‘This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. and man became a living being (Genesis 2:4-7).’
Man doesn’t make history; for it is made by God. The creation of ‘the heavens and the earth’ was all of His doing. He upholds His creation (Hebrews 1:3), and through His upholding, in accordance with His workings out of all things (Ephesians 1:5), He continues to make history.
History, as we are able to appreciate it, started at the very moment God set about creating the universe. A vital element of His creation was the formation of Adam from ‘the dust of the ground’, and into whom He breathed ‘the breath of life (Genesis 2:7).’ This was the beginning of the history of mankind.
There are several definitions of history, but I like to define it as the unfolding of countless millions of events that occur over time, some of which have been recorded and deposited in ‘memory’ banks of one kind or another; places like museums, libraries, film archives, and digital storage repositories. In addition to these records, history leaves it’s own trail of archaeological evidence that helps to paint a picture of the lives of previous generations.
It may be a simplification, but there are two categories of historical events: those that come as a result of the actions of living creatures, especially humans, and those that occur ‘naturally’ in the cosmic realm. Of course, none of them happen by chance, because both types are predestined by God. He is in total control, and He never loses His grip.
Inquisitive and learned people have enquired into these matters of God, but many have failed to acknowledge Him as the Master Designer and the Creator of the universe. Although they may see the beauty and grandeur of His creation, they doubt, and they dismiss the *evidence of His word.
When scrutinising history it is essential to establish the veracity of the facts – what actually happened and why. It is important to understand the moral and ethical values of the times, because these determined the justification of people’s actions. Such values change over time from generation to generation. Furthermore, if it is found that the presentation of history was ideologically selective for promoting certain agendas, it must be questioned, and not brushed under the carpet.
This is pertinent to the current debate about the history of slaves as presented over past generations. An examination of the facts reveals that those with power and privilege could do as they wish. By means of government they imposed laws based on their distorted views of morality and ethics. Those who disagreed with their inhumane treatment of slaves were severely punished, and some were deported and made slaves themselves.
Today, the horrendous and unjust history of slavery has been exposed, and there is a call for an acknowledgement of the truth of what happened, and for changes to take place in our society to eliminate institutional racism of whatever bent. White supremacy and black subordination must no longer be tolerated. With this all Christians will agree, because God made all people in His own image (Genesis 1:26), and Jesus is the Saviour of people from all nations.
Evidence of God’s Creation
‘For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse (Romans 1:20).’
Christians believe in the inerrancy of the Bible; therefore they believe in the historic account of the creation of the earth as described in the Book of Genesis. Sceptics and unbelievers have repeatedly challenged the foundation of their beliefs, particularly the creation account. They quote Darwin’s theory of evolution, which he put forward in his treatise, ‘On the Origin of Species’. They also quote the views of the prominent atheist, Richard Dawkins.
So, in answer to agnostics and atheists who are supporters of evolution, I do not deny that dinosaurs existed. It is an historical fact they did, because their fossilised remains provide tangible evidence. They have literally left their mark in the formations of the earth, but that doesn’t prove Darwin’s theory, or make Dawkins right.
I do not contend with scientists like professor Brian Cox who provide evidence that the majority of stars and planets were formed about 4.5 billion years ago. Their research reveals that these heavenly bodies have, over their lifespans, undergone changes, and they continue to change. Some stars are old, and others are not so old. Some of the older ones have morphed to become black holes.
This knowledge instills in me a greater awe of God who made the galaxies. His power and creativity is clearly seen (Romans 1:20) in the splendour of the night sky. It is there for all to ponder and to wonder, and to realise that God is the Author of creation (Psalm 19:1).
Instead of jousting with unbelievers, I trust in God who speaks to me through His word, and by the Holy Spirit. He has given me faith and eternal life in His Son (John 3:16) whom He raised from the dead (Romans 4:24). It is my belief, therefore, that God brought history into being from the moment He spoke, and said, “Let there be light (Genesis 1:3).”
God, through Jesus Christ, formed the heavens and the earth (John 1:3), and He gave life to every creature (Genesis 1:30) – each according to their kind (Genesis 6:20) to reproduce and undergo **change on account of the ageing process. This is the pattern He gave to all living things, and life as such will continue until the end of time, when God will destroy the earth and create a new one (Revelation 21:1).
Arguments regarding the time it took to ***create the earth have little significance in light of the fact that He created all things (John 1:3), and He has determined their end (Matthew 24). Likewise the timing of the end is irrelevant; for no one knows except God (Mark 13:32).
What is exciting and relevant is that He is in control of history, and the Maker of it. He will replace the old heaven and earth with a new heaven and new earth, and there will be a new beginning (Revelation 21, 22) for His redeemed people (Isaiah 62:11, 12) who will live with Him forevermore.
*Historical Evidence for the Raising of Jesus
**God’s Tapestry of Change