On December 24, 1975 at the age of 7, my grandparents gifted a bible to me. Until this week when I pulled it from the shelf in my study, I don’t recall ever reading the note inside. It is entitled “The story of God and man”. “This book you are holding in your hands is more than the story of the rise and fall of nations, heroes and villains, poetry and letters…It will help you understand how things are between God and you and that you are never alone.”
Forty-two years later these words hold life, meaning, joy, strength, courage, hope, promise, truth and ironically the title of this series: “God and me, The big Idea!”
This weekend we turn to the very first page of the bible and discover these truths: The main character of the entire bible is introduced in the first phrase: “In the beginning, God” It's GOD! He is the reason for it all. All of creation and life flows out of Him. The beginning of life as we know it and understand it begins right here with God.
The next sentence tells us that when there was nothing but darkness, nothing but a formless void. Before the hundred billion galaxies that the Hubble Telescope has pointed scientists to, the constellations, the planets, and moons, the Spirit of GOD was hovering over this place and He went to work creating a space where he could enjoy relationship with you and me.
But while the creation of the heavens and the earth and the billions of galaxies is impressive. Mt Everest, the Grand Canyon, Sunsets and Sunrise, these and thousands of other amazing points of creation, they are not the point, they are not the focus. God’s big idea in creating all of this, was to share the community He created with you and me.
Man is a unique creation. We didn't evolve from a lower life form. Evolution says you are here by accident, but the bible tells you that you were created in the image of God, that you have purpose and you are here for a reason. No other creature is made in God's image and this indicates that He wants to have a special relationship with you and me. And it is in this one concept that our true worth lies. But here is the point I want us to grab hold of and anchor deep in our mind and heart. GOD created me in His image, and because of this GOD gets me.. God identifies with me. He grieves with me in sorrow. He celebrates with me in victory, He shelters me, and the bible tells us that he intervenes for me in response to my prayers.
Genesis chapter 3 is perhaps the saddest chapter in the bible. Sin causes everything to fall apart, and God removes Adam and Eve from the Garden because selfishness has no place there. Fear and the desire to hide replace joy, innocence and perfect community. And from here it is a slippery slope. No pun intended. And for the next 8 chapters we witness the terrible results of sin – death. God would wipe out the entire population of the world except one man and his family with a flood.
Just eleven chapters into the bible, this could have been the end…. God could’ve given up on us. But HE didn’t. Regardless of what Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah and his family did. Regardless of anything that we have done, God’s big idea remains unchanged – That we would share community with Him.
11 short chapters into the bible and the overarching theme is clear. God wants me to know Him. GOD wants me to know Him and GOD wants me to choose Him. Will you?
Join me this weekend at we look at the first 11 chapters of Genesis and embark on this truth revealing and life-giving journey of knowing God. Dave