By Dr. G. Thomas Sharp
Because of the serious encroachment of evolutionism into modern theology, Genesis has become viewed by many theologians and churchmen as non-essential to anything meaningful or relevant today, and this is in spite of the clear statements of the New Testament, even the words of Jesus Himself. There is nothing clearer than John 5:45-47, where Jesus said that He would not accuse them to the Father, because, He said, there is one who accuses you, even:
“...Moses, in whom you trust. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words.” (In this case Jesus is referring to the Jews of Jerusalem who were engaging Him for violating the Sabbath because He had just commanded the lame man to pick up his bed and walk on the Sabbath.)
Jesus made it painfully obvious that we cannot believe Him if, for any reason, we reject the words of Moses – beginning in Genesis! There are many reasons for Jesus making such an adamant statement. Why would Jesus be so pointed about Moses and his writings? What could there be in the words of Moses, speciﬁcally Genesis, that could be so very important to the faith of every believer?
He said to the “rich man” in Luke 16 (referring to the rich man’s brothers) that they have Moses and the Prophets, and if they do not hear them, they would not believe even if one rose from the dead. Moreover, in Luke 24: 27 and 44, Jesus refers to Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms. The important issue to notice in these verses is the fact that Jesus honors and separates Moses from all other writers of Scripture by calling his name, while only collectively and generally referring to the Prophets and the Psalms.
One can only believe that to Jesus, Moses was extremely important, and there must be a very good reason for this!
One can only conclude from the words of John 5 that Moses was, in Jesus’ view, basic to all Christian beliefs, thus when He compares him to all other writers of Holy Scripture, He refers to his writings with his name, while only referring to Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc., as the Prophets!
Among the reasons that further explain the importance of Genesis for believers today are all of the OPID issues that ﬁnd their solution there. OPID is an acronym I have developed for Origins, Purpose, Identity and Destiny. While it is true that immediately after the creation of man, God mandated that he should “subdue and have dominion” over the creation, a mandate that established the directive for the pure and applied sciences, He also knew that this process of empirical investigation would not yield answers to OPID questions. Our origin, purpose, identity and destiny cannot be discovered in a test tube or a laboratory, it is not, in that sense, empirically discerned, it is only known through revelation.
Your true origin, your purpose for being on the earth, your actual identity and your ultimate destiny can only be known through prayerful reading of the Scriptures. It is a special revelation to you from God, your Creator! It cannot come from any other source. Therefore, when a secular scientist tells you that you are an animal, in the order primate, he is reasoning from a knowledge base that cannot provide accurate answers to OPID questions. Never forget the words of Solomon, “There is a way that seems right to man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 16:25)
Other important aspects of Genesis to believers include the universal and physical imprint of the Godhead, without which we could not know the true spiritual nature of the universe. The very ﬁrst image of God’s nature is seen in the very ﬁrst verse of Genesis One. The Apostle Paul reminds us of this colossal reality in Romans 1:20, when he says that the observable things that were created allow us to perceive the invisible attributes of the Creator.
I have a colleague who has discovered 1200 listed attributes for God in the Bible – all, of which, are aspects of His grand and glorious nature – and all discernable in the things made! But of these marvelous insights into the divine nature there are two that stand out to Paul above them all – His divine nature and Godhead.
To the latter of these comments made by the great Apostle, Dr. Henry M. Morris, the father of the Biblical creationist revival in North America, replied that the universe uniquely has three dimensions – space, mass and time. These dimensions are clearly spelled out in Genesis One. Moses wrote that “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
But you ask, “I don’t see any universal dimensions in this verse.” So, if you don’t, let me help you a minute. The phrase “In the beginning” comes from the Hebrew phrase “be· rē· shît,” meaning at the ﬁrst, or at the beginning. This phrase identiﬁes the origin of time, or the beginning of time.
The Hebrew word for “heavens” is “shamayim” (pronounced shaw-mah-yim), and means the realm or space in which the sun, moon and stars are located. So, in eﬀect, this word means space. The Hebrew word for “earth” is “erets” (pronounced eh-rets). This word means earth or land or all that is material. Thus the material world had its beginning when God made the “earth” by His power.
Let’s look at the verse again through the lens of this small bit of understanding. For the most part, then, “In the beginning” means time; “heavens” means space; and “earth” means matter. So, we see the space/mass/time universe is the ultimate elect of God’s work in Genesis1:1. Thus God has made a three dimensional universe that is triune in nature possessing space, mass and time. Let’s think about this.
Space is invisible and cannot be seen with the eye of man without mass, and space and mass cannot be experienced or known outside of time. If we superimpose over this analogy of the universe the triune nature of the Godhead, we understand that the Father is invisible and cannot be known or seen outside the Son of God, and we cannot experience the Father or the Son, except in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Genesis is indeed important!
Dr. G. Thomas Sharp is director of Creation Truth Foundation, a ministry emphasizing world view and specializing in creation science teaching. Dr. Sharp is also the general editor for a dynamic new home school curriculum for elementary students, Truth in Science (www.truth-in-science.com)