God is it is best to simply go to the beginning – of the Bible and of creation. In the opening verse of the Bible we read, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). The beginning spoken about here was not God’s beginning; God doesn’t have a starting point; He is from everlasting to everlasting (Ps. 90:2; 103:17); and Moses, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, felt no need to offer an introductory apologetic for God’s eternal self-existence.
This uncreated Creator is unlike any sculptor, craftsmen, or painter that we know. The artisans of men need some pre-existing material to work with – stones, wood, paint, etc. Something. Some piece of material matter. But throughout the opening chapter of Genesis we simply see the refrain, “And God said…” and each time He did, matter and/or life came into existence. God created ex-nihilo – out of nothing. Think about it – the universe came into existence via the sheer expression of God’s voice. The writer of Hebrews said:
By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. (Heb. 11:3 ESV)
In Genesis 1 God provided mankind with the testimony of creation and in Hebrews 11 we see one of many places where that testimony is affirmed. God called things into being that did not previously exist (cf. Rom. 4:17). There was no eternally existing material spread throughout some eternally existing plane of existence. In fact, before “the beginning”, time as we know it didn’t exist. Whereas we, along with creation, are subject to time, the God who was, who is, and who is to come (Rev. 1:8; 4:8), is not. For Him a thousand years are as a day, and a day is as a thousand years (2 Pet. 3:8; cf. Ps. 90:4) – a statement that witnesses to God’s transcendence of time and should not be used as a text to suggest that the ‘evenings and mornings’ of Genesis 1 were actually long epochs as opposed to twenty-four hour days.
A Mature Creation
It’s also worth noticing that the creation account of Genesis 1 contains repetitive appearances of fully formed things, all bearing the appearance of age. The egg did not come first; the chicken did. The oceans swarmed with fully formed fish and the skies were filled with fully formed birds. God produced plants bearing seeds, not seeds that would eventually grow into plants bearing seeds. Stars, regardless of how far they were, were made to immediately give light to the earth. And Adam and Eve were created, not as babies or children, but as adults. God did not need, nor did He choose to use, billions of years. He did not set into motion cycles of hominid life and death. This is how God the creator created plants, stars, sea creatures, animals, and humans – completely, with the appearance of age. Such is an important fact to keep in mind when theistic evolutionists try to merge the paradigm of naturalistic evolution with the opening chapters of the Bible.
Our Appropriate Response
When we consider that anything other than God was the result of the creative power of God, and that every plant, all the starry host, the creatures that swim in the ocean, the animals that walk upon the face of the earth, every human being, every piece of matter, every immaterial spirit (apart from Him), was created by Him and for Him (Col 1:15-17) and as a declaration of His divinity and power (Rom. 1:20); our appropriate response is worship. And if you would like some Spirit-inspired words to express such adoration, you can echo the words of the elders depicted around the throne in Revelation 4:
11 “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.” (Rev. 4:11 NASB)