Back in the early 2000s, I noticed some sort of cultural-epistemological shift beginning to occur amongst my students. As I would be teaching them about knowledge, critical thinking, and rhetoric, I would receive “push back” to traditional forms of knowing.
Here’s an example: if I were talking about the AIDS crisis and presented a documentary that cites statistics and research as well as the national/global projections based on mathematic formulas and past history…that information would not hold the same weight as, say, a related anecdote from a friend or family member. The research didn’t mean as much as the relationship.
I still see it today—it is more widespread and more deeply rooted than I would have thought, even. Fake news. I don’t care what political side or angle we come from…we all have a problem with fake news. If it doesn’t agree with our worldview, then it’s fake. And even if it is bogus, if it agrees with our worldview, it rings true to our biased ears.
Honestly, genuinely, we’re in trouble. We, as a nation and culture, have become unmoored. We’re adrift in relativism—that idea that what is true for you is not true for me. Truth is…what I make of it. And that results in “truth” being everywhere, but Truth being nowhere.
Now, I’m going to say something true, but if you don’t listen well, it will sound like something false: The Bible is not Truth, itself. The Bible points to Truth—God. Truth is a Being (Father, Son, Spirit) name YHWH. Therefore, the Bible speaks or reflects Truth…and it does so like no other.
I rejoice that we don’t have to search for Truth. I’m glad that we don’t have to waste away in darkness to find the Light of Truth. Truth has found us. Actually, Truth has never left us. And it is the Truth that will help moor us, orient us, and guide us closer and closer to the Truth.
The Bible says that there was a beginning and that it came about through God. [read Genesis 1:1-2:3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZ1Fd_SPC18].
I want to spend some time reveling in this chapter. The first is that Moses (who wrote Genesis) uses the name Elohim for God. Why is that? The way that he uses Elohim, Moses is saying the God of gods, the greatest of all the gods, is the God of Israel.
The Hebrews had always been surrounded by people who believed in multiple gods, not a singular God. So, when a Hebrew child would begin studying Scripture, the first thing he/she would see is that despite the claims of other peoples about their gods, our God is the greatest. The God of Creation is also the God of the Covenant.
Second, let’s look characteristics we see in the Creator. Look at verse two. The Earth was formless, empty, and dark. The writer is describing a scene of “futility” to us. And what does God do? His Spirit brooded over the water, readying for the Word. He speaks forth light. He separates the waters, creating an atmosphere: sky. He harnesses the lower waters to reveal land. God gives order to His creation!
There is some order to the creation, but now what? Third, God fills the Earth…He makes vegetation, plants and trees. He places the Sun, Moon, and stars. He fashions fish, birds, creepy crawlies, wild animals, and domesticated animals. He creates humans. God organizes His world and He fills His world!
We’re not done yet! Fourth, God purposes His world. He creates vegetation with seeds so that each kind may reproduce its own kind (He has ordered and filled that it may perpetuate). All the creatures of the air, sea, and land are purposed to be fruitful and multiply: continue to fill My Earth.
Fifth, God provides for His creation. The warmth of the sun, water, and vegetation are all given for the sustenance of life. Partners are provided for bird, beast, fish, and humanity. And God’s Presence is also provided. Creation is whole, right, and filled with God’s Peace.
God comments on His work. Two times He reflects on His work and says that it is good. Finally, He looks over the whole of Creation and says that it is very good. Order is good. Purpose is good. Right relationship is good. Life is good, very good.
Finally, God also creates rest. The seventh day. Too often we overlook it…even the one who decided chapters left the seventh day until Genesis 2! But God created rest. He set aside the seventh day by blessing it and ordaining it as holy. Here, again, we see order, purpose, filling, provision, Life. It is very good to set aside the Sabbath in order that we might be with God in a special way.
What is the message of our day and age. We came from nothing! Our world is an accident! Our world and life are meaningless! We have no purpose other than the one we make for ourselves! There is no God! We will return to nothing!
Be oriented, Friends! We are much like the Hebrews who found themselves surrounded by pagan gods with pagan messages and pagan aspirations. These gods go by different names but they have the same pagan destinies: a fool’s destruction.
We serve Elohim! Our God is greater than any other god, for they are false gods. Our Lord is the God of Creation as well as the God of Salvation—One God.
Your God had and has a plan for this world. He brooded over it, ordered it for good, filled it for good, purposed it for good, provided it for good, and even made time (set aside) for its good. All this is very good. He is a very good God.
We must strive to hold on to the truth of God’s Creation. The Scriptures reveal to us God’s Truth—they reveal God, Himself. Orient yourself to Truth. You don’t have to search for Truth. You do have to open yourself to Truth. Let Truth give you order, fill you, purpose you, and provide for you. The Truth is good; it is good to be in the Truth. God desires to make time for you, to have Sabbath with you…it is just as He created. Amen.