It’s a foundational verse. It’s foundational to the book of Genesis. It’s foundational to the whole
Bible. One of the most well-known verses in scripture, it is also one of the most disbelieved. In
our last blog (read it here), we studied the first four words in Genesis. We continue now with the
next word in Genesis, and move on through the remainder of the first verse.
“In the beginning God created…” The English word “created” comes from the Hebrew word
bara (buh-rah), which means something from nothing. Bara does not mean made. It is a different
word in Hebrew and has a different meaning than “made”. Let’s illustrate: With a few pieces of wood, a person could “make” a rocking chair (if that person was good at woodworking). But a person could not “create” a rocking chair in the sense of the Hebrew word, bara. Creating something is different than making something. Therefore, in Genesis 1:1, God did not “make” the heavens and the earth using pre-existing matter. God “created” the heavens and the earth from nothing at all! This truth flies in the face of the belief system of many science professors, but it IS a Bible truth. And the Bible can be relied upon for its accuracy. “In the beginning God made…” is not accurate. “In the beginning God created…” is the true interpretation of the verse in Hebrew, the original language. The heavens and the earth [universe] were created. Where nothing had been--something became!
The Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “create” as, “to cause to come into existence.”
Interestingly, the English dictionary definition of create and the Hebrew word bara do not
contradict each other. But many scientists, and evolution theorists, believe that the world was
made by “the big bang.” In other words, a bunch of molecules that already existed (they can't
explain why the molecules pre-existed) came together at the perfect time, and this earth and this
galaxy and this universe were fully formed by a big explosion that sent particles out from the
center of the explosion, and those particles became planets or stars, etc.
To the Bible believer this is foolishness because we know what the Bible clearly teaches. But
many believe the universe came into existence by accident—an unsolvable, mysterious event
that just happened--and weren’t we lucky to have a planetary ball upon which to evolve! The
teaching that the universe came into existence by accident is a false doctrine! Many wrongly
believe God had nothing to do with the existence of the universe. The absolute truth is that God
had EVERYTHING to do with it! He CREATED it! Now, let’s look at what God created.
“In the beginning God created…the heavens and the earth.”
This is fascinating to think about: God SPOKE the world into existence! I remember this truth
being taught in a Bible class when I was a teenager. I can remember thinking that God must have
extended His arm out over the nothingness of space and with a slow, sweeping motion of His
mighty hand willed the universe to come into existence. He may have motioned in that manner.
We don’t know. The Bible doesn’t give us that much detail. But it does say elsewhere in
scripture that God SPOKE the world into existence, including later in Genesis One when
multiple times we find the words, “And God SAID…” (emphasis mine). See Genesis 1:3, 6, 9,
11, 14, 20, 24, 26, 28, and 29. Consider also Psalm 33:6 and Hebrews 11:3.
Genesis 1:1 is a summation verse. It summarizes everything God did in the beginning. All of the
remaining verses in chapter one are details of what occurred in verse one. The Bible clearly
teaches that the heavens and the earth came into existence by the spoken Word of God. God
spoke, and what He said…what He willed…happened! Because He’s GOD!
Take just a moment today and delight yourself in our God—the mighty God of creation.
Praise His name!
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @_nichols_dimes