In the Beginning, God...

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (Gen. 1:1, ESV)

God chose a decidedly simple sentence as the gateway to the Bible. In a mere ten English words he tells us that he created the universe, and, with those same words, he reveals the portal to understanding all of Scripture: Assume God.

Holy Scripture makes no attempt to explain God’s beginnings, but rather, it springs off the platform of God—he who himself has no platform. Let us then take a lesson from Scripture’s handling of God’s “beginnings” and not wait until we understand him to pursue his story.

Although God reveals much of himself—both within and without the pages of scripture—we, the finite, could never fully know the infinite…I mean, how could we? We are created beings, stuck in time. We couldn’t begin to understand a person who has always been and will always be. We may hypothesize, of course, but the Bible frees us from any burden of defining God with its sublime opening, “In the beginning, God…” If we take God at his word (initially and always), the Bible reads congruently through its many pages.

If we consider even just his handiwork, we must conclude that God wants to reveal himself to us, and that this creation alone is enough for people to see the divine! (Rom. 1:20-22) He fit us for that task, too, giving us minds well adapted to our curious natures. But he placed us in a physical world, and under the constraints of linear time. These, combined with our finite natures can make us feel as if he’s hiding something…and in a way, he is.

This “hiding” is three-fold. First, we cannot know everything about God, the Infinite One—this by definition. Second, we fail at knowing everything—even about the simplest things. Even in the finite realm, our knowledge has limits. Third, we are sinners. Even we who have found God—who have been born again, and whom God declares as righteous—still live earthly lives limited by sin. We think sinful thoughts, do sinful deeds and consume every fruit that is tainted by it, therefore, many of the infinite and holy things of God are hidden from us…and not always by God, but often by our own natures.

Although the concealing is three-fold, the revealing is one-fold: God. In spite of our inability to know him fully, we have a wonderful ability to know God as he intends for us to know him. Yes, we—the unclean—struggle to know the Holy, and we see his kingdom only in part. Yet the most high God has chosen to reveal himself to all people through his creative works, through his Holy Word, and through his Son Jesus Christ.

People-of-the-world routinely build “successful” lives through a process that involves failures and corrections—what we might call strivings. Why should God’s program for his people-of-the-world be any less rigorous? Strive for the Kingdom of Heaven. Work hard at prayer, at reading his word, at understanding his will—at understanding his person! Do not despair of your finite limits, but rather rejoice that God himself has offered you the great gift of salvation—free through Jesus Christ. Unlock the life contained therein!

He who knows no beginning knows your end, and will keep you unto that day by his infinite power. We cannot presume to understand the hows or whys, but we can bask in his saving grace, all the while enjoying the unfolding of his will before us.

We know Him best who first assume, “In the beginning, God…”

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