Creation and the Goodness & Beauty of God

Main idea:  The opening words of our Bible display for us a good and glorious God who is an abundantly generous Giver and not an exacting or demanding taker.

I.    What does the opening sentence of the Bible tell us about our God? (Genesis 1:1)

II.   What does the first chapter of our Bible show us about God? (Genesis 1:1-2:3)

A. . Immediate observations:

B.  From what vantage point is the Creation account in Genesis 1 written

C.  What is the crowning point of God’s creative work?

“The creation story has stood as a bulwark against a succession of fashionable errors—polytheism, dualism, the eternity of matter, the evil of matter, astrology—and not least, against every tendency to empty human history of meaning.  It resists this nihilism explicitly, in displaying man as God’s image and regent; but also implicitly, in presenting the tremendous acts of creation as a mere curtain-raiser to the drama that slowly unfolds throughout the length of the Bible. The prologue is over in a page; there are a thousand to follow.

“If every generation has needed this emphasis, perhaps none has had greater need of it than the age of scientific knowledge. The scientific account of the universe…overwhelms us with statistics that reduce our apparent significance to a vanishing-point…  [T]he human story itself, is now the single page in a thousand, and the whole terrestrial volume is lost among uncatalogued millions… Through…this earth-centered and history-centered account God says to [our] generation …burdened with the weight of factual knowledge…’Stand here, on this earth and in this present, to get the meaning of the whole. See the world as my gift and charge to you, with the sun, moon, and stars as its lamps and timekeepers, and its creatures under your care.  See the present age as the time to which my creative work was moving…”—Derek Kidner, Tindale Old Testament Commentaries: Genesis

D.  Which attribute of God is displayed most explicitly?

“An often-overlooked dimension of who we are as created in God’s image is our capacity both to recognize and rejoice in beauty as well as feel revulsion at what is ugly or deformed…  We are inescapably aesthetic. We’ve been hardwired both to discern the presence of beauty in God and his creation and to delight in it. God is himself the consummate artist whose creativity transcends our wildest imagination.”—Sam Storms, One Thing

E.   WHY did God create all of this?

“[E]verything…exists for…the manifestation of divine beauty… so that you and I might delight in the display of divine glory. Only humans were fashioned in the image of God. We alone have been endowed with the capacity to glorify him by rejoicingin the beauty of his creative handiwork and relishingthe splendor of his self-revelation in the person and redemptive work of his Son.”—Sam Storms, One Thing

III.    Application

“The implications of Psalm 19:1 and other texts like it haves eluded us far too long.  Here the psalmist alerts us to the sounds of a celestial symphony whose music never ends… This is a heavenly gallery of the most unimaginably exquisite and breathtaking art.  The focus of it all is the majesty of God himself as he displays for our enjoyment and his glory the beauty of his creative artistry.  Each of us is under a divine mandate to become an amateur astronomer, to peer into the incalculable depths of sky and space to behold the handiwork of our omnipotent Creator…  Simply saying God is infinite doesn’t work…  The parameters of our thinking are so narrow and restricted that we risk reducing God to a dwarf whose glory is measured by human standards.”—Sam Storms, One Thing

“God is the ‘fountain of all felicity’ and bids us come and drink!  Many Christians today are horribly out of touch with this truth… The problem is that they are oblivious to the beauty of God.  Worse than that, they’re bored.  God is real to them. They’re not atheists. He just isn’t relevant.  Far less is he cause for celebration. That’s why when life is hard and disillusionment sets in, God isn’t the first thing to enter their minds (if they think of him at all). Many instinctively turn to whatever will anesthetize their pain or bring a spark to their souls. The reason for this isn’t hard to see. The human soul wasn’t created for boredom.”—Sam Storms, One Thing

“God created us out of the overflow of his goodness that we might share the incomparable joy he has in himself.”—Sam Storms, One Thing