Remember Your Creator
Text: Ecclesiastes 11:7-12:7
Have you ever made something? No, something besides the mess in your room. Have you made something that originated in your own mind and formed with your own hands? Have you made something that you could call your own?
As creative as we are, we only take the things that exist in this world and join them in new ways. When cabinets are made, the carpenter doesn’t make the tree from which the wood comes. The potter doesn’t make the clay used to form the pots on his spinning wheel. Ancient Hebrew had a word for making things from existing material; the word is 'asah. But Hebrew also has another word that is similar. The word bara refers to the creation of something from nothing. Or, another way to express it is to create something that has never existed before. Imagine, what would it take to make something that never existed before? Something so original that its idea is completely brand new? The Bible tells us that God is able to create things from nothing.
There is a story that illustrates the concept: One day, a group of scientists decided that man had come a long way and no longer needed God. So they picked one scientist to tell God that they were done with Him. The scientist approached God and said, “God, we’ve decided that we no longer need you. We’re to the point that we can clone people and do miraculous things. We can handle things on our own from now on; we don’t need you.” God patiently listened to the man and after the scientist was done talking, God said,” Very well. To prove that you are capable, let us have a contest. Let’s see who can create a man.” The scientist was a bit ruffled, this wasn’t going as he had expected, but he loved a challenge. He agreed. Then God added, “We’re going to do this just like I did back in the old days with Adam.” The scientist realized that starting from scratch might take some time, but he replied, “Sure, no problem” and bent down to grab himself a handful of dirt. God just looked at him and said, “No, no, no. Create your own dirt!”
Paul, speaking of God’s ability to create a mighty nation from a childless old man, said, “God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did” (Romans 4:17). God has the power to bring into existence things that never existed.
Using a concordance or lexicon, go through Genesis chapter 1 and mark each occurrence of bara in that chapter. What new things did God create that did not exist before?
It is not that God made a few things. The pagan world had the idea that there were multiple gods, each who specialized in certain areas. There would be a god of trees and a god of vineyards, a god of music and a god of metal working. After all, no man can do everything, so the ancient world had the idea that no god created everything. But the Bible tells us, “Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, and He who formed you from the womb: "I am the LORD, who makes all things, who stretches out the heavens all alone, who spreads abroad the earth by Myself; who frustrates the signs of the babblers, and drives diviners mad; who turns wise men backward, and makes their knowledge foolishness; who confirms the word of His servant, and performs the counsel of His messengers; ...” (Isaiah 44:24-26). The God who created the entire universe all by Himself, the God who form a world full of life, is the same God who made you and I and everyone we know. John tells us, “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:3). Even when an artist creates a painting or a photographer snaps a picture, God’s hand is involved because the materials and the concepts presented are things that God made long ago. Man doesn’t make something from nothing; he merely repackages the things created by God.
Since God created everything, then this implies that God came before all things. “Who has preceded Me, that I should pay him? Everything under heaven is Mine” (Job 41:11). Since God created everything, this implies that God is greater than His creation.
Using the following verses, describe in your own words how God is greater than His creation.
- I Kings 8:27
- Isaiah 66:1-2
- Isaiah 48:12-13
Consider how many things we still don’t understand about God’s universe, despite the combined efforts of millions of people over thousands of years. Since God has created it all, this means that God’s knowledge far exceeds the knowledge of man (Isaiah 40:12-17; 55:8-9).
Pagan men viewed their gods as being dependent on their worshipers. They would not exist if someone didn’t believe in them. They needed men to build houses for them and images for them to occupy. However, the fact that God created the world means God is not dependent on man (Acts 17:24; Psalm 50:12). God can have anything He desires. It is man who is dependent on God and not the other way around.
Using the following verses, describe in your own words what belongs to God.
- Psalms 24:1-2
- Deuteronomy 10:14
- Psalm 50:10-12
- Ezekiel 18:4
Imagine making something with your own hands and that inanimate object suddenly took on life, stuck its tongue out at you, and said you didn’t know what you were doing. It would shocking, but it also would be ironic because the whole reason that thing existed was due to your efforts. Since when would something made have the right to criticize its maker? Yet, you know, mankind has been doing that to their maker for a long, long time. “Woe to him who strives with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth! Shall the clay say to him who forms it, 'What are you making?' Or shall your handiwork say, 'He has no hands'? Woe to him who says to his father, 'What are you begetting?' Or to the woman, 'What have you brought forth?' Thus says the LORD, The Holy One of Israel, and his Maker: "Ask Me of things to come concerning My sons; and concerning the work of My hands, you command Me. I have made the earth, and created man on it. I - My hands - stretched out the heavens, and all their host I have commanded. I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways; he shall build My city and let My exiles go free, not for price nor reward," says the LORD of hosts” (Isaiah 45:9-13).
God deserves respect from His Creation, and I don’t mean a polite “thank you” once in a while. Respect for God means honoring His wishes (John 14:15). It also means not sneaking around doing wrongful deeds as if He didn’t exist or cared (Isaiah 29:15-16). “A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am the Father, where is My honor? And if I am a Master, where is My reverence? Says the LORD of hosts ...” (Malachi 1:6). Israel showed God disrespect by becoming careless in their worship of Him. Matters haven’t changed much today.
Somehow man has gotten into his head that the world revolves around him. Yet the Bible tells us that the world was made for whom? _________________________________________ (see Hebrews 1:2, 10; Colossians 1:16).
God has given mankind control of the earth (Psalm 115:15-16), but it doesn’t mean we own it. We are stewards of a small portion of God’s creation.
As a result, we exist for God’s good pleasure (I Corinthians 8:6). “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man's all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
Many people hold a quasi-belief in God. They are willing to admit that God exists, but they don’t think He takes an active role in the world. Instead, they believe that God created the world or got it started and then walked away to let it evolve on its own. It is difficult to understand that the Being who created a universe so vast that we don’t know how big it is would be interested in the beings He made on one little world. “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?” (Psalm 8:3-4).
The answer is within each of us. When you make something, you care about it. It is important to you because it represents something that you thought about. When parents have children, they care about what happens to them. They want to know that the efforts they put into raising those children produced people they are happy to say is their son or daughter. God made the world and He made you and I. He cares about what happens to His creation. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16; see also I John 4:9-10).
God doesn’t want to see all His work go for naught. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9). God created the world to produce righteous people. He doesn’t want you or I or anyone else to be lost. “"Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?" says the Lord GOD, "and not that he should turn from his ways and live? ... For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies," says the Lord GOD. "Therefore turn and live!"” (Ezekiel 18:23, 32).
- Some religions worship animals. Why is it not possible for say a cow to have created the universe? What would it take for a being to create the universe?
- Some religions believe the movements of the sun, moon, and stars control events in human life. Is this sensible?
- The most fundamental components of our universe are time, space, and matter. Show where these came from in Genesis 1.
- Locate songs that praise the power of God. Ask some of the boys in the class to lead a song.
For Further Research:
- Several biological systems have been shown to be irreducibly complex. In other words, the system is so interdependent that the alteration or removal of even one small part would cause the whole system to fail. These systems cause evolutionists problems because there is no way to describe how these systems evolved from something simple to something complex in a step-by-step manner.
- Look up the steps needed for blood to clot. Is it possible for this to evolve from something simpler?
- Look up the life cycle of a butterfly. Could it have evolved?
- Look up how a cow digests food. How does a calf survive on milk, which takes a different digestive system and then switch over to dry feed?
- How simple is a bacteria? What do these single-cell organisms contain?
- How do bacteria move?
- Creation contains many amazing capabilities that we often take for granted. Look up the following:
- The ability of the eye to heal without scar tissue.
- How does a bumblebee fly?
- How does the flute nosed bat sleep during the day without being seen?
- Our mouths are exposed to many germs, how is it that the tongue rarely gets infected?
- How do mudskippers live in mud flats between tides without access to oxygen?
- Most birds cannot drink sea water and survive. How do albatrosses survive months over the oceans without access to fresh water?