© Jeff Stacey | Last updated: 22 October 2014
1A4. God’s nature expressed as power:
God created and sustained the whole universe
1A4(title) God’s nature expressed as power
God created everything. This was stated both before and after He did it Gen 1:1, 1:31-2:4. Genesis 1 – 2 emphasised the infinite scope of His creative activities. God’s power over all things was supreme and He continued to express this in various ways.
1A4(sub-title) God created and sustained the whole universe
The precise meaning of the verb “to create” (Hebrew bara) Gen 1:1,27 indicates that God created the universe “out of nothing”.1 He did this by means of simple words of command and by His “breath” which resulted in vast, miraculous outcomes Gen1:2-3, 2:7.
Equally miraculously, He then also sustained the universe by His total ongoing involvement in its continuing existence and dynamics Gen 2:4-25. It both derived from and remained completely dependent upon the power of God.
1A4(a) How the universe was created by God
God created “the heavens and the earth” in 6 days Gen 1:1- 2:2 [see also Exodus 20:11].
The Earth initially was watery and formless, empty and in darkness Gen 1:1-2. Then in three stupendous acts of creation (days 1 to 3) God gave physical/visible “form” to the whole universe and especially Earth. This began with the production of light and “separating” it from the darkness Gen 1:3-5. Further “forming” was by the “separation” of the waters on Earth’s surface from those in the sky Gen 1:6-8. Then dry land, seas and vegetation were “formed” Gen 1:9-13, 2:8-9.
The “emptinesses” of each of the above three “forms” were then “filled” (days 4 to 6). First the sky was filled by creation of the sun, moon and stars, to “separate” day from night Gen 1:14-19. Then the seas were filled with sea creatures and the land with birds and land creatures Gen 1:20-25, 2:19a. Finally (day six) people were created Gen 1:26-27, 2:7,19,21-22.
This whole process demonstrated the limitless power of God over the universe in all its vast diversity. The whole physical/visible creation derived from and was sustained by spiritual/invisible forces that were created by God and activated by His commands.
1A4(b) God’s “resting” on the seventh day was another profound expression of His power
The great importance of God “ceasing” or “resting” on the seventh day “from all the work of creating that He had done” was emphasized by the repetition of these statements Gen 2:2b,3b. God had demonstrated His unlimited creative power for six days. Yet He was neither “tired” or diminished, nor under any pressure to provide further power-displays. He had simply carried out all that He had intended to do Gen 2:1. So His “resting” on the seventh day in this way separated it from the other six days. This contrast highlighted His power in the six days of creation. It was another profound expression of His own nature.
1A4(c) God was making Himself known by expressing His power in all of His creation
God expressed His power by creating the universe in six days and then sustaining it all. This was spiritual, miraculous, beyond human understanding. Yet God was making Himself known by this demonstration of His power in all of His creation, especially TO Adam and Eve. He was also making His power known THROUGH them, as “made in the image and likeness of God”.
1. W.E.Vine, Merrill F.Unger and William White Jr, Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville: Nelson, 1985), page 51 (OT section).
This Hebrew word (bara) for “create” is applied only to God throughout the whole Old Testament.(Return to reading).