Monthly Archives: January 2012

Praise God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth

In preparation for my sermon today, I wanted to see how other biblical authors saw the meaning and the impact of Genesis 1-2. So I sought to look at most every Old Testament text where God is talked about as the one who created/made the heavens and the earth.  What I found was so encouraging for my heart as I grew to love his greatness more, his power more, his safety more, his grace more and his love more.  The study helped me love Him and so I decided to share some of the findings with you. I pray you are encouraged.  The general idea of God as Creator of the heavens and the earth is…

Shows off His supremacy and keeps us humble

Used to say his glory is and always will be greater than our glory.  Isaiah 40:12

Used to describe the beauty and vastness of his wisdom. Jeremiah 10:11-12

Used to praise him as most glorious, to describe the degree of his worth and the far reaching extent of those who praise him.  Nehemiah 9:6, Psalm 69:34, Isaiah 40:12

Used to keep us from questioning God in arrogance. (asking God questions in faith is helpful and right, but arrogant calling God into question is indicted here.) The text says, He made the heavens and the earth and therefore our self-exalting words should be few. Ecclesiastes 5:2

Warns us against Materialism

Used to show us He is the Possessor of everything.  Genesis 14:22, Psalm 89:11

Encourages Faith for the doubting heart

Used to differentiate him from all other gods. Ezra 5:21, Jeremiah 10:11

Used to show his faithfulness as he was faithful in the creating and making the world and carried it to completion, so he will be faithful to carry everything else to completion. There is none like you, Oh God.  1Kings 8:23

Used to describe his power that caused the nations to fear when God was against them and caused Israel to take confidence when he was fighting on their side  Joshua 2:11-12, Job 37:3

Used to express faith that he has the power to answer prayer. It is the ground of Hezekiahs faith.  2Kings 19:15

Used to describe his value especially the value of his presence. He is with us at all times. He will not let us go.  Psalm 73:25

Used to describe that he is trustworthy and loving in his truth. He formed the earth to be lived in. Isaiah 45:18.

Reveals the source and the path of Justice

Used to describe his power to judge. Psalm 102:25

Used to describe his ability to see- Israel sinned in his sight… The Lord of heaven and earth. We cannot hide from the one who filled the heavens and the earth. Deut 4:25-31, Gen 24:3,  Job 28:24, Jeremiah 23:24

Used to call out in faith when enemies are threatening. It is a declaration that He is able to overcome and what he does is good. Isaiah 36:7.

Used to describe the extent of his control and rule. Psalm 135:6

Highlights Grace

Used to say the Lord is a safe place, a refuge and stronghold. Joel 3:16

Used to describe the extent of his ability to bless Psalm 115:15

Used to describe the extent of his salvation specifically his restoring work of justice. Isaiah 42:1-8

Used to excite our hearts for the last day when he will create a new heaven and a new earth. Isaiah 65:17

So as we read Genesis 1-2 we are to take our cues from the biblical authors’ interpretation and look for God, his work, his actions, his focus, and his comments on why he did what he did. The creation account is meant to evoke awe of God, a holy sense of helplessness that we can’t do what he has done and holy sense of action that loves others while giving him the glory for all creative and justice advancing works on our planet.

We are not looking to prove or defend science.  We are looking for God.  And when we look for him not only in Genesis 1-2 but throughout the Scriptures, we will see his radiance in Jesus who holds all things together and by whose death sinners are justified and given hope in the recreation of all things.

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MLK Jr. Day and Bloodlines

As we get the privilege on MLK Jr. Day to reflect on those who have gone before us to labor for racial equality, I wanted to point us to a new resource that will keep us intentional in our present day fight for justice among all peoples.  Pastor John Piper’s new book entitled Bloodlines is a book that we should all read to awaken us not only to the continuing problem of racism in our nation and world today but also to push us to examine our own hearts for the residue or in some cases outright disease of racism.  This 18 minutes trailer for the book is worth the time and will help us understand some of themes and stories that fuel the book.

Here is Amazon’s summary and then the trailer found on youtube.

Genocide. Terrorism. Hate crimes. In a world where racism is far from dead, is unity amidst diversities even remotely possible?

Sharing from his own experiences growing up in the segregated South, pastor John Piper thoughtfully exposes the unremitting problem of racism. Instead of turning finally to organizations, education, famous personalities, or government programs to address racial strife, Piper reveals the definitive source of hope—teaching how the good news about Jesus Christ actively undermines the sins that feed racial strife, and leads to a many-colored and many-cultured kingdom of God.

Learn to pursue ethnic harmony from a biblical perspective, and to relate to real people different from yourself, as you take part in the bloodline of Jesus that is comprised of “every tongue, tribe, and nation.”

May God grow us to love Christ and to love how God’s sheer grace has brought together people from every nation, tribe, family, and tongue into one race, the race of Christ) where harmony can exist amidst ethnic differences to the glory of God.  So may we pursue this aspect of the coming kingdom in there here and now and long for this reality in the age to come- Unity existing amidst diversity for His glory.