“In the beginning…”
Are there any more famous words than “in the beginning”?
Let’s turn back to “in the beginning” and look God’s handiwork:
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. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7 And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. 8 And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
9 And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good (Genesis 1:1-10).
I know that a bit of a long reference…but I wanted to get to the very last word we read…which was?
“And God saw that it was good.”
[ These are quick sermon notes…not cleaned-up…and missing the “extras” that come out in the audio (which is available here). All quotes are from the English Standard Version unless otherwise noted. ]
Now, I know that it also stated, “And God saw that the light was good,” and I think we all agree that light is good, but that seemed a bit early in the creation narrative to stop. God again proclaims things good in verses 12, 18, 21, and 25.
A lot of good going around! 🙂
Then God creates us in His image…after His likeness…gives us dominion over other living things, blesses us, tells us to be fruitful, and provides us (and other animals) plants as food. After that, we hit verse 31:
31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day (Genesis 1:31)
Creation was complete. Was it “just” good at that point?
No, it was very good.
Do you agree?
The Heavens Declare
However, just how how “very good” was The Almighty’s creation? Psalm 19 gives us an idea:
1 The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
2 Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
3 There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
4 Their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
5 which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
6 Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them,
and there is nothing hidden from its heat (Psalm 19:1-6)
“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”
It was very, very, very, very…”very good,” wasn’t it?
But, I have a bone to pick with David. As amazingly glorious the heavens and sky above, there are equally marvelous things much closer to home. For instance, we live in an incredible location, where if we look west in parts of Strasburg, what do we see?
The Rockies. They are always sensational, but especially so when snowcapped.
However, I still think we can miss the boat if we ignore that things don’t have to be gigantic to be magnificent. Jesus recognized this:
27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these (Luke 12:27).
Solomon was ridiculously rich, built a bunch tremendous things (including the Lord’s temple), and had beaucoup wives and concubines.
Yet, the glory of lilies is greater than the glory of Solomon.
Greater than anything man has created, in my opinion.
However, again I think we are “missing the boat” if we don’t expand our view of glory further.
I mean, is there anything more incredible than, say…
The little toes of a baby…
Or the smile of a child?
Or the caring eyes of someone who loves you?
Why did I choose this topic for a sermon?
This past week Michelle and I introduced Augie to the three Matrix movies, and I was pondering the end of the third one.
In the final installment, we are introduced to a little Indian girl, Sati. She is not human…she is a program in the Matrix, created by two other programs.
Let me back up quickly for anyone who doesn’t know what the Matrix is. Short version is that it is a computer program created by machines to keep our minds busy so they can harvest energy from us. Everything we experience is just an amazingly complex computer program.
And Sati is a program…with absolutely no purpose…but her computer program parents created her…and love her.
At the end of the movie, the movie’s primary hero, Neo (played by Keanu Reeves), has won…the war between machines and humans is over…and the virus, Mr. Smith, who was threatening both, is destroyed.
Sati is chatting with the Oracle, and off in the distance there is a beautiful sunrise. The Oracle asks Sati is she created it, and she says yes…that she made it in honor of Neo.
Why did the beautiful little girl create a beautiful sunrise? It was an expression of love…by someone who was created…well…as an expression of love.
When you think of all the amazing and beautiful things around you…whether you use your eyes as is…use a telescope…or use a microscope…ask yourself:
Why? Why, when God could have created everything to just support our needs, did He mix in so much that can take our breaths away…if only we take the time to look…to really look?
He didn’t need to create sunrises to our east that can sometimes stun us. He could have just designed a universe like we did our bearded dragon’s tank: with a heat lamp that automatically flips on and off during the day.
But instead the Most High inserted us into a solar system and universe where, if we get beyond the interference of light pollution, any normal human’s jaw will drop when he or she sees it in all its glory.
Additionally, God could have created our vision so that there was no “beautiful,” just enough information so we could tactically accomplish what we needed to to survive. Black and white only. Bland.
But He didn’t.
Taste could have been just so we could distinguish between nutritious and poisonous food.
But, instead, we can truly savor it from McDonald’s. 🙂
Seriously though, why did God make it so we can genuinely salivate over food?
Or have music raise our lift us to another plane?
Or find a smell intensely appealing?
When God created the heavens and the earth…and us…in six days, He had a choice.
It could have just been mundane…something that simply accomplishes what was logistically required.
But He didn’t.
Instead, the epitome of love showed His love by making it so we can truly enjoy His creation.
It is a shame when we miss that. When we don’t slow down to look at the sunsets or sunrises…or the clouds in-between.
When we don’t look at the toes of a baby…or the smile of the child…or the eyes of someone who loves us.
Slow down everyone.
God loves you.
You don’t sense that?
Look. Listen. Taste. Smell. Feel.
Sure, the Cross is the ultimate proof of God’s love for you, but sometimes it is hard to fully mentally digest something that happened 2,000 years ago…that you didn’t personally experience.
But, you can look, listen, taste, smell, and feel.
Experience God’s love here and now.
And then share it.
Image of Sati and the Oracle from matrix.wikia.com.