[Rector]

The creation story

 

The first three chapters of the Bible record the creation story, but they do something more than this. These chapters actually give us an insight into the character of God. They let us into a divine secret.

To know how God creates is beyond human understanding, and so for this reason the wonder of creation comes to us in story-form - as a parable. It's impossible to fathom whether God created instantaneously or by process. If the creation were instantaneous, were there any growth rings in the trees of Eden? If by process, how was the first electron contained? What is made clear to us is that God speaks, "God said", and "the heavens and the earth" were created. From nothing we came into existence and were brought close to God, by his Word.

"He commanded and they were created", Psalm 33:6,9, and 148. So our first glimpse of God is that of a powerful sovereign Lord. It was said of king Nebuchadnezzar "whom he would he slew and whom he would he put down." Such is our creator God, and our response must be to proclaim "O Lord my God, you are very great, you are clothed with honour and majesty", Psalm 104:1. Before such a God we can only but bow, 1Peter 5.

Yet, as well as God's majesty, the creation story lets us see God's goodness. At each point in the story it says "and God saw that it (the creation) was good." God's goodness is seen in his creation, Psalm. 104, 145. "God has not left himself without witness in that he did good and gave us fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with joy and gladness", Acts 14. Even in a world out of control, polluted by selfish humanity, its goodness still shines through. Thanksgiving can be our only response.

Finally, the creation story tells us of human rebellion against the creator God who is both sovereign, and good. Adam and Eve are cast out of the garden and yet God is still "kind toward the unthankful and evil", Luke 6:35. He reveals himself as long-suffering, Matthew 5:45. He doesn't just wipe them out. Yet, that doesn't mean he ignores rebellion. "In the day that I visit, I will visit their sins upon them", Exodus 32:34. As Paul the apostle reminds us, there is a day of judgement and on that day God will render to everyone according to their works, Romans 3:4-6.

God's willingness to delay retribution in the face of evil, reveals another aspect of the his character and teaches us another way to respond to him. We rebels must bow before him in sorrow. "My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore, I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes", Job 42:5,6.