The story begins with God. As the universe begins, there is only one character because God is the ultimate cause and reality of all things. God created all things. Therefore all things have their being in God. God did not create due to loneliness. God does not need anything. God exists in perfect unity, harmony, and community. He is one in being and three in subsistence, namely the Father, Son, and Spirit. God created, and creation itself is an act of love and grace.
God exercises his sovereignty as he names his creation, delegates responsibility, appoints authority, and imposes restrictions. God shows his power as he creates through divine and spoken word. The cosmos came into existence through a creative God. God's creation is diverse and well ordered. All that exists could have easily been brought into being with a single command from the creator. However, God chose to employ order and process in the work of creation which reveals his wisdom, majesty, and power. Everything God makes is good and the hierarchy in the created order becomes evident.
The first three days show the ways God separated his creation:
Light / Darkness
Waters / Waters
Earth / Seas
God filled his creation during the last three days:
Sun / Moon / Stars
Fish / Sea Creatures / Birds
Mammals / Reptiles / Man
God creates, commands, and commissions his creation. God simply spoke the universe into being. The world is not the product of time plus matter plus chance. God is in complete control from that point which can be called “the beginning.” God is glorious, and every good thing came because of God's goodness.
The apex of God's creative activity was the creation of man because mankind was created in God's image. Giving man dominion also was a separation from all the rest of creation. The Imago Dei is why the sanctity of human life matters in all areas. The sanctity of human life requires consideration in all causes– whether war, social justice, race relations, abortion, or euthanasia. Even the question of gender must be viewed through God's goodness in creation. Men and women equally share God's image and together exercise dominion. Although humanity is to have dominion, that rule comes with responsibility. That responsibility includes procreation, conservation, and preservation. When creation was completed, God rested and made that day holy. God did not rest because he was weary, he modeled the need for rest. Our need for rest reminds us that we are not God. This story is just a glimpse of the truth that God is glorious and beautiful as his creation reflects.
Things To Consider:
- What does beginning refer to since God has no beginning?
- If God is the creator, what does that tell us about all things and why does it matter?
- What does the way God created tell us about the way he relates to his creation?
- Why are the implications of things being created by a word?
- Why does it matter that everything God created was good?
- Why do we struggle with diversity?
- Do separation and roles enhance or diminish value? Why?
- Why did God give man dominion?
- Does it matter that God defines gender? Why?
- How should we understand gender in light of God's original mandate?
- Do you thank God for creation?