In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.Genesis 1:1
With these words, God sets out to tell the most epic story of all.
The Bible is the story of the God who creates. That’s one of the foundational truths in the Bible. These opening words establish God’s ownership of the entire world — the world belongs to Him because He has created it. David says the same thing in Psalm 24:1, The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. In many of the creation stories in the Ancient Near East, things like water and the sun were considered to be divine. But the biblical story says, “No, these things were created by God.”
That’s the first verb in the Bible — create. Scholars have noted that throughout the Bible, this word is only used to describe the activity of God. Men and women don’t create; angels don’t create. In the biblical story, only God creates. So again this is one of the foundational truths of the Scriptures; you could even say it is THE foundational truth. Everything else flows out of these words: In the beginning, God created…
And in Genesis 1&2, we find the story of God’s creative work — He creates the heavens and the earth, the sun and the moon, birds and fish and “every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” God speaks and things happen — because there is always power in the Word of God. His Word has always been and always will be THAT powerful.
And God surveys all that He has created and He says, “This is good.” And the crowning achievement of that creation is humanity. God breathes into man His ruach —His wind, His breath, His spirit — and the spark of life ignites. The first man opens his eyes to see his Creator standing over him, smiling as He says, “Now this is very good.”
But the story we read in Genesis isn’t just a story of how it all began. This is just as much a story about how it all begins, for you and for me.
God’s Word opens with a summons to recognize that we, too, are created beings. Just like the rest of creation, we have a definitive point of origin — a beginning. There was a moment when I wasn’t and then there was a moment when I was. We have received that same ruach — that same wind, that same breath from God that brings us to life.
That’s the application of this foundational truth from the Scriptures: we have a Creator; we are created. God’s Word puts this identity ahead of any other identity for us. It comes ahead of any sort of gendered identity or marital identity or parental identity. It comes before any identity of work or achievement or even failure. More than anything else, you are God’s creation. This is your truest identity.
And this also means that you’ll find your greatest fulfillment in Him — in your Creator, not in any other identity or any other relationship.
Several years ago, I was having coffee with a friend of mine who is a marriage counselor. I was asking him about his practice and he said something that was a revelation to me. He said that one of the reasons so many marriages fail is because we put unrealistic expectations upon our spouses. We buy into the false narrative pushed on us by Hollywood and Hallmark, a narrative that says he/she is “the one”, that he/she “completes” me, makes my life perfect or whatever. We put this expectation on this flawed person to make us whole, to fulfill all of our hopes and dreams and desires — which, when you think about it, is kind of ridiculous. That’s a weight far too heavy for any flawed person to bear. And when that reality eventually comes crashing in, guess what happens to the marriage? All too often we cash in our chips and say, “I guess he / she wasn’t really the one after all.” And the relationship falls apart because we expect our significant other to do for us what only God can do.
The only thing that can truly “complete” you is the finished work of God in Jesus Christ. God is the one who created you; therefore God is the only one who can complete you.
We are the handiwork of a God who creates.