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I’m going to invite you to the Book of Genesis. That’s where we’re starting today in the Book of Genesis. And if you know anything about the book of Genesis, it means beginning. And if you’re wondering where the book of Genesis is, everyone can find it today because it’s called page one of the Bible. So we get to go to the page one of the Bible and talk about the book of Genesis. It’s 50 chapters long. We’re going to go through this rather quickly. I’m going to I’m going to do this in about 30 weeks. We’re going to go through the Book of Genesis. So, you know, we’re going to be blazing through certain chapters of of the Book of Genesis. But this this book of the Bible is very powerful for me. This was this was one of those books that when I came to when I started to understand, I realized how thematic scripture was, how much a theme united from the beginning of the Bible to to the end of the Bible. It was incredible. When I saw the picture God painted in the beginning of Genesis, and you get to the end of Scripture, you realize God holds the themes from the first few chapters of Genesis that goes throughout the rest of the Bible. It is it is incredible to see how God does this.
I mean, we’re reading a book today about 3500 years old, and you get to the the end of Revelation you’re looking at a book that that’s about 2000 years old. So you’ve got 1500 years of scripture recorded in one theme. I mean, for example, Genesis starts with a tree and ends with a tree, starts with a garden, ends with a garden, starts near a river, ends near a river. You just see these themes tied together throughout Scripture, and especially in these first three chapters. What you see communicated. In the first three chapters of Genesis, you found the foundational faith of Christianity, and it’s elaborated on as you get further in Scripture that it starts to unfold the truths of the first three chapters of Genesis. But I got to tell you, out of all the Old Testament passages for me, these first three chapters of the Book of Genesis were so revolutionary to my understanding of Christianity and how God has communicated himself to us that it made a tremendous impact in my walk with the Lord. And I hope you enjoy this these chapters as well, as we start to see how God communicates himself to us. And in Genesis chapter one, we start with the idea of of creation. And I think God did a wonderful job with with creation. I happen to like the planet we’re a part of. When I considered the other options, here we are, third rock from the Sun. You get too much closer and it’s going to be living on a grid like you’re living on a grill.
You get to further and and if you think you have seasonal depression now, imagine any planet further back than we are. It’s a perfect planet. It’s a beautiful planet. I love inhabiting this planet versus any other option that God has created in this world. But we’re dealing with creation and God has a particular purpose in this creation. Which got to be honest, when I first became a believer and people came to Genesis, the first few chapters of Genesis, the way they approached the first few chapters of Genesis versus the way I think God desires for us to approach the first few chapters of Genesis are very different. I found very early in my Christian walk when people came to the first three chapters of Genesis, what they wanted to talk about was science. And I just want you to know, 3500 years ago, people weren’t talking about science like we are today. I don’t think that was God’s intention for us is to get to the first few chapters of Genesis and talk about science. In fact, when you study any book of the Bible, it’s important for you to answer the question first. What did this passage of Scripture, what did this book of the Bible mean for the people there? And then before we understand what it means to us in the here and now, now I’m not saying it’s not wrong to look at science and approach scripture and figure out certain things, but I find when I get to these passages, like people want to make the theme of the first three chapters of Genesis on on issues that it’s not that they’re not important, but it’s just not primary to this section of scripture.
For example, sometimes people like to come to this passage and then they like to ask about dinosaurs. What about dinosaurs? I want to tell you, I want to make it a goal of mine to go through all of Genesis and never talk about dinosaurs because they’re not in here. It’s not it’s not that it’s not important, but it’s just it’s just not a part of what Genesis is or, or sometimes I’ll get engaged with people that are more, we’ll say, of the hippie generation or, or just plain potheads. And they like to talk about the herbs God made, you know, like, well, God certainly created all the plants, but that’s just not the theme of the first three chapters of Genesis, you know, And people will get into more serious topics like the idea of of evolution as it relates to to Genesis or how old is is the Earth or how young is the earth. And those are important issues. Like I will tell you, I do not believe in macroevolution. That is like we came from came from fish to philosophers. I don’t believe in that. In fact, I’ll give you one of the philosophical reasons why.
And if you have questions about this later, you can dialogue with me. All right. If you disagree with me, we can still be friends. But you’re wrong. But it works like this. Like if you think evolution is true, I find evolution is the seed for racism if you believe in evolution. Solution as being true. My question is, and this is not an argument I’m just posing this out for for for thought. How can you not believe that human beings are a species or a part of human beings have evolved beyond other people making making that species better than than where you’ve come from. Right. When I think about evolution, I think it’s the seed of racism. I don’t think that’s what God intended for us. Now. Now, I will say this. I do believe in in micro evolution, there’s a difference between macro and micro meaning. When God created human beings, all he had to do was create one one set of human beings with a genetic possibility of creating all all nationalities that we have all ethnic groups that we have today. When God created something like a dog, God just had to create a dog. And from that dog was the genetic possibility of all the different species of of dogs that you have today or all the different excuse me, kinds of dogs that you have today. And so I don’t believe in the idea of evolution.
And we’ll table that for now because I’m going to get lost in things. But people people ask that question. Or in terms of Adam, like, do you believe Adam was a real historical figure and they want to get into the debate of the existence of humans. And I’ll just tell you real quick, I believe Adam was a real historical figure. In fact, in Luke, the Gospel of Luke, when it deals with the genealogy of Jesus, it throws Adam in the genealogy of Jesus, right? It lists real people, and then it talks about Adam. It’s like not all of a sudden going to go from real person, real person, real person, fake person, just an idea of a person, right? I link to Adam was a real historical person, right from which we all came from. People like to talk about those issues in science, but I will tell you that is not the theme of Genesis. What is the theme of Genesis? Genesis was written if you know the historical context by a man named Moses. Moses was a fugitive with really a speech impediment. He had difficulty communicating, and he’s leading a group of slaves who have spent generations as slaves in Egypt being treated as as property rather than as human beings. And some estimate, maybe even millions, that Moses is leading millions out of slavery in Egypt into this promised land and God. And you could maybe imagine in your mind, if you’ve gone through generations of slavery, how beat down and oppressed you might feel as people.
And what God desires for them. Is to find identity worth, purpose and meaning and how they were created in everything God has called them to be. That’s the purpose of Genesis, that we could root ourselves in identity connected to a God who is calling us to a purpose in him. And so that’s the what we want to talk about today is how do we discover our purpose? And it begins with us in the book of Genesis. And and here’s here’s what’s important, why we think about the significance of who we are as human beings. Discovering our purpose, I would say for for our culture, we tend to push you to look deeper within you. You want to find your meaning, then answer the question whatever makes you happy, right? That’s where you discover who you are and what you’re about. And you just pursue that with all of your heart. You do you. That’s that’s kind of the way that we we talk about it. The Bible does not begin like that. And the reason the Bible does not begin like that is because you didn’t make you And if you want to find the purpose of your existence, you’ve got to look beyond you. I remember how how revolutionary that was for me as a college student, completely lost, going to Marshall University, trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.
And all of a sudden this light bulb moment happened in my brain. I can remember where I was, what I was doing, sitting here and thinking, Man, just frustrated. I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do in life because I didn’t know who I was. And then all of a sudden I realized, man, if there is a God and God created me and I could figure out who that God was, then maybe I could figure out the reason I exist and I could figure out the reason I could exist. Then I could figure out what I’m supposed to do in life. And that was just blown away by this. The answer for life is not in me. It’s outside of me. Who is this God? And that sent me on a pursuit, right? And so for us, in order to discover your purpose, you have to point number one in your notes. Start with God. Start with your creator. And this is exactly where Genesis begins. It starts with your creator. In fact, it says in the beginning, God created. In the beginning, God created. The Bible doesn’t argue for you the existence of God. It assumes the existence of God. Do you see that? It’s like the most logical understanding for our minds is to grasp the idea that God is real, God exists, and you need to connect to Him to find out your reason for your existence.
I would say when in terms of believing in God or know God, which is theism, believing in God or atheism know God, it takes way more faith to be an atheist than it does a theist. It takes way more faith to believe in know God than the idea that there is a God. And the reason for that. Theologians have listed a few theological concepts or come up with a few theological concepts for us to to think about that. Here’s just a few of the cosmological argument, the teleological argument, the Axiological argument. I don’t expect you to memorize any of those things. But, but, but I will tell you the idea behind those cosmological argument says this You can’t have something come from absolutely nothing. You can’t have something come from absolutely nothing. In fact, some people will argue, well, something can come from nothing and then argue how matter can come to existence. But but there’s more than just matter to life. You have to have space for matter to exist in and time for which it can come from. You have to have time, space and matter. And in order to be atheist, you have to first argue how something can come from nothing. And not only that, how how in that something that comes from nothing. There is there is interdependent, intelligent design, interdependent, intelligent design. What what do I mean by that is it’s beautiful when you just look at the things God created individually in life, like God made tree.
Oh, tree is beautiful. Tree is complex, well beyond our ability to make this right. But but tree in itself doesn’t live in a silo that what we find with existence of tree. God also made human right and human has his own complexity. And what we discover between tree and human is man should love tree and tree love man. Because not that we should all be tree huggers, but what I’m saying is tree likes carbon dioxide, man likes oxygen. Right? And these two things produce that for one another and they they provide. And so they’re interdependent. The complexity of creation, the intelligent design behind it all. So not only does something come from nothing, but then you have the teleological argument how they the complexity of his existence complementing one another and their interdependence. It’s it’s incredible. It’s like saying in a in an atheistic world, like if if you were to go to maybe some of your garages today and you would look in your garage, you might be ashamed by the way that your garage might look with junk everywhere. And you were you were to close that garage and come back in 1000 years and all of a sudden you open that garage and there there is a Lamborghini sitting inside. And you you someone says to you, how did that Lamborghini get there? And you say, I know all of this random stuff in here just kind of came together and created this, this, this, this.
You would have to embrace that rather than just simply acknowledge it was created by an intelligent designer. And then on top of that, the idea of moral and morality and and purpose and meaning, we long for that. And that’s the axiological argument, which is saying you as a as a human being, if. If all of a sudden you just came into existence with not really any purpose, you were just fizzing into whatever primordial soup that became what you are today. It really your life is no more important than the bug on the ground and the rock outside. It just so happens they they evolved in a different way than you. But there’s really no meaning to any of that. It just is random. And in fact, in that randomness, you really shouldn’t care about any of it. It’s about survival of the fittest. And you try to dominate for as long as you can until your existence is done. But that’s not the way we function as human beings. We demand good over evil, right over wrong. We have this intrinsic idea of justice no matter where you live on the planet, that should take place now. Not everyone always lives by that, but human beings are created with that. And the question is, where did that come from and why do we strive for life to have meaning and why do we want good to win over evil? And all of it is an indicator of a creator.
That God has a purpose in your existence. Which is why Genesis is not trying to argue with you. The idea that God is real, it’s assuming it in the beginning God, and it says this created, which is the word barrage. You’ll see in verse seven. Verse seven, it has the word made, which is the word Esau. And there’s a difference. There’s two different types of creation happening here. There’s there’s God created in verse one. And then you’ll see oftentimes in this first chapter, especially the word created used and the word made used a saw, there’s a difference between Barack and a saw. A saw is what we can do as human beings. But only God can do a saw is is taking the substance of things and making something out of it. It’s like this morning, if I decide I want a pizza, I can’t just look at my hand and say pizza, right? That would be Barack out of nothing. Pizza. That would be incredible. But. But out of nothing. Pizza. Right, But but what God gave us the ability to do is assault to make we take the substance of things like a little tomato sauce, little bread, whatever, toppings and some cheese. Got to have the cheese and you can make a pizza, right? That’s a saw.
But God, here He is in his creation, which means out of nothing, out of nothing. God created the heavens and the earth. And what it’s putting in the minds of the Hebrew people this moment is is the idea of monotheism. So they’ve grown in a civilization that has a God for everything. When you look at the the ten plagues that took place in Egypt that Moses was God used with Moses to deliver the children of Israel. Every one of those plagues was an affront to a God that was worshiped in Egypt. But when you get to the book of Genesis, what God is saying is from the beginning, God created it all and all by himself, the heavens and the earth and everything that you can see with your eye. And even beyond that, God made all of it all out of nothing. And he depended on nothing. Which means when he’s creating, he’s not creating for himself. We’ll talk about that more in a minute. But God creates it all. And then it says this. And in verse two, The earth was without form and void and darkness was over the face of the deep and the spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. What is saying is, God created all of this. And there was there was not purpose to it. He’s saying there was there was void. There was this deep.
The earth was just covered in water. And to the the Hebrew pool of images, the way the Hebrew people tended to think about water. For them, water was always this place of chaos. And what God is saying in chapter two is he was a God that took things from chaos into order and meaning for the Hebrew people. You think as as slaves coming out of Egypt, you get to the Red Sea and you think your life is over, but all of a sudden God parts the water. And you walk in freedom and then they wander in the wilderness for 40 years and then God leads them to the Jordan and what are they going to do? God parts the water and they walk through from a place of chaos into order. I would say for us, this is even a symbol symbolic of a picture of baptism. There’s multiple symbols of what baptism represents for the life of the believer. But one of the things that demonstrates is where you were without God and who you are because of God. You walk down to the water from a life of chaos. You go into the water representing how God has made all things new in you and you come out of the water to live that that relationship with God that He has created you for in him and He’s redeemed you for through him. Out of chaos. God creates order and it shows the spirit of God hovering over these waters to bring purpose.
And and in Genesis chapter three to verse 31, it talks about that purpose. In fact, point number two in your notes is this You start with God. But but, but point number two is understand God’s plan not only important to just come to God, but to understand the reason for which God has made all of this. And then God gets into his his days of creation. And we’re going to go a little bit faster through these days. But I want you to see how God lays these days out. And it says to us in verse three, and God said, Let there be light and there was light. When God speaks, life begins. God just simply commands it by his voice. And it exists. God with his authority brings life. And it tells us that that God called the light day and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning. The first day when God calls something, he’s he’s showing his authority by giving it a name and he’s giving it identity and purpose by by giving it a name. This is the intentions behind what he’s saying. And also this is his authority over it. That’s why he can name it. So God calls the light day and the darkness night. Here’s an interesting question. Why does God call the light day and the darkness night? Why didn’t he just call the light light and the darkness dark? Why is God doing this on day one? Well, he’s starting to help us understand the idea of purpose through the way that he is describing for us the days of creation in day one, which I think is a literal day in scripture.
But in day one, when he creates the light and today and darkness in the night, what God is actually doing is He’s creating time. God is creating time for which things can can come into existence. And then when you get to the next day, day two, it says, and God said, Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters and let the separate the waters from the from the waters. And God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning the second day. What he’s saying in this passage is in the Hebrew mind, the way that they pictured the earth was they looked at the the ground beneath them and they saw water around them. And they they assumed that the land in which they lived on was like a saucer. And it just kind of floated on water. And and underneath of them was was the ocean, the vast ocean that was all around them. So they pictured land sitting on this idea of water. And then above them, they look to the sky and it was blue and it was like water.
And every once in a while that sky let some of that water through. And so in their description, when they look below them or above them, it was all water. And then they lived in this space that God created in the in-between. And so on day two, what God is really creating for us is not just space for us to live on, but He’s also creating weather. He’s talking about the weather. In this passage. You have time, you have weather. And then on day three, God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place and let the dry land appear. And it was so. And God said, Let the earth sprout. Vegetation plants yielding seed and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth. And it was so and there was evening and there was morning the third day. And what is saying to us on this third day is God’s creating vegetation. He’s creating the land for the vegetation to exist on, but he’s creating agriculture. And so when you’re trying to figure out how you came into existence, what the purpose of life is, God is setting up the earth in a way for things to rule over it. Day. Day one time. Day two. Weather. Day three Agriculture. And when you think about the days in Genesis, in fact, I would say the best way to break it down in your mind, if you’ve ever read these days and say to yourself, Why is God creating the order like this? I don’t understand.
Why did God make make it like this? For example, day one, he creates light and darkness. But you know, but when you get to day four, there’s the sun and the moon. How in the world do you have darkness and light before a sun and the moon? Now, theologians, the way they answer to say God is the light and that’s all you need in life. But but what’s God trying to do here? Well, I would say for us, he’s explaining to us how he created certain things in this world to rule and represent him in day one. He creates the idea of time. But when you get to day four, he creates something to rule over. And day two, he creates the water below and the sky above. And day five, he creates something to rule over the birds and the fish. And day three, he creates agriculture, vegetation and land. And in day six, he creates something to rule over it. Animals and human beings and in day seven, day seven rules over all. So when you think of the idea of creation, this is what God is saying. He makes things for a purpose. It’s not an accident. To these Hebrew slaves who have been treated like a like a tool. God is saying you have meaning.
You have worth in my eyes, and I want you to discover it. And for us today it still becomes relevant and understanding. You don’t just happen. God knows you. Right. Let me let me give us this exercise this morning. Like I didn’t introduce myself. I rarely do. But my name is Nathaniel. Okay. So you know my name. And when you get to know each other personal, that’s. It’s important. But what’s your name? Actually, we’re going to try that for. For just a couple of seconds. Don’t think about the person around you. Don’t think about what other people are going to going to think about you. I’m going to count to three. And I want you just to say your name out loud. All right? Don’t even think about how loud you’re going to say it. Just say your name. All right. Ready? One, two, three. Nathaniel There you go. That’s great. And. And Genesis is God’s way of saying. I see you. I know you. I made you for a purpose. I didn’t catch anyone’s name when you just said that. Hopefully you heard your neighbor beside you. You can say hi to them later. But that’s what, as human beings, we want to be known and we want to know we matter. And God is setting creation up this way. To help these these Hebrew slaves to understand that and for you to take Scripture and to communicate this to other people. Because when I when I go through Genesis chapter one, like I love this chapter, I know this chapter like the back of my hand, I’ve spent usually when I preach, I always try to tie something back to the first three chapters of Genesis so everyone can see the theme within Scripture.
This, this section of the Bible is it matters and it sets the precedent for how you view all of Scripture. And so when you think about what not only what God is doing for you in this this chapter, it’s important also to think about how can I communicate this to other people? Because other people need to know their worth and their value. And so God has set up these days for that reason. We talked about day four. Right. He creates the moon and the stars and the sun. That’s actually in verse 16. And it’s not listed up here. But but you see, with each day he gets to the end and says it was evening and morning, the fourth day after God created that light. And and he gets to verse 20 and he talks about the waters, the swarm of living creatures that fly above and swim below. And then there was the evening of the morning of the fifth day. And then day six. He creates creatures and livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And then and then the creation account slows down and it slows down really for this purpose, to answer the question, what’s what’s it all for? I mean, it’s brilliant and beautiful the way God designed all this.
And you certainly see the creativity, the majesty, the sovereignty of God and all of his design. He has a very creative, artistic, beautiful God. But what’s it all for? And let me just tell you. God did not make creation because he needed anything. It certainly reflects his glory. It certainly brings him glory. But God didn’t make creation for him. God made creation for you. God didn’t need creation. And the Genesis account slows down in verse 26 to help us begin to to grasp that understanding. It says in verse 26, Then God said, Let us make man in our image after our likeness and then let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God. He created them male and female. He created them and God blessed them. And God said to them, Be fruitful and multiply and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every, every plant yielding seed that is on the face of the earth and every tree with seed in its fruit, you shall have them for food and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens, to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life.
I have given every green plant for for food. And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made. And behold, it was very good. And there was evening in the morning in the sixth day. God says to us here at the very end, it was very good notice. Notice when God creates each of these days, at the end of every day, he says It’s good, It’s good. It’s good. It’s good. It’s meaning evening and morning of the first day, evening and morning of the second day. It’s good. But it’s not until he gets to the creation of humanity that he says it’s very good. And what is distinguishing here is the difference between you and all other created things. Well, God is saying is the crown of his creation is humanity. And this was created for you. It reflects his glory to you. And now you have the opportunity in this creation to reflect his glory in you back to him. God made this creation for for you. You’re not an accident. It’s not an accident. And the way that God distinguishes us different than all other creatures.
All other creatures God makes by speaking. But when it comes to us, that’s not the way he designs us. He fashions us. We’ll see this in Genesis two next week, but it says that God made you in his image and the image of God. Now, what does that mean to be in the image of God? Well, from the context of this passage, there’s a few things that you discover. First, in verse 26, when it talks about being made in the image of God, it just plainly says, and this is blank in your notes here, If I didn’t give you the blank in your notes here under point number two is you are made in his likeness. Made in his likeness. In verse 26, it says that in the image of God after our likeness, God says, Let us make man after our likeness. The idea of likeness means you can relate to God. You have some similarities to the character of God, which means? Well, I’ll elaborate on that more. But but let me just say, likeness doesn’t not mean you’re like God in every way. The only one who is like God in every way is Jesus. In fact, in Hebrews chapter one, verse three, it tells us he He’s the exact imprint of his nature. Mean, if you want to see what God is like, look at Jesus. He is the only one created that way in John one it says He is the only begotten of the father, right? He is the only begotten.
He’s the only one of this kind in class. If you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus. However, you’re still made in the likeness of God. Much like if you ever pick up a penny and you look at the penny on the front of the penny is a picture of Abraham Lincoln. And if you if you don’t know, that is not the real Abraham Lincoln. Right? But that’s the likeness of Abraham Lincoln. And so you have similarities in how your design that gives you the opportunity to connect to your creator, which gives me point number two, you were made for community notice. God says in this passage, Let us make man in our image. The idea of us is really, I would say, the triunity of God communicating in our created existence God and acknowledging that He exists in community as now, creating you in his image and you being made in his image means you’re made for relationship, you’re made for community. The purpose of your existence is to connect to Creator God, to know Him and also to appreciate one another. You’re made to connect, you’re made to belong. You’re made for community. So likeness carries that that idea for us. In verse three, you saw most people think God, the Father creates. And that’s true. But in verse excuse me, verse two, it told us the spirit of God hovers over the water.
So you see the spirit, the presence of the spirit there. And we’ll look at a verse in a minute that talks about Jesus creating all things and holding all things in his hands. But let us, as this idea of the triunity of God creating you in His image, which as God exists in community. So you’re designed for community. Not only that, you have intrinsic worth. Point number three in that being made in the image of God, you have intrinsic worth, which means you’re not an accident. God makes you intentional, he makes you purposeful, he makes you uniquely from all other creation. He makes the point of his creation centered on you. You have intrinsic worth. And the last is this. You are God’s representative. Your God’s representative. Meaning being made in his image. God desires for you two to rule. Reflecting His glory in this world as you walk in relationship with him. You have a role. You are God’s representative. That’s why he tells us to be fruitful. Multiply and subdue, not to trash the place, but to reflect his glory and how you care for the things around him, beginning with each other. So point number three then, in your notes is this reflect his glory. Start with God. Understand his plan. And then reflect his glory. And this is what you see in Genesis chapter two. This is actually the seventh day of creation, and it gives us here and it says thus the heavens and the earth were finished and all the hosts of them.
And on the seventh day, God finished his work that He had done and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy because on it God rested from all his work that He had done in creation. Now, it’s interesting, and I highlighted this word here for you, so we can we can talk about it, but it says in this passage, God rested, which is unusual. Why in the world would it tell us God rested? Now, I got to think after six days of me trying to create anything, I probably need a break. But God is a God who is endless in his energy. God doesn’t get tired. What? Why is God resting? If God doesn’t grow weary. And the reason it’s identifying this for us is so that we can think uniquely about this day versus any other day. Why is why is God resting? Well, the reason God is resting is because what what they’re describing in Genesis, chapter two in the seventh day, is the idea that what God has created in his in his creation is a temple. God’s creation in Genesis one becomes his temple. The place where God dwells. God’s temple. Or when you think about Temple in the Old Testament and anyone in the day of the Hebrews when this is written, when they thought a temple, they would think about really three things.
They would think more, maybe more than that, but at least three things. One, that’s where God’s presence was and God made us to connect to him. And He created this earth for us to know him and to see his glory and reflect his glory, God’s presence. The Temple was also where God rested. It was His dwelling place, and it was also where God ruled. And so when it’s talking about God resting in this passage, it’s not saying and God was so tired, he needed a break. That’s not what it’s communicating to us. But rather what it’s saying is God has taken all of his creative work. He has now stepped away from his creative work. He’s sitting on his throne to rest, and now he’s engaged in his ruling work. It’s showing the the uniqueness of what God is doing in this passage. And when you think in terms of of God’s resting into ruling, this is so important. He he consecrates it in this section. He says to us that God sets it apart. He calls it holy. But one of the unique things about this seventh day is not what it says, but what it doesn’t say. And what I mean is when you look at all the other days that God has created, all the other days God has created, it says day one, evening and morning of the first day.
Day two. Evening and morning of the second day. Day three. Evening of the morning. Of the third day. It goes on and on. And you get all the way to day seven. And you know what it doesn’t say? It never says evening and morning of the seventh day and then goes to day eight. And the reason is God never intended for the seventh day to end. God created six days with with his intelligent design. And on the seventh day, he rested and began to rule over his creation, asking us to participate in that work. And what God’s desire for us was in in that seventh day and creating that, not wanting that day to end it was for us to enjoy his presence, to rest before him, that he would fill us up and then we would rule with him. We would work with him. So here’s the question for you. When you look at the idea of God’s creation. How well are you doing in your resting? God wants you to know Him. To come before his presence. And rest in the truth of who he is. Let him fill you up. Because God also wants you to rule with him. And the best way to rule with him and for him is to know him and to be filled up by him. And as you rest in him, then you get the opportunity to do for him.
Let me ask it this way. What is your labor or struggle for the Lord? Where do you put yourself? Out there to display his glory. I coming to know God is. And walking with God also leads us to a path of of living with purpose and exerting energy to reflect that glory in this world. It’s our platform or opportunity to show, to to the Lord that as as he created us because we matter to him so so we get an opportunity to live back and show that he matters to us and the way that we demonstrate ourselves and exert our energy. So so how are you doing? And you’re ruling and how you live in this world. Now, I will tell you, when we talk about ruling in Scripture, ruling is different than the way I think the world paints the idea of ruling. When the world talks about ruling, it’s about dominating over things to get people to do what you want to serve you. That’s not what the picture God paints in Scripture. God creates a beautiful garden and he doesn’t create it all over the entire world, but in a section and he tells us, okay, now go make this garden happen all over the world. Rule exert demonstrate the glory of God in you so that you can reflect His glory in this world. And this day was to never end.
To know God and to live for that purpose. You know, when I think about this idea of of God’s presence and and resting and ruling, can I can I just be honest and say. Some people’s relationship with God starts with the idea of what Genesis communicates and it ends there. And it’s unfortunate. And what I mean is when you talk to people about God, they come at it with this intentional purpose of of mattering in their existence. But the idea of who God is, is, is very arbitrary. It’s whatever they want to make God to be. It’s not. It’s not this God who desires to make himself known in your life. That’s what Genesis is saying. This is incredible. Not that you have to avail yourself to God, but God has come down to deliver himself to you. God wants to be known by you and Genesis, while it lays the foundation of of truth for us, the Bible, this is just one chapter in the Bible. There’s 1189 chapters in the Bible that God desires to communicate the goodness of who He is in this world. In fact, when you get to the Gospel of John, when John starts his gospel, he starts the same way as Genesis starts, he says. He says to us in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God. Look, in the beginning, that’s how Genesis starts.
The word was with God and the word was God. And He was in the beginning with God. That word it’s talking about is Jesus. And all things were made through Him, Jesus and all things. And without him was not anything made that was made out of nothing. And in him was life. And life was the word of men. And the word became flesh and dwelt among us. And it’s saying to us, God wants to be known personally. So just to stop with this arbitrary God and not really know him concisely, intimately, personally, in the form of Jesus. So rob yourself of the understanding of who God is. And not only that, when you come to know who God is, God’s desire is that you live for His glory in this world. That you demonstrate one of the most beautiful words I love in the New Testament, this idea of hospitality. Hospitality literally translates. I have it broken up up there, but it’s philoxenian, which means a friend of strangers. Meaning yes, you may not know everybody in this room, but everyone in this room was created sacred by God and made in his image. So one of the best ways you show your love for God is how you treat one another. Getting to know one another. And everyone starts off as a stranger. But one of the precious gifts of life is getting to know people and encouraging them in their walk with the Lord.
In fact, that’s what Peter says. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling as each has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace. Meaning God wants you to actually do something, sweat, work, live for His glory, and how you do stuff in this world, right? Demonstrate the goodness of God. Don’t just say I believe in God and just do what you want, but understand how the reflection of who God is in your life should matter in the trajectory of what you do with your living. And so he’s saying use whatever gifts you have to connect to people and help them understand how they belong and God’s greater story in this world. Which let me end with this. Martin Mueller I’ve used him once before, but Martin Niemöller. He lived in Nazi Germany during the time of World War Two. He’s got a quote that’s at the the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. and it’s actually a quote of repentance. Martin Niemöller was actually a supporter of Adolf Hitler. Lots of people were. That’s how he got into power. But he supported the ideas that Adolf Hitler promoted. And then he started to notice that that different groups were being picked off by Adolf Hitler. And he didn’t say anything. And then he started to notice that as different people groups got picked on, he the way he would justify it was, well, it’s not me, so it’s not my problem.
And eventually. They came from Martin Niemöller. And he was thrown into prison for seven and a half years. And he realized I should have done something. And in prison, he he repented of that. He was a minister at the time and he repented of his lack of taking responsibility for the sake of another human being. Not everyone knows how valuable they are because not everyone knows the Lord. Not everyone knows the purpose of their design. But this morning, looking at Genesis one, you do? You do? And what you do with that matters. And Martin Niemöller, he in his repentance, he came back and said this. He said, Christianity is not an ethic, nor is it a system of dogmatics but a living thing. One cannot deal with God in solitude or in remoteness only, but in the struggle of life. God wants you to take the chaos. That is just as he did in Genesis chapter two, and from it reflect his glory that when you walk away, there is beauty. The beauty of God made known as you help people understand the purpose of their existence. That’s what God calls you to in this world, in him. The beauty of that for us, we know, is in the detail of Jesus that God would not only create you in his image, but also give his life for you that you could find freedom in him.