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July 17, 2017 / Pastor George Fike

Beginning


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This is my first post in a new series on Genesis 1-11 – Adam to Abraham. I promised this series far too long ago, so here I go, seeing if I can make up for lost time.

The Hebrew word above, B‘reishit, begins the Greatest Story Ever Told. Just as English speakers know the first book of the Bible as Genesis, the Hebrew Scriptures (the Torah) uses the very first word in the book as its title: Beginning. Not to be pedantic, but this one word is all I will deal with in this post. Because it is a very big word.

Unlike most sacred texts of antiquity, Genesis begins with a unique concept that has been borne out as confirmed truth in these latter times: that the universe we live in had an actual beginning. As late as the 1980’s, the popular notion was that the universe was eternal: past, present, and future.  Carl Sagan wrote in Cosmos in 1980:

“The size and age of the Cosmos are beyond ordinary human understanding. Lost somewhere between immensity and eternity is our tiny planetary home…”

Scientific thought began to change in 1990 with the low-orbit launch of the Hubble Space Telescope.  Once in place, by accident, the images of the universe Hubble sent home revealed that the universe was indeed expanding away from a starting point. Since then there have been multiple confirmations of the Big Bang Theory – that everything in our universe sprang from an infinitely small dot.

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.  Hebrews 11:3

Measurements also confirm that the advancement is slowing and the universe is cooling. So just as it had a beginning, it will also have an end. Someone outside the realm of our time and space created a finite cosmos in order to court us into a relationship with Himself and one another. Time is limited. But a timeless, spaceless world is being prepared for those who use their time to acknowledge the transcendent but knowable God.

​I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on the tombstone
from the beginning…to the end.

He noted that first came the date of birth
and spoke the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
that they spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved them
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own,
the cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

Linda Ellis ©1996
(Please click HERE to read the entire poem)


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