“In the beginning, God…”
These words, the first four words of Genesis chapter 1, verse 1, may be the four most profound words in the whole of the Bible. And the single four word phrase, perhaps the singularly most important statement in all of Scripture – any scripture recorded in the sacred writings any faith. It is this statement alone that establishes the mood for everything else in the Bible.
Wait, you say, I know this one. It’s about the Christian myth of Creation. While I agree that it establishes the foundation for the creation story, I reject the concept of it being a myth. Everything is the entire Bible is predicated upon the understanding that this is a true and literal statement, and by implication, therefore everything which follows must also be true and literal unless context and the test of comparing Scripture to Scripture show it to be otherwise.
That means when you read that all of creation was spoken into being in seven days, it was seven literal days. That means when it says Noah built the ark, Noah built the ark. That means when Moses says the Red Sea parted and the Israelites crossed on dry land, it means Red Sean and not Reed Sea, and a whole bunch of Egyptians, their horses, and their chariots were flooded over when the sea came back together. It means the walls of Jericho did fall down, Daniel and friends did survive the fiery furnace, Jonah was puked up by a large fish, Jesus was God made flesh as a baby born of a virgin girl, and not a young maiden, did raise the dead, turn water into wine, calm raging sea, feed five thousand, die on the cross at Calvary, return from the dead, ascend into Heaven, and will come again.
All this in four words:
“In” wrapped within the very origin and participating in, participation inseparable from the subject.
“The” a specific identifier, exclusively identifying something unique, individual, and specific.
“Beginning” (Hebrew) rê'shı̂yth - the first, in place, time, order or rank (specifically a firstfruit): - beginning, chief (-est), first (-fruits, part, time), principal thing; in the eternity before ‘time’ was time.
“God” (Hebrew) 'ĕlôhı̂ym – a unique Hebrew plural form which means three, the first reference to a triune Deity.
Four words, but containing in them, the whole of the essence of Scripture. They establish four things:
· God is Triune
· God, in his triune form existed in the eternity before anything else that is, was.
· God was, Is, and will be. When nothing was, He is. When nothing is left, He is.
· Everything that happens form this point forward, even unto the eternity of an unknown future, will be because God in His triune form is and will be when this present universe no longer exists.
And because of these four words, there is the implicit understanding that everything else God says, either directly to his servants, or through his servants as they penned the original manuscripts of Scripture, is equally true, because He is true, and because He is God. The whole of the truth of Scripture is contained in those words, “In the beginning, God!”
The rest of Scripture simply confirms this. In the Beginning, God. It the Middle, God. In the end, God. Philosopher Francis Schaeffer said “He (God) is there and He is not Silent. From this, the only hope for mankind is in the promise of God who said “I am the way , the truth, and the life. No one can get to Heaven except through me. (John 14:6)