Genesis 1-2 is controversial, and it’s worth the effort to figure out where you stand. But as we read the creation account, it’s important not to get so bogged down in who’s right / who’s wrong that you miss the point of the passage. Fundamentally, these two chapters are about God. He is the subject of almost all the verbs: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The entire Bible is a book about God, and in these opening words the book tells us a great deal about its main character. And the main thing it tells us is that he is powerful. So powerful that by merely speaking words, he causes things to exist that didn’t before.
That’s what we see in Genesis 1 as God creates light. This sentence, whether in English or Hebrew, couldn’t be more simple: “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.'” The God of creation speaks, and what he speaks comes into existence. The refrain occurs over and over as God creates the sky, separates land from water, creates plants, the sun, moon, stars, and animals. “And God said… and it was so.” This is what happens when the God of the Bible speaks: his word is living and active (Heb 4:12); it accomplishes the purpose for which he sent it (Isa 55:11).
This is the kind of miracle God performs when he brings the light of the gospel into a darkened human heart. Paul echoes the Genesis creation account in 2 Cor 4:6:
- For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Whether speaking the world into existence or speaking life into those dead in sin, God has only to speak, and it is done. Nothing can thwart his purposes. His power is beyond our understanding!