SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSONS
Commentary by Walter Albritton
September 2, 2007
God Created All Things to Express His Great Love for Us
Key Verse: In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. – Genesis 1:1-2
Everyone has heard the joke about the man who while walking at night fell off a cliff. As he fell he grabbed a limb and held on for dear life. Desperately he yelled, “Help! Can anybody help me?” Immediately a calm voice replied, “Yes, I can help you.” Relieved, the man said, “Thank goodness. Can you throw me a rope?”
“No,” came the reply; “You don’t need a rope. Just let go of the limb.” Shocked, the man asked, “who are you?’ The reply was even more stunning: “I am God.” The silence that followed was broken when the desperate man cried out, “Is there anybody else up there?”
Many people wonder if even God is up there or out there. Is there really a God? Is anybody there, listening when I pray? If there is a God why does he stay hidden? Why doesn’t he speak up when I call out to him?
Since time began people have longed to know if God actually exists. Even people of faith sometimes ask the agonizing question, “Where is God when I need him?” When doubt overwhelms us we are tempted to agree with the cynical Mark Twain who once said, “God doesn’t know where we are and wouldn’t care if he did.”
Genesis is a good book to meditate upon when your faith in the existence of a loving God needs to be strengthened. Let us look at a few reasons why this is so.
One might suppose that the Bible would attempt to convince its readers that there is a God. Not so. From Genesis to Revelation the Bible assumes the existence of God. So the writer of Genesis begins, “In the beginning God”! God is. God speaks. God acts. God creates. What God creates is good. God is in charge!
Our Christian faith invites us to embrace this foundational truth: God is in charge! He was in charge in the beginning. He is still in charge. And what God does is good. By affirming this truth we are also expressing our confidence in the character of God. God is not capricious. He is reliable. He hangs stars in the sky, not on the ears of donkeys. Apple trees produce apples, not coconuts.
God is not a God of chaos. He brings order out of chaos. There is order in the story of creation. First God created light; then the sky, vegetation, the sun, the moon, the stars, the fish of the sea, the birds, and the animals.
God created by speaking. His words revealed his love. Light was necessary for life to exist, so he spoke light into being. How did God do it? Genesis does not explain how God did it. Faith says the “how” does not matter. What matters is that God spoke and there was light.
Genesis tells us that God felt good about what he created. God looked at each day’s creative work and saw that it was “good.” That is to say, God approved what he had done. This gives us a clue as to God’s purpose in creating the world and all that is in it. It is not presumptive for us to conclude that God created “all things bright and beautiful” for his creatures, and his children, to enjoy.
Life takes on new meaning for us
when choose to believe that God created a beautiful world and a beautiful
universe for the enjoyment of the people made in his own image. In
When we turned to look back, what
we saw were two huge rainbows positioned like a canopy over the bridge. The
colors were rich and beautiful. Spontaneously I found myself praying, “Thank
you Father for loving me so much that you created these rainbows, and these
water falls, so my friends and I could enjoy this unforgettable moment of
The cynic would say God had nothing to do with those rainbows. They were there because of an accidental assimilation of sunshine, water, and cosmic rays. The cynic is free so to believe. But I choose to believe that God’s creation is a gift of his love to his children.
He created the world out of love. He created animals and plants so we could discover that he is a God not only of power but also of beauty. God shows us that he has a sense of humor by creating giraffes and baboons. He proves his love by creating blueberries and bananas for us to enjoy.
Is there anybody out there? Oh Yes! God is! He makes his presence known in his creation. Who else but a loving God would create “Knock Out” roses or a gorgeous crepe myrtle tree? God makes himself known in the orderliness of our incredible universe. We see him in the faithfulness of the heavens that continue to “declare his handiwork.”
Need more evidence of his presence? Then consider Jesus, his Son. Jesus is the greatest evidence of the existence of God. Like the writer of Genesis, Jesus made no effort to prove that God existed. He just talked to him, walked with him, and invited people to accept the love God offered them in a hundred different ways.
“Good” is the key word in this lesson from Genesis. What did Jesus do? He went about “doing good.” At Jesus’ baptism his Father looked at him and “saw” that his son was “good.” He even said, “You are my beloved son; with you I am well pleased.”
When we recognize the love God has shared with us in the created world, and the love he has demonstrated in the gift of his son, and the blessings he has showered upon us through his son, perhaps this is a good time to repeat those words often spoken in church these days:
“God is good – all the time!”
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