Victoria Fellowship Church
International & Interdenominational
Bible Study Worksheet – April 2nd, 2017
Theme: The Sovereign Hand of God
Topic: God’s Creative Hand
Text: Genesis 1:1-31
Key Verse: Jeremiah 32:17: “Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.” (NIV)
Our theme for this new quarter is “The Sovereign Hand of God”. It is to take us through the many ways in which God acts as He deems fit, and that we will not, and do not have to always understand His prerogatives. Moses summed up this truth when he said to the Israelites: “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.” (Deu 29:29 NIV). Acceptance of God’s sovereignty would resolve many questions on our minds.
We are starting the theme with the topic “God’s Creative Hand”. The entire creation was God’s idea, and He continues to sustain His creation as He deems fit. Some key points we should learn from the study are as follows:
- Just as He created the universe out of nothing and “calls things that do not exist as though they did”, he is able and does create whatever is needed to accomplish His purpose. There is no limit to His ability to intervene in man’s affairs.
- An appreciation of God’s ability and readiness to create what does not currently exist should strengthen our faith when we look up to Him for a miracle that seems impossible. Our expectation from Him should not be limited by our imagination.
- Everything God created was good, but since sin entered the world, man has continued to defile God’s creation. The evils and sufferings we see in the world today are largely a consequence of man’s defilement of God’s order in His creation.
The word “sovereign” has many meanings, one of which is “a person who has supreme power or authority.” In ancient times, a king was sovereign over his domain. His word was law and was carried out, no matter how unreasonable it seemed to the people. He could dispossess anyone of anything – including their wives! What some of those kings perhaps failed to recognise was that there was also Someone that had all authority over them, Who could do and undo and cause their breath to cease in an instant. Yes, God is Sovereign over all sovereign. Those ancient kings exercised authority over things that were in their domain. But God the Sovereign “… gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not” – Romans 4:17. Yes, he calls into existence things that do not exist. The book of Genesis does not attempt to explain how God came into being because it is impossible for Him to have an ancestry. It simply says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen 1:1).
1. In view of God’s sovereign power demonstrated in the creation story, in what ways may He intervene in man’s affairs for His purpose? (Share examples of His unusual interventions.)
Our rational mind struggles with the idea of a miracle, and the agnostics dismiss it as superstition. We see what God has created and cannot fathom how what is currently not existing could come to be. This scepticism is sometimes buttressed by the statement in Gen 2:1-2: “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.” This statement is read by some to mean that whatever does not currently exist cannot possibly be. Consequently, we try to figure out how what we currently see can possibly be arranged to address a seemingly impossible situation. However, cases abound today of God demonstrating that His creative power did not stop with the original creation, but that He continues to “call into being things that were not”.
2. Give Scripture examples of situations that demonstrate that God’s creative power and “calling into being things that were not” did not stop at the original creation.
A phrase that occurs repeatedly in our main text is “And God saw that it was good” – referring to His creation – see verses 10,12,18,21,25. We note that God did not just create the universe and all that is in it, but He also instituted how it should function. He determined that living creatures should reproduce according to their kind (v24). He created man “… so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” (See vv26,28). He determined that plants should be food for animals. As with animals, He created man as a pair – a male and a female, and determined that procreation should be by the pair. However, despite the declaration that all God created “was very good”, we see considerable misery within that creation today. We see children being born deformed, we have earthquakes and pestilence, and so on. We should however remember that what we today know to be basic life’s experiences such as the pain of child-bearing and having to work and sweat to make a living did not exist before The Fall (See Gen 3:16-19).
3. Give examples of things man has done to mar the beauty of God’s original creation.
Father, We exalt Your name and acknowledge Your wisdom in creation. We thank You for having us in mind despite the vastness of Your creation.. In Jesus’ name, Amen.