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Today's Creation Moment

Nov
22
A New Volcano Inside the Old
Psalm 83:14
“As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire;”
Many people know about the devastating and explosive eruption of Mount St Helens in 1980. Not so many people know that the volcano has erupted since then, but in less spectacular fashion. ...
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Created for Relationship with the Father

Mark CadwalladerViewpoint of Mark Cadwallader, Creation Moments Board Chairman

“And God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…’,” Genesis 1:26.    

Last year I wrote about my conversation on a plane flight with a young American rabbi who was returning home after spending quite a few years in Israel. He and I talked the whole flight about “mysteries” of the scriptural text – particularly the text of Genesis 1:1.

He explained how the Hebrew of the opening text of the Bible was an amazing arrangement of words-within-the-words, which spoke of the six day creation and of the seventh day for completion and rest. The total number of Hebrew words in Genesis 1:1, for example, is 7. (If you want the details again, you can find the May 2015 letter on our website.)

During our conversation he brought up another puzzlement to many rabbis. A direct translation of Deuteronomy 6:4, the beginning of the most important quotation in Jewish prayer service, is “Hear, O Israel (Shema Y’israel): the Lord our God is one Lord.” The puzzlement is about why the name of the Lord needs to be stated three times in the verse? Why not, for example, just say, “The Lord is one.” Or say, “The Lord our God is one”. But instead we read, “The Lord our God is one Lord”, mentioning His name three times.

Of course, as Christians, we have the revelation that God is actually one God in three persons – a “blessed trinity” which explains the often plural rendering of the one true God so mysterious to Jewish rabbis – such as in Genesis 1:26 quoted above. And it explains the often thrice-repeated declarations about God such as in Deuteronomy 6:4 above, or in Isaiah 6:3, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts….”

God is a triune God, a triune Creator – the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Therefore, God is a relationship of three within a perfect unity. “How can that be?” – many would ask. The answer is beyond the scope of this letter, but it is a paradox reflected also in mathematics. No educated person has a problem with 1 x 1 x 1 = 1. Indeed, all creation is a reflection of its Maker – even mathematics.

Our Creator is in a relationship called the Trinity. And He created us in His image to be in relationship with Him and with other people. This is the biblical revelation from the very first chapters. Furthermore, God gave man the commission to rule over the rest of creation in what is known as the “dominion” mandate, and to fill the earth with His progeny – more living beings, made in the image of God.
    
What else does it mean to be created in the image of God? Well, we are set apart in the creation as inventors (with creativity); we are able to use language; and we not only have a soul, we also have a spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23). Our spirits complete our relationship with God.

To promote His desire for relationship, God gave the first man and woman a choice – to disobey Him by eating the forbidden fruit which would break their innocence regarding good and evil. Without such a choice, mankind would be like a robot or a slave. But the fact is that God created us to be free moral agents capable of accepting or rejecting God’s moral will – therefore, capable of loving Him. And so with an abundance of other delicious fruit available, this one choice was made available to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
 
God the Creator is not only our Maker, but He wants to be our heavenly Father – in a mutually loving and eternal relationship. He wants to assure us of His Fatherhood, and the Bible tells us that He has made the way for that restored relationship through Jesus Christ. “But as many as received him (Jesus, the living Word), to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name,” John 1:12.

Relationships can break down. This is the record which we have from the very opening chapters of Genesis. And it is our own experience on many levels as broken images of God in a world fallen into sin. Relationship breakdown occurs not only with God, but with others, and with ourselves. And we can enter into a great deal of bitterness, accusation, un-love, fear, and shame, not only toward God and others but toward ourselves – tools of destruction which our adversary, the devil, will use mercilessly as we entertain such spirits.

Yet, the Bible tells us that the key love relationship in our life, our relationship with the heavenly Father, has been restored through Jesus Christ – and that infinitely steadfast love is bestowed upon each one of us. It is, therefore, as wrong to hate ourselves in Christ as it is to hate others. The perfect loving Father has adopted us into His eternal family, declaring that we are forgiven and lovable through Christ in the unconditional love of a perfect parent. This is the key to restoring relationships. Furthermore, Jesus has defeated the devil through His work on the cross, and any tormenting spirits must give way before His name.

The morally broken image of God can therefore be restored, if not from abiding in His love and defeating the devil through Christ in the here and now, then when the creation is finally “delivered from its bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God,” Romans 8:21.

I’m sure you are familiar with the wonderful old hymn “This is My Father’s World”. It speaks eloquently of the Father’s love in the creation. The last verse testifies of the final restoration of relationship between God and His creation:     
        
        This is my Father’s world, O let me ne’r forget
        That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
        God is the ruler yet.
        This is my Father’s world, the battle is not done,
        Jesus who died shall be satisfied,
        And earth and heav’n be one.

This hymn beautifully sums up why Creation Moments exists. We proclaim that the world is our Father’s world – that it was created by God. We teach that God created life on Earth, culminating in humans that were created in God’s image. As human beings, we were created to live in relationship with Him. But Adam’s sin wrecked that beautiful relationship. This is why the most important message we proclaim is that God Himself provided the one way for that broken relationship to be restored – the death of Jesus on the cross and His subsequent resurrection!

Thank you and God bless you for your prayers and financial support. By partnering with us, you are also partnering with the God who has called us to this essential work!