This first verse of this very important Book is without question, one of the most sublime statements that can be found anywhere in the Word of God. This verse is also one of the most important verses in the Bible. It has been well said that what a man or woman does with the entire Bible is determined by what he or she does with this first sentence. The Bible opens with this verse. "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). If a man can believe this, he will not have any difficulty believing such things as miracles, prophecies, and evidences of the supernatural. If, however, a man refuses to accept this first verse of Scripture, he will find stumbling blocks in practically every chapter of the Word of God. Moses who wrote this first verse and the rest of Genesis by inspiration of God (2 Timothy 3:16), was made clear by the Lord Jesus Christ, that if you cannot believe what Moses wrote you will not believe the rest of the Word of God. "Do not think I will accuse you to the Father, there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me : for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?" (John 5:45-47)
This first verse of Scripture is also a simple, concise statement of fact, explaining how the universe came into being. Since the very beginning of time, man has been interested in the origin of the universe. Science today has all sorts of ingenious theories as to how matter, as we know it, came into its present form, but it has no explanation as to how the universe came into being in the first place. Even Charles Darwin, the originator of the theory of organic evolution, had to admit, "The beginning of the universe is an unsolvable mystery." Charles Darwin of course, was not correct in his answer. While science may not have the answer to his question of the origin of the universe, the Bible does have the answer. The simple teaching of the first verse of the Bible is that the universe is a product of the creative hand of a personal God who is Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen ! Here is a simple expository on this very important verse, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." :
"In the beginning" : When we say "In the beginning", the Bible is talking about the beginning of time. This beginning is the start of everything that was going to be created by God. It is not the beginning of God because He is eternal, but is the beginning of our material universe and it is so special and marvelous that man cannot fathom it unless he has faith in the One who created it.
"God created" : This is the Person who is doing the creating in the beginning. He is the One who was there in the beginning, when He created time. These two words not only tells us that God was the Originator of the material universe, but also gives us just a hint as to how it was accomplished. The word "created" is the Hebrew word "bara" which means literally, "to bring into existence out of nothing". This apparently means that before God began to create, there was nothing. God had no existing materials to work with. instead He simply formed the universe out of nothing. "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear" (Hebrews 11:3). "By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth" (Psalm 33:6).
"the heaven" : Is the first thing God created after He created time. This heaven is actually outer space. Later He will create another heaven that will be a firmament around the earth which will be earth's atmosphere. This heaven He created first is where He later put our sun (greater light :Genesis 1:16), our moon (lesser light : Genesis 1:16), stars and other celestial bodies. He gave all these apparent age. The universe is like a giant machine. It is not only very large and complex, it is very orderly. One of the world's most famous astronomers, Sir Fred Hoyle said, "Whoever was responsible for the universe must of been a marvelous mathematician. Hoyle no longer believes in the Big Bang theory. He says that "no stars, no planets, no galaxies, or any other celestial body could ever come out of such a "big bang". He no longer is an evolutionist or an atheist but believes that life had to be created! If such a world-famous astronomer believes it is impossible that a big bang theory could have created the universe, there are a lot of good scientific reasons to believe that the universe did not create itself. God created the universe, exactly as we are told in the Bible.
"and the earth" : This was the next thing God created. it was made of matter that God created out of nothing. This planet was the first one He created and it is unique from all the other planets in our solar system. The earth was created for man to inhabit (Isaiah 45:18). But in the beginning it was without form, and void (Genesis 1:2). The earth was void, or empty because God had not yet created an atmosphere around the planet to support the biological life that He was going to create on the 5th and 6th days of Creation week. Here is a good analogy : Say you want to build a house. First you need a vacant lot to erect the house on. But to build the house you will need the materials to make this house habitable for you to live in. You will need the bricks, sand, sacks of cement, lumber and other building materials (electrical wires, pipes and conduits). The house needs to be built in an orderly fashion. It needs a good foundation first. That is the way it was in the beginning with earth. Everything was there that God needed to make the earth, but He had not yet formed the earth and put living things on it.
The truth of this first verse in Genesis chapter one raises an obvious question : "What is the purpose of all this? Why did God bring the worlds into existence?" Some would answer by saying that the worlds were created for man's enjoyment. This is true in a limited sense, but as far as Scriptures are concerned, only one answer is given. The ultimate purpose for creation is to glorify God. Such verse as Proverbs 16:4; Isaiah 43:7; Colossians 1:16; Revelation 4:11 clearly teach this. These verses include the creation of man. Man was created for one primary purpose, that being to glorify his Creator but because sin came into the world by Adam, man can only glorify God one way today. That is by bowing low at the feet of Jesus Christ, confessing Him as Lord and Saviour. Have you taken your place at His feet and acknowledged Him not only as the Creator of the universe, but also as your personal Lord and Saviour? If not He awaits your decision (2 Corinthians 6:2).