Introduction to Genesis

This morning we have the privilege of beginning a new book. In terms of ministries of expository preaching and teaching, it is often the case that time flows by teaching rather than by the chronology of the calendar. I was just recently in California with the ministry of Dr. John MacArthur who has preached through the course of 40 years through the entire New Testament, word by word. And when people talk about when they were born there, they will say I was born during the Gospel of John. And we got married during the epistle to the Romans. And our children went to high school during the Gospel of Luke. That’s the way it works. In the ministry of Dr. WA Criswell, at the First Baptist Church of Dallas, people would say, “I joined the church during Exodus, and that my mom and dad came and joined the church during Isaiah. An expository ministry is measured by text more than by time. And I say that as a word of warning. 

We are entering into the book of Genesis, and we are entering into 50 chapters of the book of Genesis. Children will be conceived and born, and may well enter into higher education, by the time we find ourselves at the end of this book. And we need to say right up front, that’s the plan. To rush through Genesis would be to miss the point of going word by word and verse by verse through this book. As we consider what it means to begin in the beginning, we need to recognize that there is a hunger on the part of any thinking person to understand exactly what the book of Genesis will address for us. 

Every worldview has to have an account of how things came to be. This is one of the most fundamental human needs. This is something we’re going to track as we follow along, not only in the doctrine of creation, but in the other absolutely fundamentally important truths that are revealed in the book of Genesis. Without the book of Genesis, we would not know the who in terms of creation. Without the book of Genesis, we would not know the how, but more importantly, we would not know the who and the why. We would not know for instance, what has happened to human beings without the account of the fall that we find in Genesis chapter three. We would not understand a great deal of the confusion that marks humanity without the account of the Tower of Babel. We would not understand God’s covenantal promises to Israel without his doings with Abraham. And that is just what we might say comes in the first half or first third of the book of Genesis, with far more to come. Every worldview has to have an account of why there is something, rather than nothing. Every worldview, every thinking mind, has to rest upon some assumption, some revelation, some claim as to how things have come to be. And by the way, this starts very, very early. 

There was a book recently written by an evolutionary scientist who is trying to answer the question, why is it that very small children tend, by the very disposition of their minds, to disbelieve in evolution and to believe in intelligent creation. And this scientist thought, “well, we’re gonna have to answer this question because it turns out that children are not blank slates when it comes to something like creation.” And this is true of children. Not only those who have Christian parents, and are raised in Christian homes, and are taught the book of Genesis. It is not just children who’ve been exposed to the storyline of scripture with creation, fall, redemption and recreation. It’s children in general, it’s children across cultures, it’s children in secular homes and in Christian homes. Children are not naturally born evolutionists. So this evolutionary scientist, perplexed by this reality, did a study and discovered that, this is gonna be shocking to you, that when they see something, assume that someone made it. Now, how do they come to that conclusion? They come to that conclusion because just about everything they see is explained by the fact that someone made it. Who built the house, somebody built it. How did this building come to be? Somebody designed it, somebody built it, somebody furnished it. How did all this happen to be? How did the park come to be? How did my school come to be? How did all these things come to be? And then when they look at the world, they look at what we would call the created order. They see exactly the same thing. Nothing I know happened by accident. 

Not only that, children, and this is a very insightful point of her research, children very early assume that the greater the detail of the object, the greater the intelligence of the one who created it. Now, where in the world will they get that idea? Well, they know what they can build. You give them blocks, they’ll build a house, but they’re not gonna live in it. They’ll look at the house in which they live, they’re rational creatures, it’s a lot more complex. It requires knowledge they don’t have. It requires strength they don’t have. Needless to say, it requires financial resources they don’t have. They get to live in it. They know they didn’t build it, but they trust that someone built it. When they look at the world, they come up with the same understanding. Every intelligent mind asks the question, as did the ancient philosopher: why is there something rather than nothing?

Genesis begins the biblical story at this point. As we look at the opening of the book of Genesis, we recognize that, as we are looking at the first words of the book of Genesis, we are looking at the first words of the Bible. Now, in what sense is that important to us? Well, it’s important to us because we need to recognize that the Bible is not an accidental ordering of books. The canon of scripture, the 66 books of the Bible, the 39 books of the Old Testament, the 27 books of the New Testament, these are not randomly arranged. And when you think about it, each one of the testaments is arranged in the way that genuinely does make the most sense to us in terms of the storyline of the Bible. The New Testament, for example, does not begin with a book of Acts. It does not begin with the epistles of Paul. It begins with the four Gospels because we cannot understand what the New Testament is about unless we begin with the promise of Christ, the birth of Christ, and the earthly ministry of Christ. And only then are we able to turn to the birth of the Church in the book of Acts, and the spread of the gospel in that same book, and then the life of the churches, and instruction of the churches that follows, and all that continues. And of course, the book of Revelation at the end is the book that is most intensely, although not uniquely, but it is the most intensely focused upon those things yet to come. 

And as we come to understand the New Testament, we see that thus there is a natural order between the Gospels, and then history, and then pastoral exhortation, and finally the prophetic apocalyptic text that comes at the end of the book of Revelation. So also in the Old Testament, where would we begin? We divide the Old Testament into certain kinds of literature. First of all, the Pentateuch, the five books that are written by Moses, the five books of the law, that which is known primarily amongst the Jews as Torah. There the story begins. Then after that our historical books, beginning, of course, with Joshua and following through the historical books that deal with the monarchy of Israel, then there is the wisdom literature and that is the Psalter of Israel. And of course it includes also the book of Job and the Song of Solomon and Ecclesiastes, the book of Proverbs, and most centrally the Psalms themselves. Then follow the prophetic literature, which is the rest of the Old Testament divided between the Major Prophets and the Minor Prophets. Now, when I heard that as a boy, I heard that like the major leagues and the minor leagues. That is not the case. We’re not talking about the importance of the prophets. We’re talking about the length of their books. The Major Prophets are named major simply because of the size of the books, and the Minor Prophets, known collectively as the book of the 12, are grouped together at the end. So what we have here is a natural way of beginning, and we’re also dealing with those things that not only in terms of temporal priority, but of logical priority, come first. 

We can’t imagine starting the New Testament with the book of Acts, because how can you begin, for instance, with the day of Pentecost when you don’t know what has come before it? How in the world could we begin anywhere else in terms of the book of God in the Old Testament than with the book of Genesis? Because if we didn’t begin here, we’d have to keep coming back to this over and over again, because it would be impossible to talk of anything that follows without making constant reference explaining questions that we should have explained before. That’s why in the wisdom of the Scripture, we have Genesis up front. 

Genesis, of course, as we just said, is one of five books of the Pentateuch. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. These function much like the Gospels in the New Testament. They are the fundamental set of books that establish the storyline to which everything that follows is absolutely accountable. When you think about the five books of Moses, the five books of the Pentateuch, without them, you really don’t know how in the world the storyline is going to work. You don’t know what’s come before, and you really don’t even understand the promises that have been made that are yet to be fulfilled. As a matter of fact, if you just look at the number of words in the Old Testament that are invested in the Pentateuch, and then you think about the chronology of time that is invested in the Pentateuch, the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, then you’ll recognize that so much of what we know, not only about the Old Testament, but of course about the entire Scripture is found right here in these books. And in particular, in the book of Genesis, the word Genesis comes from the Latin meaning origin, or it’s literally in the beginning, the Genesis of all things. This is how it has to start. We have to begin in the beginning. 

When we look at the book of Genesis, we need to settle a couple of issues up front, including the issue of its authorship. Now here there are controversial issues that have only become controversial in the last 200 years. If you take 20 centuries of church history, if you go from the book of Acts until the time of the dawn of the 21st century, for 18 of those 20 centuries, no one seriously questioned that Moses was himself the human author of the first five books of the Bible. The rise of historical criticism, and especially of that which is known as higher criticism of liberal biblical criticism, an anti-supernaturalistic attempt to understand the Bible as a human historical artifact, about 200 years ago, there arose arguments that Moses didn’t write the Pentateuch and that Moses couldn’t have written the Pentateuch. Now, here we come across some arguments. So we’re just gonna have to consider them head on. 

Now the main argument does not come from where the middle school class would go. I can remember knowing that it was believed that Moses wrote these books. And then the first time I read through the Bible cover to cover, and I did it from Genesis to Revelation, I just figured that’s the way you’re supposed to do it. I still think, by the way, that’s a good way to do it. I was about 13 and I got to the end of Deuteronomy and it talks about the death of Moses. And I thought, how do you write about his own death? That is the middle school objection to the Mosaic authorship. And the simple answer to that is it was completed by someone who finished the work, documenting the death of Moses, and that that’s not really a problem. That’s a middle school problem. 

The larger problem is in the rise of historical criticism, there arose the theory that what we have in the Pentateuch, in the first five books of the Bible, is not the work of any single inspired author that was written contemporaneously with the time of Moses. But rather what we have is the work of four different historical sources each with his own political agenda. And what we have is an edited colation that is known as the Graf-Wellhausen theory of the Pentateuch, dividing the five books into four different strains: J, E, P, and D. And that’s the Deuteronomist, the Priestly, the Elohist, and the Jahwehist. And suggesting that what you have here is an edited, politically motivated compilation of things that emerge, at least many of them, from far after the centuries after the time of Moses. Now, I say that just in order to say that if you were to go to any liberal, biblical seminary, anywhere in the modern world, they would tell you that that’s exactly what the Pentateuch is. It is a human collection of different writings edited over time for different political purposes, some to support the monarchy, some to support the priestly class, the Deuteronomist limited to the purpose in Deuteronomy. And if you do that, and if you look at the Pentateuch in that way, and if you take that kind of approach, not only to the Pentateuch, but to the entire scripture as logically you must, then all you’re gonna do when you read the Bible is read about the beliefs of ancient people. And all you’re left with is an historical argument, that there were many people who lived thousands of years ago who actually believed things reflected in these texts. And what we would do is an archeological kind of study, a deconstructive literary exercise, in which we would try to say, alright, I think what they meant by this was they evidently believed that because of this reason, they wrote that for this purpose. But let me just remind you that if that’s what you believe about the scripture, then all you’re left with is the historical imagination and curiosity of what ancient people believed. 

We are not approaching the verse by verse, word by word, study of the book of Genesis because we are interested primarily in what ancient people believed. We are approaching this book because we believe that it is indeed the inerrant, infallible word of God that was indeed revealed by God to Moses.

Now, understand that when you’re talking about authorship, in this case, that in the scriptures there are different ways that authorship is attributed. For instance, you have books in which authorship is clearly irrelevant such as the book of Hebrews. When we went through that book verse by verse, we were reminded of the fact that we don’t know who wrote Hebrews and evidently, since the Bible is sufficient, we’re not needful of knowing who wrote the book of Hebrews because evidently we’re to read the book of Hebrews without reference to any particular congregational cause. Evidently the Holy Spirit would have us to read the book of Hebrews without trying to understand what was happening in the timeline of the human inspired author at that time. Contrast that with Paul. Paul’s letters are clearly marked. Paul identifies himself: “Paul, an apostle of the Lord, Jesus Christ.” And it is important in our understanding of the Pauline epistles, the Pauline letters, to know that Paul did write this. Paul will tell accounts of his own personal life and of his own personal testimony in his letters. And furthermore, it’s important for us to know in the flow of the letters what was going on. When he writes to the Romans in Romans chapter one, “I long to be with you, but I’ve been hindered from coming to you.” We understand that that fits where, in the book of Acts, it tells us that he received a vision of a man from Macedonia who called him to Greece, prevented him, delayed him at least, from getting to Rome. And you understand, while evidently there, the authorship by the epistles identified to Paul, the Pauline authorship then becomes very important. 

That’s certainly true also in a letter like Second Peter because Second Peter is making the point that what he relates, the inspired author, the human author of Second Peter says that “it is important that you know that I am an eyewitness of these things.” And thus, it’s not just church tradition that identifies Peter as the author of Second Peter, Peter identifies himself as the author of Second Peter, and says, “You need to know I was there when it happened.” If Peter thus is not the author of second Peter, then whoever did write Second Peter lied. 

There is another form, however, of attributed authorship. And that fits what we’re talking about here. And that comes down to this. We know that the books of Moses are rightly associated with the Mosaic authorship, not mostly because of anything found within Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, or Deuteronomy. We come to understand that within both the Old and the New Testament, the authorship of Moses is so assumed that, referring to Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, the subsequent witnesses of scripture will refer to this as “Moses said.” So it’s not there in the beginning. Genesis 1:1 does not begin “Moses, appointed by the one true and living God.” Rather, it simply begins, “In the beginning.” When we talk about the attribution of these five books of Moses, we know that this is clearly a link to Mosaic authorship and to Mosaic authority. This is our understanding of how to begin an understanding of the book of Genesis. 

Thus, we consider what we are about to confront in the text of the book of Genesis is that, which is the God inspired, word for word God-inspired text with which scripture, both in terms of the canon of scripture and the storyline of scripture begins. When you look at the actual text of Genesis, the first verse is one of the most familiar verses of all the scripture. It’s short, it’s poetic in its concision. It’s not overly elaborate in terms of any use of words, and yet it encompasses the entire story. So in other words, it’s almost as if the entire storyline of the Bible comes down to this first verse as being equivalent to getting the entire story underway with far more here than we might imagine in the economy of words. 

“In the beginning.” Where else would you start here? We have another problem: in the beginning of what? This isn’t in the beginning of God. As we will learn in scripture, God doesn’t have a beginning, but we have a beginning. Our story has a beginning. The story of the cosmos has a beginning. And isn’t in the beginning God created himself. It’s “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The storyline begins chronologically just the way, in our hearts and in our imagination, we want it to start. We don’t want it to start at some subsequent point that will only make reference back to what happened in the beginning. We need to start right in the beginning. And the first words of God’s inspired word begin right there “in the beginning.” The beginning is an interesting word because when you think about how to start a story, you start with some beginning.

If you tell of who you are, if you start to tell your own autobiography, if you sit down next to someone on a plane and you just try to identify yourself, you have to start somewhere. And eventually, if you’re gonna tell your story in any adequate way, you’re gonna have to go back to your beginning. Well, where was your beginning? Well, I was born in Lakeland, Florida, October 19th, 1959. You’ve all been wondering about that. Lakeland, Florida, there in Polk County. And I was born. And that’s the beginning of my story. 

By the way, even though I was there and I have paperwork to prove it, I have no living memory of the occasion. I’m dependent upon others to tell me in the beginning. However, you don’t have to get very old until you realize that’s not an adequate beginning because something happened before you. So as you’re a child, you begin to push the beginning back. You discover that these huge people you know as your parents also had a beginning. Where were you born? And when? Prehistoric times it sounds like. But nonetheless you begin to understand, “My parents are both born in 1936 in Plan City, Florida. Just about 15 miles away. Seemed like a long time away when I was a little child. It’s shorter than the distance between my home and Highview Baptist Church right now. But nonetheless, that’s where they were born. I wasn’t there. Then I have to take that on faith. They told me they were born in Plant City, Florida. 

Eventually, when doing a genealogical project, I saw their birth certificates. Low and behold, there is proof that they were born in Plant City, Florida, but I’m still taking it on faith. But then you come to understand that it doesn’t go there. You go further and further and further and further back. I have a professional genealogical study of my paternal lineage going all the way back to the early 17th century in Basil, Switzerland, complete with marriage certificates and birth certificates and cemetery information and the ship’s log of the ship thistle upon which my great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather came over from Switzerland and settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Amish family. I come to understand, at least that part of the family. But you know what? That’s not even an adequate beginning because that only goes back to the early 17th century. That already implies there were 17 centuries prior to this. And not only that, there’s time prior to that. So our beginning is problematic because we’re never sure we can get far enough back. We just have to, at some point, trust there’s enough beginning we can go forward. That’s why if we had to have the genealogy traced for every one of us in every way we possibly could, in order to know who we are, most of us would never find out who we are. There’s not enough documentation. 

Well, you think about the beginning of an organization, or you think about the beginning of a church. So someone says, “when was this church founded?” Well, it kind of depends on what you mean. This church was organized in Louisville, Kentucky to a certain date, but it was actually founded by the Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew chapter 16. It was actually inaugurated in the second chapter of the Book of Acts. So that’s when this church was founded. It had a beginning. But the church as a story, before there was a church, in other words, the beginning’s problematic for any of us. 

The beginning we’re talking about here is not the beginning of God in which there’s no beginning. It is rather the beginning of the cosmos, the storyline of creation. And here we find a very simple statement that the most important thing we come to understand is not a when, but a who. The central issue of Genesis 1:1 is who. “In the beginning,” introductory language, “God.” 

Now let’s just assume that we’re considering a condensed version of the scriptures. Back about 30 plus years ago, Reader’s Digest, which was famous for condensing novels in other books, and putting them out in a very popular series of readers, a reader’s digest of condensed books, decided to condense the Bible. It was a rather controversial project as you might imagine. One Christian magazine lampooned it by condensing the Bible down to a hilarious paragraph. And you realize it really can’t be done. And the Reader’s Digest’s condensed Bible, despite the hopes of Reader’s Digest, did not become a bestselling book. It just resists that kind of condensation. But you know, if you were to consider how to condense the Bible down to just a few statements, you could certainly imagine condensing the Bible down to, if you just had to, if you were running out of time, and you had to say what the Bible’s about, you might go first to John 3:16, “For God to love the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him might not perish, but have everlasting life.” It certainly condenses the storyline of Jesus, the account of Jesus and the Gospels and the teaching of Jesus concerning why he came, and the meaning of his life, death, and resurrection. It’s all right there. God’s purpose in the incarnation is right there. 

But you know, you could say that everything in the Bible comes down actually to the first four words in the English translation of Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, God.” Now the reason why that’s important is this, not only is Genesis 1:1 primarily about the, who, the who explains everything that follows. Not everything that follows in Genesis, everything that follows, period. Because as the author, and as the originator, as the designer, and as the creator of all the cosmos, then, as BB Warfield, the famous Princeton theologian, said, “He by definition names it, claims it, and owns it, such that everything that follows follows from the fact that it’s his.” He is the agent who creates in the beginning. God created the heavens and the earth.

 Now, another interesting thing here, of course, is if we were reading Genesis for the first time, if we don’t know anything else about the storyline of scripture, and we don’t know anything else about Christianity, or even if we didn’t know anything about Judaism in terms of the Old Testament, and we just picked up this book and we read “In the beginning God created the heavens on the earth.” How would we know who this God is? Well, which God? Does it not strike you as something odd that it just says, “God.” By the time this was written, there were already various paganism and idolatries. There were already alternative accounts of creation and how the world came to be. The peoples around Israel had their own accounts. They had their own understanding. After all, we’re talking about Moses here through whom this came to be written. And by the time you’re talking about Moses, you’re talking about the people of Israel in captivity to Pharaoh in Egypt, and the Egyptians had their own creation story. And they had their own collection of gods. And of course they’re all around them, the Canaanite and all the others that as we shall see, Abraham certainly would have known. In fact, out of which Abraham himself came, they had their own creation stories. They had their own gods. 

Why the simplicity of this statement “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” God, is that enough? Well, here, we need to understand something else about the entire storyline of the Bible. The entire storyline of the Bible, beginning in Genesis 1:1, identifies the only God that matters as the God who created the heavens and the earth. As a matter of fact, what is going to distinguish Jehovah, YHWH, the God of Israel, is going to be that he actually did create all these things. He is the only uncreated being. Everything else is created. And when, last week, we were looking at Isaiah chapter 44 and the issue of idolatry, one of the things that became most clear, the folly of idolatry is in the fact that the idols are things that are made. God isn’t made, He makes. So even though we have the simple statement “In the beginning God,” it’s because the Holy Spirit would have us clearly to understand that the only God that is is the God who does this. And as more is revealed about him in his word that follows everything we will know then is tracked back to the fact that the God who exists, the one true God, is that God whom created the heavens and the earth.

 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Thus, the first thing we know about God is that he is the creator. And that is a title that he will retain throughout the entirety of the biblical canon. He is the one who creates. Remember your creator in the day of your youth. He again will claim of himself, “Did I not make you, Job?” at that great climactic conclusion to the book of Job. God will speak to Job and say, “Excuse me, let’s remember the difference between us. Were you there when I created this? Were you there when I created that? Obviously, even Job is in the position of saying, “No, sir.” Which isn’t even necessary. It’s not even answered in scripture. It’s so clear. But God says, “look, I was there. I did this. You look at that creature, I made that. You look at that artifact, that wonder of creation, I made that. Where were you? Which one of us is God? I’ll tell you which one’s God. It is the one who is creator, not the one who is created. 

“In the beginning God created.” You’ll notice the singularity of this. God creates alone. He doesn’t require others to be about his task of creation. What we will learn as we move forward through Genesis chapter one, and also as we look at Genesis chapter two, is that God will create verbally. He will speak. And when he speaks, it is created. He doesn’t have to have minions and workers. He doesn’t have a construction crew. He simply speaks and it is.

“In the beginning God created.” Created is a verb. God is acting. One of the first things we learn about God is not only that he is the origin of all things, that he is the one who has created, and thus He is sovereign over all things. That establishes the fact that he owns all things, but it also makes very, very clear that he acts. God acts. God, not merely is, God acts. That becomes very important too. Because one of the things we will learn about his human creatures is that we are made in his image. And a part of what we’re going to learn, that Genesis will reveal, is about human beings being made uniquely in God’s image. We too, verb, we act. A part of what it means to be made in God’s image is to be able to act. And by the way, also to create. We do create things. The problem is that we don’t create in the same way that God creates. We create out of stuff. God creates the stuff. We’re gonna learn, as we look through Genesis one, that it is essential to understand God’s creation as ex nihilo. We’ll talk about that. That is the Latin term, as the word “genesis” itself is a Latin term. That means out of nothing. He doesn’t create out of stuff. He doesn’t take preexisting stuff because nothing’s preexisting except himself. He creates the stuff. 

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” In other words, the totality of all there is. In the ancient cosmology, limited as they were in their prehistoric ignorance, they assumed that everything that was was either seen by looking down or looking up. In our advanced sophistication, so much wiser and accumulated so much knowledge and wisdom, since then having gained so much in our understanding we’re in a different position. Except we’re not. We still know that everything that is to be known in terms of creation is by looking down or looking up. In other words, it’s here on this earth or it’s out there in the heavens. In other words, our world picture may be more sophisticated because of our astronomical and scientific knowledge, but we’re stuck in the same human predicament. We’re looking up and we’re looking down. God created the heavens. We look up everything and we see God has created. You put the Hubble telescope up there, which Moses didn’t know about, and the Hubble telescope can look millions of light years out into the future, or I guess actually into the past. And what does it see? It sees the heavens. That’s what it’s looking at. In other words, there is no dimension other than this, the heavens and the earth. This is everything. He created everything that is. You look down, everything you see, God created. You look up, everything you see, God created. 

The distinction between the heavens and the earth is crucial here, but mostly because together they represent the totality of everything that is. The first verse of scripture tells us, most importantly, who: God. Which God? The God who does this, as we shall see. The only God who deserves to be called God. The God who will say, “bring no other gods before me.” The God who will say, “Where were you when I did this?” The God who will say, “Remember who I am. I am the creator of all things. I made it. I own it. I claim it. I rule it. It’s mine.”In the beginning the God who already existed. In the beginning he created, he acted. He freely acted. Nothing was constraining him to have to create. No external force required him to create. He created because he freely willed to do so. And as we shall see, he tells us why he willed to do so. In the beginning, God created, he acted, he willed. He sovereignly created out of nothing, as we shall see, the heavens and the earth, everything that is. 

Now, just imagine where we would be if we did not have those few words. We wouldn’t know the who. We wouldn’t have a clue of how to know the why. We wouldn’t know the what. We wouldn’t know anything that is absolutely necessary to our understanding of the storyline of scripture. But now we know everything we need to know in the beginning. And now as we follow word by word, through the book of Genesis, we’re gonna learn a great deal more. And we will be coming back time and time again, to Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

Let’s pray. Our father, we are so thankful that you have given us not only in this passage, but in your word, access to your truth. And otherwise we would never know. Father you have to tell us these things because we have no access to them but by the free and merciful gift of your revelation. Father, thank you for giving us Genesis. Thank you for giving us the entirety of scripture. But thank you this day for giving us this one short verse with which the entire canon of your word begins. In order that we can understand where to begin in the beginning. And  father, we are so thankful to be reminded by this text, informed by this text, instructed by this text, that we begin not with a when, but, most importantly, with a who. And so father, we end by praising you as the one who created us and created all things and rules over us and rules over all things. Father we conclude by thanking you that we know you not only as creator, but as redeemer and thus in thankfulness. We come to you in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. Amen. Look forward to being back with you next Sunday for verse two.