This is how it began - Rev. P.K. KEIZER
Taken from the Clarion (1976) Vol. 25, No. 15.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1
How do I know this? Because God Himself told Adam and Eve, perhaps during one of their evening walks in the garden. To create is a work of God. No creature can ever comprehend it. No human being was present there, except the Lord Jesus as the Son of God. Adam came only when everything was ready. The first two people on this earth never wearied themselves with questions such as, "Who are we? Where do we come from? What will be the end of our life?" God Himself must have told them of His own palace in the heavens, beyond and above the heaven in which the sun moves, the air in which they saw the birds flying. They must have asked Him hundreds of questions about His beautiful creation and that magnificent garden of Eden.
Adam and Eve, in turn, told everything they had heard from God to Cain and Abel, to Seth and their other children and the many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and so on. Don't forget: Adam himself lived for more than nine centuries and the oldest man, Methuselah, even reached an age of 969 years. A believing author has written somewhere that it is reasonable to assume that when the flood broke upon the earth, at least as many people were living on it as there are right now. All those millions of people could have known that and how God created our world because He took real pleasure in it and He wished to let us share in that joy and wished us to know that He worked only six days on it.
No doubt, they knew much more about all that than we do. How much knowledge must have perished when man and animal drowned and when God's creation was devastated in that universal flood! We are living on top of a world-graveyard! There was much knowledge through God's word-revelation and also much knowledge through His work-revelation, namely through what He did with His creation since He made it, by upholding it and sustaining it and by governing that human race comprising millions and millions of people, of which the larger part even lived in constant war against Him. How much of that knowledge concerning God and His work on earth must have perished through the flood. This revelation of God, by His word and work, is, in fact, the general revelation, because it was made known to the whole world population of that time. Noah had the beginning of our Bible in the ark; I don't know whether it was in written or in unwritten form - that does not matter either. After the flood, when the earth gradually began to be populated again, God revealed Himself especially to Abraham and further to Abraham's generation (Israel) through Moses and the prophets.
Thus the faith in God the almighty Creator of heaven and earth is from hearing and the hearing is from the speaking of God Himself (cf. Romans 10:17). It still is only a normal thing that a child believes and trusts its parents. No child can live arid flourish in the parental home without this basic trust. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." That was the beginning of all God's works until now and the certainty about that rests in the information which God in Person gave to Adam and Eve; and they believed Him, of course, as children at home believe their father. For that reason the Bible does not begin with: "There is a God," then to "prove" this. Should man be sitting on the throne and should God stand in front of it with the "proofs of His existence" and with His "credentials" in His hand? Never! The Holy Scripture does not begin with a "proof" for God's existence, but with the revelation, the message concerning God's work: "In the beginning God created . . . ." The revolution of man against his Creator is not sanctioned! Never enter into a discussion about the question whether or not God exists! Do not become engaged in a debate about the trustworthiness of the Bible! Genesis 1:1 is not just a piece of information which you can critically hear, over against which you can determine your attitude later on, whether you shall believe it or not! No, what child would do such a thing? By our revolt against God, that basic trust of our first parents has been destroyed and this destruction settled in the hearts of all their descendants. But man cannot live like that! That is an "un-natural," un-human, sub-human existence!
Many "leaders" have no idea how many young people are standing with the handle of the Church door in their hands . . . !
What is the basis and what is life's expectation of everyone who does not have this "creation faith"? Is it the "evolution-faith," which can be summarized in three words: "Time plus chance" (billions of years full of chance and coincidence)? Let us not laugh about it. In super-human hatred the evil one nowadays chases many from the doubt concerning God's word and work to the denial of it and thus to the contempt of it, with the result that in despair and in a darkness without prospect they come to ruin: ruin of the family, wrecking of marriage, destruction of society, annihilation of culture, extermination of people, suicide, total and radical abolition of all standards. Who shall tell me where to go if there is no Creator? This "war," started in Genesis 3, broke out in the sixties with unprecedented ferocity. We are going through this war! Many "leaders" have no idea how many young people are standing with the handle of the Church door in their hands . . . ! May the Holy Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ keep working in us all, by Bible and sermon, and may He continually strengthen that basic confidence of childlike faith, which is the opposite of a "childish" faith that swallows everything and that trusts every spirit instead of probing it by means of the whole Scripture. Why do we believe unconditionally (that is childlike!) everything in the Bible?
At first I did that on the authority of my parents; then upon the authority of the Church and Catechism classes, but actually and mainly - and that was clear to me when I made public profession of faith - because the Holy Spirit convinced me of it that the Bible comes from God. Besides, the Bible itself proves that it is God's own Word, for whatever is foretold therein is fulfilled without failing (cf. Article 5, Belgic Confession). By reading the Bible we learn to believe the Bible. Apart from the Bible we have no standard, no ground and no nourishment for our faith. The Bible did not drop out of the clear blue sky. God has always "discussed" His work with man and He will always do that. We, on our part, always ought to "become like a child" by giving to Him the confidence of our heart, a confidence to which He as Father (Creator and Re-creator) has a right.
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