6/9/2020 2:43:25 PM
The Trinity Is Revealed in Creation - Pastor John Roekle
June 7, 2020 [Holy Trinity] Genesis 1:1-2:3 J.D.Roekle
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1
The Trinity Is Revealed in Creation
Dear Friends in Christ,
Have you ever heard the song of a humpback whale? It’s kind of a mysterious sound. Their songs last anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, and are repeated for hours at a time. Some biologists speculate that their songs may be related to mating, but the truth is that no one really knows. Besides their songs, there is a lot of mystery and intrigue surrounding these huge, beautiful creatures. They spend 95 percent of their lives in the ocean. And then, without warning, they pull 60,000 pounds up and leap out of the water for unexplainable reasons. My wife and I went whale watching 4 ½ years ago off the coast of Boston and seeing those large creatures in action is mind-blowing. Seeing them close up also give you a feeling of helplessness. Not only are they so much bigger than us. There is so much about whales that we can’t begin to know. So much mystery surrounding them.
Now consider this. If we cannot understand this creature, isn’t it understandable that we will never be able to fully comprehend the Creator? Today, we are drawn back to the creation account itself. And while there is much mystery in the creation account, it does reveal to us some very important things about God. It even reveals to us, in a way, that God is Triune. Three persons in one being. As we look more closely at our Triune God, God will get bigger in our minds. We will seem small in comparison. May we then understand what a good and comforting truth that truly is.
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Such a simple verse, but it’s packed full of information for us. The interesting thing about this verse is the fact that God is not introduced as an author might introduce the main character in his book. Instead, the identity of God is just assumed.
What we are reminded of in this is the fact that God is eternal. In order to be there at creation, God already existed. In fact, God had always existed. That’s very different from his creation. In fact, it is here at the beginning that God creates the concept of time. By nature, God is timeless. He isn’t bound by time.
And the fact that God begins time, also reveals another fact about God. God is a God of order. In his orderliness, God created certain heavenly bodies so that there would be order in our days. The sun is out during the day. The moon comes up at night. One complete trip for the earth around the sun indicates one year. This didn’t happen by mistake. This was all very carefully planned by our very orderly God.
Another thing that reveals this order to us is the way in which God developed creation. On the first day, he essentially created all the raw materials. And on the next 5 days, he molded and shaped the universe and in particular, the earth, just the way he wanted it to be.
It is as if God were a sculptor with a lump of clay. At first it doesn’t look like much. But as he goes on it begins to take shape. And by the end of the 6th day, his masterpiece is completed.
In a world where it seems chaos rules, we can be thankful that we have a God of order. Even though many things are out of our control, they are still in the hands of the creator who does things in an orderly way. God knows that we need order in our lives and he provides it for us.
And his orderliness is backed up by his omnipotence. God is almighty. There’s nothing God cannot do. We see that in the word ‘create’. In fact, the word in the original language for ‘create,’ can only refer to God. And the fact that God did his creating work ‘in the beginning’ tells us that he made everything out of nothing.
This wasn’t some kind of hocus pocus magic. This was an act of God’s power. There was nothing. No trees or water. No earth. Not sun, moon, or stars. No universe. Nothing! But then out of nothing, God produced the universe and everything in it. What power! So much power in fact that it is impossible to wrap your brain around it.
God’s power is something that can be of great comfort. Not only does he have the power to create, he has the power to preserve. He even has the power to save us, which he has done.
He saves us by his grace, his undeserved love for us. While we do not see that in the creation account, it does show us that we have a God who cares for his creation. Think of the beautiful landscapes the Almighty Creator paints. The marvelous sunrises and sunsets. The majestic mountains and the vast oceans.
And he has made the entire creation for the sake of us. The crown of his creation is people. And he puts us here not only to admire the scenery. He puts us here to take care of it. And as we do so, he takes care of us, making sure our needs are covered by giving us food and drink. And it isn’t as if he simply gives us bread and water, although that would be enough. No, he doesn’t spare any expense. He provides a wonderful banquet for his creation; his creatures; us.
And as he does this, he reveals even more about himself to us. The Hebrew word for God is ELOHIM. ELOHIM is plural. In God’s name itself we see God beginning to reveal his nature to us. That he reveals himself in more than one person. Three to be exact. ELOHIM is 3 persons. 3 persons in one God.
We have come to understand that God the Father is the one primarily responsible for creation. He is our creator and preserver. But the second verse of Scripture also reveals another person of the Godhead: “…the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.”
Like a mother eagle hovers over the nest where her young are, providing for them and protecting them; so also, the Holy Spirit hovers over the infant creation, preserving it, and preparing the universe for what God had in mind for it.
So we see the Father and the Holy Spirit here in the creation account. The Son of God is also there, although he isn’t specifically mentioned in these first two chapters on Genesis. It is the Apostle John in his Gospel that tells us the Son of God is present at creation: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him everything was made, and without him not one thing was made that has been made.”
And John makes it clear that not only was Jesus there, but he was also active in creation. He chipped in and did his part.
When you look at who God is through the lens of creation, you see certainly a God of mystery. Three in one. One in three. A concept that does not make logical sense. That truth leads to the fact that God is much greater than us. We are tiny by comparison.
And yet, that brings us comfort, doesn’t it?! Think about it this way. When you were a small child, who is it that you go running to when you are crying? Your friend? Not likely. Your brother or sister? Probably not unless they were much, much older than you. You probably went to an adult. Most likely your mom or your dad. Why was that? You knew that they were bigger than you and were capable of helping you with many or most of your problems.
Who do we go running to with our problems when no one around us can solve them? We go to someone much greater than any of us. We go to our Triune God. Our gracious God who began revealing himself in creation. Our gracious God who has stuck with us through thick and thin. Our gracious God who alone has the power to save us and did so when the Son of God, Jesus, rescued us by living and dying for us to wipe away our sins.
So, it’s okay that we can’t comprehend everything about God. We need it to be that way. We can’t figure everything out about our world. The last couple months, and the last couple weeks in particular have shown us that. We need someone who can. We need our Triune God. And he needs to be much greater than us. Amen.