“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)
Most of us probably have started their year by committing themselves in a Bible reading plan. We are too acquainted with the Bible’s first verse. We can recite it by memory without a single sweat. That God has created all things is one of the cardinal doctrines that we Christians hold dear and believe as true. Our common confession starts with this fact; the Apostles Creed begins with the declaration “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth…”
There are three things that we should consider at this point. First, the creation is a Trinitarian act—God the Father created the universe through the Son (John 1:3) and the Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:2; Job 33:4). Second, God created all things ex nihilo, or in other words, out of nothing. He spoke and things came into existence. Lastly, the creation of all things visible and invisible is God’s free act. It is not necessary. He is not obliged to create anything for only “by his will they existed and were created” (Rev. 4:11). Contrary to a popular opinion, God did not create the world because He was lonely. He is not in need of anything (Acts 17:25).
Just as the world and everything in it did not just sprout by its own will, the whole creation could not also take care of itself. At this point, we should maintain against the pantheists that neither the creation is an extension of God nor all of creation is God. On the other hand, we should also contend against the deists that God did not just leave the world to let it run at its own course. While creation is not a part of God, it is not independent from God. Unlike the watchmaker in the tired analogy, God did not forget the world like a watch in the road. Instead, He keeps it and upholds all things by His power and might (Acts 17:28; Hebrews 1:3). Under His divine providence, God orders and maintains the universe. He gives food (Psalm 136:25). He preserves “the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them” (Nehemiah 9:6). “In him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17). God ordains and works all things according to His will and good purpose (Ephesians 1:11; Philippians 2:13).
The knowledge of these things does not just give us something to memorize. Knowing that God created all things out of nothing brings comfort to us—if He could create all things by His power then He could also keep us and frustrate the plans of the evil one. And He did, does, and will do! In the same way, we could also take refuge in His providence, which is over and above all things. Here, we know that all things come to pass under His fatherly hands. We should not doubt or worry since all things happen for the good of His children (Romans 8:28).
Oh, what comfort it is to us upon knowing that the God who is the Creator of all things and its Sustainer-King is also the same God who created us in His own image and a loving Father who cares for us! Because of Christ, His beloved Son, all of those in Him by faith have received the “Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Romans 8:15).
Our Lord invites us to look at His creation. Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, but look at how they are well-tended! Look at the little birds in the sky, see how the Father feeds them! Even the hairs of our heads are all numbered. We should not worry; aren’t we of more value than they? (Matthew 6:25-34; 10:29-31).
Just like Maltbie Davenport Babcock, we could sing:
This is my Father’s world.
O let me ne’er forget
that though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world:
why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let the earth be glad!
Let us praise the LORD our Creator for all his glorious works (Psalm 104). Praises to our “God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist” (1 Corinthians 8:6).