The purpose of the theology of creation is ethical and religious.
The theology of creation is based on divine revelation and can only be understood by faith
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. Hebrews 11.3
The text read is shifted between the Genesis story and modern scientific thought : Genesis 1-11 is not a scientific, but pre- scientific document. The order of creation is seen from the point of view of an observer on Earth, experienced from the five senses.
The Hebrew people facing worldviews of other peoples
Genesis was written and given by Moses to the Hebrew people from leaving Egypt to entering the Promised Land. The matter was to fight against the Hebrew people’s fear who believed that the political power of the Egyptian pharaoh and the might of the Canaanite kings depended upon the might of their gods. God has promised to deliver his people enslaved in Egypt; pagan gods are put back in their place , reduced to the rank of creatures : the sun and moon are not even named:
God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. Genesis 1.16
They are merely referred to as lights made by God. Why should one have to fear them? God’s power is greater than that of the pharaohs and of the gods, as it is demonstrated by the ten plagues of Egypt.
The ninth plague is directed against Ra, the sun god :
Exodus 10.21-22 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darkness will spread over Egypt—darkness that can be felt.” So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and total darkness covered all Egypt for three days.
The tenth plague is directed against Pharaoh deified
Ex 12.29 At midnight the LORD struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock as well.
The creation story as it should be understood by the people of Israel
The good creation was made by God, absolutely good and sovereign.
God alone is the creator God alone is the author of creation, made from nothing (ex nihilo)
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and Hebrews 11.3
There is no eternal matter nor dualism as in other worldviews.
If there were some other form of existence or of force which, these would oppose God and escape his control. Creation is a free act , decided by God, and only in this way can God be the Lord.
Acts 17.24-25 The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.
God is transcendent (above, distinct from creation) and immanent (in the creation)
Ephesians 4.6 Only one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.
He is also an sovereign God upon whom everything depends :
Colossians 1.17 In him all things hold together
Acts 17.28 In him we live and move and have our being.
The creation by the three persons of the Trinity
1 . God the Father is the creator
Psalm 33.6-7 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; he puts the deep into storehouses.
2 . God the Spirit is the creator in Genesis 1:2
Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
3 . God the Son is the creator in the New Testament
John 1:3 Through him (the son) all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
Colossians 1.16 For by him (the son) all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.
The plural in: “Let us make man in our image ” (Genesis 1:26 ) reflects the Trinitarian nature of God. The creation of mankind is linked to the work of the Spirit (Genesis 1.2).
Genesis 3.21 “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil”
The Son in the creation
Hebrews 1.1-3 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.
The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
Hebrews 1.2b attributes the creation of the world to the Son (John 1.3, Col 1.16). Hebrews 3a identifies him as image and glory of God, as the revelation of the glory of the creator (Genesis 1.2b)
Role of the Son in the creation
He is present in the Spirit in Genesis 1:2 , he created mankind in his own image of the Son. He is also present in the re-creation, in the new creation by the Holy spirit
John 20:22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
1 Cor 15.49 And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.
The Spirit in Creation
In the beginning, the Spirit plays his part in the creation of things visible and invisible (Genesis 1.2a) The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters (Genesis 1:2 b .
Creation by the glory and for the glory of God
The creation is theocentric ( God-centered ) .
Revelation 4.11 ” You created all thongs and by your will they were created and have their being “
A theophany of glory
In a kingdom invisible to man, God is supernaturally seen by the prophets. He is surrounded by a cloud of glory
Ezekiel 1.4 I looked, and I saw a windstorm coming out of the north—an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light. The center of the fire looked like glowing metal
1.28 Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him.
Amid a multitude of heavenly winged beings
1.5 And in the fire was what looked like four living creatures. In appearance their form was that of a man,
1. 13, 14 The appearance of the living creatures was like burning coals of fire or like torches. Fire moved back and forth among the creatures; it was bright, and lightning flashed out of it. The creatures sped back and forth like flashes of lightning.
He moves along with a throne – chariot made of wheels
1:15-17 As I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the ground beside each creature with its four faces. This was the appearance and structure of the wheels: They sparkled like chrysolite, and all four looked alike. Each appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel. As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the creatures faced; the wheels did not turn about as the creatures went.
11.22 Then the cherubim, with the wheels beside them, spread their wings, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them.
The wheels are animated and propelled by the Spirit
1.19-21 When the living creatures moved, the wheels beside them moved; and when the living creatures rose from the ground, the wheels also rose. Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, and the wheels would rise along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. When the creatures moved, they also moved; when the creatures stood still, they also stood still; and when the creatures rose from the ground, the wheels rose along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.
God reveals his presence as King of glory
1.26 27 Above the expanse over their heads was what looked like a throne of sapphire, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him.
In this realm, the Son of man in the Old Testament,
Daniel 7.13-14 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
i.e. the Christ glorified in his ascension will receive eternal sovereignty , in the light of the fire or of the sun,
Ps 104.2 He wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent
like a shining rainbow,
Ezekiel 1.28 Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.
He will carry out the divine judgments.
Daniel 7.10 A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him.
Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.
Jeremiah 1.9-10 Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “Now, I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”
Revelation 4.4-8 Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.
In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.”
To be continued