Abraham Lincoln once said: “I never behold (the heavens filled with stars) that I do not feel I am looking in the face of God. I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how he could look up, into the heavens and say there is no God.
The very first book of your Bible is called Genesis. Notice the very first words of Genesis:
Genesis 1:1 (ESV)
In the beginning, God … created the heavens and the earth.
Before anything else happened… there was God. Scripture DIDN’T just start out: “In the beginning, the earth was without form and void” OR “In the beginning before the sun and solar system existed” OR “In the beginning in a land far, far away.” It simply says “In the beginning… GOD” Everything in scripture is built – not so much around the earth or man – but around God. Now, why is that important? Why is it important that the Bible starts out saying “In the beginning God?”
1st – because God formed the earth. He created it. He owns it. It belongs to Him. It’s all God’s. Everything is His. Once you figure that out, everything else in Scripture begins to makes sense. But you have to START with God. The 2nd reason Genesis starts out saying “In the Beginning God” is because without God nothing else matters. Nothing has purpose. Nothing has real value. You take God out of the picture and you end up with an empty universe. It’s God that creates value in this world and in us. Without God you’re left nothing that has any intrinsic value to it in this world. Everything you see becomes an accident… a chance collection of atoms and molecules. There’s no plan and no purpose. But once you put God back into the picture life suddenly has value.
Psalm 40:5 (ESV)
You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told.
Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Over and over and over again in the Bible God tells us we are valuable and that He has a plan and purpose for our lives. But if God isn’t in your life, you don’t have that. And life becomes empty and void. It’s God that gives this life value. So, how do I KNOW that I (as a person) have value? Because God put His image in me.
Genesis 1:27 (ESV)
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
You are made in the image of God. You have intrinsic value. If for that reason alone – you are WORTH a great deal. But that’s not the only reason we have value. God tells us that everything in this world was created for us.
Genesis 9:2 (ESV)
The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered.
That’s our commission. We are stewards of this world. God gave that responsibility to us. That’s how much God values us. He created this world FOR us and gave us the stewardship of the entire earth. And Genesis not only tells me that God created this world just for US, it goes into great detail to show the lengths God went – to prepare this world for us. It’s the only known planet in the universe with the advantages FOR LIFE that ours has.
- If the earth were 1 degree closer to the sun, we’d fry! If we were 1 degree further from the sun, we’d freeze!
- If the moon was any closer or larger, the tides would destroy the coast lines. If the moon was any smaller/further away -oceans would die from a lack of nutrient movement.
- If our distance from Jupiter were any greater, asteroids and comets would pepper the earth. If we were any closer to Jupiter our orbit would become unstable.
- If earth’s surface gravity was any stronger, it’d retain too much ammonia and methane and we couldn’t breathe. If it were any weaker, earth’s atmosphere would lose too much water and we’d not have the liquid necessary to survive.
- If the earth’s crust were any thicker, it would absorb too much of our oxygen and we wouldn’t be able to breathe. If it was any thinner; the earth would move and shake beneath our feet and would make life impossible.
- If our oceans were half their present size, we’d receive only ¼ the rainfall we do now. If they were just 1/8 larger, we’d get 4 times the annual precipitation we do now and our planet earth would become a vast, uninhabitable swamp.
Consider color, everything is in color. God did not have to do anything, but gave us beautiful color, everything in color. In the same way, God was very particular on how He built our environment on this planet. If it weren’t “just so” – without the proper combination of chemicals and minerals and gases – we’d never survive. One more thing. What did God create on the first day? (LIGHT)
This wasn’t the Sun and Moon kind of light – God created the sun, moon and stars 3 days later – this light was a DIVINE light. A light that came directly from God to light our world. But – this is what’s odd – that light was the ONLY thing God created on that 1st day. Think: Why just create light?
Why not do something else while He was about it? If I go into a dark room I don’t turn on the light and leave. It’s like God entered the room specifically to turn the light on. He turned on that divine light and then essentially turned around and just left the room. That’s all He did on that first day.
Well, because “turning the light on” was WHY God came into the room. God wasn’t just creating the world for us. From the very first day of creation God intended to send us a message of His plan for us from the beginning of Eternity. And what was the message? Well, let me set the stage for this:
John 8:12 (ESV)
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Jesus was THE light of the world. But what did Jesus do to give us that light?
He died for our sins. He was buried… and He rose from the grave. When He rose from the grave Jesus conquered DEATH… and gave us hope of life eternal. Now guess which day of the week Jesus rose from the grave and conquered death?
The FIRST DAY!
Genesis 1:3–5 (ESV)
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.
In the same way, Jesus is the Divine Light. Without His light the world is in darkness. And it is His light that can change the lives of people plunged in the darkness of a sinful world.
Rose Crawford had been blind for 50 years. Then she had an operation. When the doctor took the bandages from her eyes she said, “I just can’t believe it”. She wept. For the 1st time in her life she could actually see. And what she saw was a dazzling and beautiful world of form and color. The amazing thing about her story was that 20 years of her blindness was unnecessary. She didn’t know that surgical techniques had been developed and that an operation could have restored her vision at the age of 30. Her doctor said, “She just figured there was nothing that could be done for her condition. Much of her life could have been different.” The Bible tells us that without Jesus people live their lives in spiritual darkness. They’ve failed in their lives and sinned so much that they begin to feel worthless and without value.
But Jesus Christ said, you don’t have to live like that.
I am the light of the world.