“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen 1:1).
These seven words in the Hebrew are the foundation of everything that follows in the Bible.
In this verse, we identify the Creator as God and the world’s origin being from God. In this chapter, Moses (the author) answers one of the big questions in life: “Where does the world come from?” Answer: God.
When time began, God was there. And because God is the subject of this 1st sentence and appears 35x in Genesis 1, it reminds us God is the foundation of all truth. These seven words in the Hebrew refute atheism (the belief that there is no God). These seven words in the Hebrew refute pantheism (the belief that God is in everything). These seven words in the Hebrew refute henotheism (the belief in many gods but our God is the supreme). These seven words in the Hebrew refute polytheism (the belief in more than one god).
We are told that “God created the heavens and the earth.” Theologians use a Latin phrase ex nihilo, which means “out of nothing.” God didn’t have building material locked away in some heavenly storage shed, pull it all out, and then start creating. God spoke things into existence from non-existence. God did not create with a collecting of cosmic Legos. God created “out of nothing.”
“By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible” (Heb 11:3).
The now deceased Charles Ryrie writes in his Basic Theology,
“It is a helpful concept if we understand it to mean that physical entities were created out of the nonphysical resources of God’s omnipotence. Technically, the expression is applicable only to the creation of inorganic substances, for God did not employ previously created inorganic materials in forming the bodies of living things.”
Herbert Spencer, a non-Christian evolutionist from the 1800’s is credited for coining the phrase “survival of the fittest.” He was also the one whose categories of the knowable are now widely accepted. He put anything knowable into five categories: time, force, action, space, matter. These classifications have been hailed throughout the scientific community as helpful classifications for all of the known universe.
But guess who really came up with these five knowable classifications? God!
- Time – “in the beginning”
- Force – “God”
- Action – “created”
- Space – “the heavens”
- Matter- “and the earth”
What a wise God we serve!
 Basic Theology, pg. 207