“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” But who is God? This is an enquiry for the “poor in spirit”. Unfortunately, not all ask this question. Many are far too quick to declare who God is, speaking ignorantly of him, without ever seeking him out. Genesis 1:1 (as well as the whole creation account) gives us insight into the nature of God. In his act of creation we see his ways. Moreover, in God’s created world we see the greatest mark of his fingerprints. All of creation points to a greater reality. Jesus understood this view of the world. This is why his parables constantly related the wonders of creation to the Kingdom. All of creation illuminates who God is as well as who God is not. Could it be that the admirer of creation is closer to the Kingdom than the student of Scripture? Could it be that the garden is more of a sanctuary than a cathedral? Is this why Jesus’ favorite place to teach his disciples while in Jerusalem was a garden?
“In the beginning God…”—this is the beginning of the gospel, the good news. There is a God! We are not left to ourselves! We are not products of random chance! There is a purpose to the world that many teachers, professors and philosophers of our age do not know. Nor do they want to know because it may expose their life’s work as a sham, or at least seriously flawed. Along these lines, Soren Kierkegaard (quoted earlier) wrote something worth our deepest consideration:
“If there were no eternal consciousness in a man, if at the bottom of everything there were only a wild ferment, a power that twisting in dark passions produced everything great or inconsequential; if an unfathomable, insatiable emptiness lay hid beneath everything, what would life be but despair?”
How true! There is an eternal consciousness in man. Moreover, there is an Eternal Consciousness: the great “I AM.” This is the glorious good news. The “I AM,” who always is and acts on behalf of his creation is probably the greatest description of God given in Scripture. In the beginning was God—not chaos, random selection or even matter itself—but him who was, who is and who is to come. Along the same line Karl Barth observed: “The little clause ‘God is’ signifies a revolution.”
Again, who is God? Even Paul asked this question. When confronted by the resurrected Jesus, he cried out: “Who are you, Lord?” (Acts 9:5). This is not a question we can pass over quickly in our attempt to move on to the next thing. It is a question—a quest to know God (for a true question is a quest). Paul never graduated from this passionate pursuit. He never moved on to bigger and better things. This question stayed with him his whole life. In Philippians he exclaims: “I want to know Christ!” (Phil 3:10). We so easily presume we know God and foolishly run after the next fad. Yes, we may know God, but unless we realize there is more to know, we do not really know him as we ought. How can a finite being fully know him who is infinite? Knowing God is a life-long pursuit, and I believe it will also continue in heaven.
Prayer: Who are you, Lord? I want this to be my life’s pursuit. I don’t ever want to give up in this quest. Father, keep me from getting sidetracked, from getting distracted by so many tangents that many unknowingly fall into. You are the pearl of great price, the good news, and it’s you I want to know.
Action: Set aside time each day (undistracted time) to get to know your Lord. My good friend, Ram Marrero, recommends starting by spending 7 minutes with God for 40 days.