In the opening chapters of Genesis, God proves to be a merciful and gracious Savior. He is the only One who can bring forth an orderly universe, peaceful relations with neighbors, and perfect communion with him.
God and our Universal Woes:
In the first chapter of Genesis we read:
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 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. (Genesis 1:1-2)
God created the heavens and the earth, and he intentionally spoke them into being “without form and void.” He did not have to create his universe so. He could have effortlessly and immediately brought forth the final and perfect product. However, God chose to do otherwise. The Creator made a perfect mess, and then over the course of six days, he meticulously took his lump of creation and formed it into a perfect universe stewarded by a perfect man. God took that which was not so good (without form and void) and made it very good. The Creator was the one who created chaos, and then he brought forth beautiful order out of his chaos.
And he will do it again. Our current universe has been cursed by God. Paul presented our planet as groaning for the day when it will be reconstructed. And one day, thorns and thistles will be no more. God is the one who fixed his planet in the beginning. He is the one who will do so again in the end.
God and our Relational Woes:
In Genesis 2, more information is presented:
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. (Genesis 2:18-25)
God could have created Adam without a need for a wife. Had he desired so, the Creator could have created Adam and Eve at the same time and from the same substance. However, God chose not to do so. Instead, he created a “not good” situation in order that he might solve the problem and make things better. He created Adam first and allowed him to experience aloneness. Then, in his own masterful way, God brought forth intimacy out of loneliness.
And he will fix man’s relational woes again. Isolation, loneliness, abuse, and all other relational sins will one day give way to perfect communion. As it is with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, so it will be with all those who awaken in the New Heavens and New Earth.
God and our Spiritual Woes:
In the opening story, all appeared to be going according to plan until chapter three’ when the bottom appeared to drop out:
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. (Genesis 3:1-8)
However, though it appeared that God’s plan had failed, in reality, all was working in perfect accordance with God’s mysterious will. The omniscient God had intentionally created Lucifer, and he did so knowing the chaos to follow. Following Satan’s heavenly coup, God could have immediately vanquished him to the Lake of Fire. [He will do so at the end of days when the time is right.] However, for God’s own purposes, he chose not to do so. Additionally, the omnipresent and omniscient God could have safeguarded the first couple and hindered Satan’s entrance into the Garden of Eden. He could have kept Lucifer on a much shorter leash. However, he sovereignly allowed the Tempter to enter paradise and the temptation to proceed. And in God’s perfect sovereignty, he could have created perfect worshipers who would have freely chosen to glorify God and laugh in Satan’s face. [He later did so with the man – Christ Jesus and will do so with all those fully glorified and found about the heavenly throne.] However, God mysteriously created a perfect man who was able to fall, and terribly fall he did.
Immediately there was chaos. Immediately, all was without form and void. Man’s communion with his Heavenly Lord and earthly spouse was broken. Intimacy was forfeited. Man was sinful to the core, and only death and hell were earned and deserved. Ghastly was man’s character, conduct, and curse. However, the Creator and Judge chose not to leave Adam and Eve in their hellish and damned condition. God went to work. The Creator and Judge became the Savior.
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man … The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you … I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” … And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. (Genesis 3:8-21)
In the cool of the day, God walked towards his unwise, ungrateful, unrighteous, and ugly enemies. Though they had sided with the devil, he mercifully stayed his wrath and walked their way. While they decided to hide, he decided to seek.
God then conversed with the sin-infected couple. He tolerated their nonsense as they blamed Satan, one another, and the Lord.
God then spoke Gospel words. He cursed Satan and declared Lucifer’s ultimate failure. Though Satan currently had 100% of humanity on his side and many more would be following, God promised to plunder, divide, and save some under his sway. There would be a Gospel schism in Satan’s ranks. Enmity would begin with the woman, continue with her offspring, and one day, there would be a Chosen Child who would take a beating but would ultimately crush Satan’s head. A suffering, sacrificial, and victorious Savior was promised.
God then followed up his Gospel words with a Gospel ceremony. A religious ritual was initiated. The Lord killed an animal and clothed Adam and Eve in its skin. In doing so, God presented a visual sermon to be repeated for thousands of years. All devilish sinners who would turn from their own performance, and trust in the merciful, gracious, sacrificial, and substitutive Offspring to come, they would be perfectly covered by the holy, merciful, and gracious God.
Friends, in the opening chapters of Genesis, God proves to be a merciful and gracious One who brings order to the universal chaos, intimacy to the lonely, and hope to those deserving of hell. This is who God is at the beginning of Genesis, and this is who he is at the end of Revelation. He is the God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. So, regardless of the chaos you are experiencing today, remember this:
- God has promised, has accomplished, and will bring order to your chaotic universe.
- God has promised, has accomplished, and will bring loving communion to your chaotic neighborhood and family.
- God has promised, has accomplished, and will safeguard perfect communion with him for those who rest in his Gospel remedy.
None of this is earned. None of this is deserved. All of this is a gift. All of this is unwavering. This is the Good News of the Bible — from beginning to the end. This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Happy New Year!