Sermon: God’s Marvelous Creation

God’s Marvelous Creation
Genesis 1:1-5
RUMC May 21, 2017

Napoleon, the great French military general, was aboard a ship on the Mediterranean Sea one starry night when he heard a small group of French officers mocking the idea of a Supreme Being; one of them said, “The idea of a god of creation is absurd.” Napoleon then stopped; with his hands he made a sweeping gesture across the stars of the sky and said, “Gentlemen, you must get rid of those first.”

I believe Napoleon was right, when he implied that the heavens are proof positive that a Supreme Being was the one who brought all of these things into existence. When I look up into the sky, I do not see just stars, but the creativity of God–and that causes me to worship.

My text is Genesis 1:1-5.
1 In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, 2 the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. 3 Then 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.
This is the Word of God.  Thanks be to God.

In the epochs of time, God created in sequential order:

    • The light
    • The atmosphere in the sky
    • The land and all the seed bearing plants and trees
    • The night sky
    • The birds, animals, sea creatures and other living things
    • The humans

 

The first verse of the entire Bible begins with this simple statement, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  Notice in sacred scripture there is no argument, debate, explanation, nor analysis of how and when God did this.  Only ten words tell us that God created the heavens and the earth.

Psalm 19:1 tells us: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Throughout the universe God’s DNA is everywhere.  Consider this:

  • A house testifies there was a builder.
  • A suit testifies there was a tailor.
  • A porcelain jar testifies there was a sculptor.
  • A cabinet testifies there was a carpenter.
  • A painting testifies there was an artist.
  • A crystal chandelier testifies there was a glass maker.
  • And…
  • Our universe testifies there is a creator.

The account of our existence that we have in Genesis is brief: It was thought out.  It was willed and realized by God.

Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” 

In the book called Life and Death in Shangha, Nien Chang had been arrested and spent six long years in a Communist prison where she was tortured and lived in a dark, damp, dirty cell.  Then something changed her outlook on life.  It was a spider who crawled upon one of the rust eroded bars in her prison cell.  This is what she wrote:  “When the spider reached the end of the window, it sung out and descended on a thin silken thread spun from the end of its body. With a leap and a swing, it secured the end of the thread to another bar, and then the spider crawled back along the silken thread to where it started.

I watched the tiny creature at work with fascination and wondered how it knew where to take the next thread. There was no hesitation, no mistake, no haste.  The tiny spider knew its job and carried it out with precision.” 

Then Nien thought, “Who taught the spider to make such a web?” Did it acquire that skill through evolution?  Or did God create the spider and endow it with the ability to make a web so that it could catch food and perpetuate its species?  Nien Chang knew she had witnessed something extraordinary, and it was just what she needed to make it through her captivity.  It just shows how a little creature, which most of us would just as soon step on, would be seen as a means of grace.

A similar experience happens to me when I sail my little sunfish on the lake. On occasion, dragon flies will come over and land above the cockpit and not go anywhere.  For a good while I will get a look at the insect and marvel at the intricacies of God’s creation.   The body, wings, legs, and head are all complex.

Genesis does not answer all of our questions. We don’t know if our earth was created in six literal 24 hour days or six periods of time.  Some people would really like to know more, but what is important is that we believe that there is an intelligent being who created all that we see.  Can blind chance create symmetry, rhythm, light, color, melody, mathematics or order?  I don’t thinks so.  It is highly unlikely, but that is what some would have us believe.

In the February/March time frame, I took a 7 week Emergency Medical Responder Course for the fire department. In our study of the anatomy of the human body, the function of the heart in all of its complexity caught my attention.  The only words for me to describe it was from the hymn ’then sings my soul, my savior God to thee, how great thou art.”

In an article called, The Wonders of the Natural World: God’s Design, Dr. Gerard R. Bergman pointed out how advanced God’s creation is over human invention.  While human kind has discovered, invented, designed, developed, and created modern technological marvels.  There are things already in God’s creation that can do similar things.  For example:

  1. Before we discovered and harnessed electricity, electric eels generated their own–up to 700 volts.
  2. Before we invented electric lights, fireflies flashed their signals.
  3. Long before we learned to navigate the seven seas, birds traveled from the Artic to the Antarctic, where they landed at the same nesting sites year after year.
  4. Before we designed and built suspension bridges, god’s spiders demonstrated engineering feats of amazing brilliance.
  5. Bird nests display a high level of skill in masonry, weaving, tunneling, and the structural strength necessary to build them.
  6. Bees use water droplets and their wings to air condition their hives.
  7. Beavers build large dams out of trees and mud.
  8. Wasps manufacture a certain type of paper.
  9. Bats can dart around a dark room without striking a single thread because they emit supersonic sound pulses.

Now there are those who would say, there is no direct evidence for the existence of God, no fingerprint to indicate he was here–unless you look at the world around you as His fingerprints.  If you accept that, then His fingerprints are everywhere.  About a month ago, I was at the Springfield Natural History museum looking at the skeleton of a dinosaur.  To me, God’s DNA or heavenly fingerprints would be the bone structure: the skull and eye sockets, the spinal column with individual vertebrae, the femur, tibia and fibula creating the upper and lower leg, down to the ankle, foot and toe bones.

Although it portrays creation in a literary way in which the readers can connect, Genesis is not a science text book. However it seems many can’t get beyond the “how” and the “when.”  The additional question of pain, suffering, and injustice combined with the uncertainty of creation is enough to turn some into agnostics or atheists.

However, hard science can’t explain everything. For instance, the Big Bang theory doesn’t explain who caused it.  If a person where to admit the possibility that there is a god, then the next step would be to admit that there must be right from wrong.  Understanding right from wrong leads us onto the path of accountability.

From an intellectual standpoint, it is so much easier to say, “I don’t know;” to use that as a smoke screen and avoid exploring the hard issues of faith. But avoidance of these things doesn’t mean a person is off the hook.

Theologian David Belasco wrote the following:

  • When God conceived the world, it was poetry.
  • When he formed it, that was sculpture.
  • When He colored it, that was painting.
  • When He peopled it with living beings, that was the grand divine eternal drama.

Let me close:

The best way to verify the existence of God is to allow Him to come into your heart. I realize that the beauty of creation cannot convert a closed mind.  Only the power of the Holy Spirit can awaken faith in the One who set the universe in place.

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