Skip to main content

See also:

Why you shouldn't say you 'created' something: Only God can create

Only God can create
Only God can create
Margaret Minnicks

Many people use the word "create" when referring to something they have done or when referring to something someone has done. No human being can create anything. Only God can create. If you are baffled at this point, read on.

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1)

The Hebrew word "bara" means "to create." The word "bara" can have only God as its subject. To create is to "bring something into existence." It was offensive to the Hebrews to hear people say they created something; for only God can "bara." The verb "bara" expresses creation out of nothing. You could never create anything because you will always have to use an already created material.

For example, you can never create a cake because you have to use other created ingredients. You can't create a product, a house, a car, a special assignment or a project because the materials you must use have already been created. What then do humans do? Only God can create, but humans can design, form, make, prepare, construct, develop, establish or build. These verbs allow the use of created materials.

Even though the creation of many things took place in Genesis, Isaiah frequently uses the word "bara." Out of 49 occurrences of the verb in the Old Testament, 20 are in Isaiah 40-65. Because Isaiah writes prophetically to the Jews in exile, he speaks words of comfort based upon God's past creations. "Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth...But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create; for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy" (Isaiah 65:17-19).

Here is a story to help you remember that only God can create!

A man would arguing with God about being able to create just as God did. So God let the man go first to prove that he could create just like God. The man stooped down and picked up a handful of dirt. God said to the man, "No, no, no, that's my dirt."

This shows that there is absolutely nothing you can create without using what God has already created. So go ahead and make, form, design, build, develop, construct, establish, and prepare. However, you can never "bara" or create.

Think of this story every time you are tempted to say you created something or when you hear others misuse the word "create."