In the Beginning God Spoke

Andrew Fuller said of Genesis 1, “In the first page of this sacred book a child may learn more in an hour than all the philosophers in the world learned without it in thousands of years. There is a majestic sublimity in the introduction. No apology, preamble, or account of the writer: you are introduced at once into the very heart of things. No vain conjectures about what was before time, nor why things were done thus and thus: but simply so it was.”

Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

Those are powerful words that resonate with all of us, not only because we know where they come from, and not only because we have heard them all of our lives. Those words are haunting and pregnant to us because we all have a desire to answer the basic question of life, “where did I come from?”

Because God has chosen to reveal Himself through His word, we do not have to grope in the darkness after answers. Into that darkness, God spoke.

The earth was dark, void of life, formless and covered with water. And God said, “Let there be light.” A voice! This is not a God who is seen, but a Spirit who is heard. The horrible thought that must be in the background of our minds and the foreground of our hearts, “what if God had not spoken?” Not just in creation, but in general to reveal himself to us. We have no right to hear from God. We do not deserve His voice. What if we had not received this word? If God had not spoken, Morningview Baptist Church would not be here. If God had not spoken, we could not know how we got here, or why we are here.

That God created by speaking is a central idea in the nature and character of God, and thus a central idea in understanding the who, why and how of creation. In Genesis 1:3 we meet the speaking God, and if God has spoken, this reality should change our lives and frame our thinking. Because God has spoken, everything is changed! If God has spoken, then the highest human aspiration must be to hear what he has said. If God has spoken, then we do know, and what we know is the highest and greatest knowledge that man can ever hear. Hearing the word of God is not merely for receiving information, but to receive the living God. And having heard it, we cannot feign ignorance, acting as if we do not know. We are accountable for the hearing. There is no pride in our knowing, for it is known by the mercy of revelation. If God has spoken, we too must speak, and we speak because He has spoken.

This makes a difference, of course, in the life of a believer, who is not only the one who has heard, but instrumentally and day by day, is the one who is being heard. It makes a difference, of course, in the life of the Church, who understands what it means to gather together as the ones who have heard. Therefore, our task is not to go figure out what to teach, or where to find meaning. Our task is to be reminded continually that we have a God who speaks, that we have heard the word of God speaking from the darkness. Do we dare to hear and go on living as though we have not heard?

Grace and Peace,

Reid Ward