Wednesday, August 18, 2010

He's got the whole world in his hands

“God created (Heb. bara’Strongs #1254a) the heavens and the earth” (Gen 1:1). Throughout the Old Testament, the verb bara’ refers only to God’s acts.[1] He needed no material when he fabricated the universe. And the first readers of this story were recently freed slaves finding out that God could make a great nation out of them, even though they “were the fewest of all peoples” (Deut 7:7). The creation story gives the assurance, “He’ll make something beautiful out of your life.”

God created the whole universe, “the heavens and the earth” (Gen 1:1). This work established his universal lordship. So the people of God sang, “The heavens belong to you, as does the earth. You made the world and all it contains” (Ps 89:11 NET, also Pss 24:1; 96:11). Other nations always thought their gods had only regional authority (e.g., 1 Kgs 20:23). But Israel knew their God was Almighty God no matter where they lived. Egypt had enslaved them. Their neighbors Moab, Edom, Ammon, and Philistia would harrass them. Assyria and Babylon would exile them. But the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob ruled the nations.[2]


1. The Hebrew term bara’ can tell of God “creating” miracles (Exod 34:10), acts of judgment (Num 16:30), a return from exile (Isa 41:20; Jer 31:22), new hearts (Ps 51:12), or a new heaven and earth (Isa 67:17)

2. Gen 49:10; Deut 15:6; 2 Chr 20:6; Pss 22:28; 66:7; 67:4; 106:41; 110:6; 148:11; Isa 14:2; 16:8; Jer 51:28; Ezek 29:15; 31:11; Zech 9:10; Rom 15:12; Rev 12:5; 19:15.

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