In The Beginning
Where does milk come from? My kids will sometimes ask me where certain things come from and since I am a dad, I give the dad answer: “The store.” That answer is usually met with a dull stare. “Okay, well, cows and almonds,” I reply and my new answer makes my child wonder if I’m joking or not.
Everyone knows that the things we have come from somewhere and we are often curious. For example, I see the snow in my backyard and I know it fell down from the sky, my cell phone was put together in a factory designed by people much smarter than me, and I’m sure my breakfast cereal was plucked from the Cinnamon Toast Crunch tree.
Okay, well maybe I don’t know where everything comes from, but at least I understand that it came from somewhere on Earth and was processed, assembled, and distributed by intelligent people. The only thing that just appears out of nowhere are Legos, which I’m convinced spontaneously multiply and get scattered over every corner of my house.
Everything we see, whether it’s a calculator, or milk, or a building, were made by elements that were pulled out of the ground somehow in some way. This all leads down the never-ending rabbit hole of questions—well, where did that thing come from?
So, we all understand there had to be a starting point for everything, but when, where, and how? How did this world begin? Unfortunately, the answers to those questions are unanswerable. Why? Because no one really knows for sure. Christians have their answers, and evolutionists have their answers, but it’s all just speculation. Many think they have a good answer, but unless you personally witnessed the beginning of the world, all you can do is guess. The reason evolution is controversial is because it makes definite claims about our past that are unverifiable. What exactly happened at the beginning of the world? No one knows because no one was there. Or maybe someone was there?
In a courtroom trial, if you’re trying to piece together information about an event in question, you want to hear from the person who claims to have seen the whole thing. Why not hear from the one who not only was there, but was Head of Operations? The Christian answer regarding our origins comes from Someone who claims to have been there, namely, God Himself. It is built on the premise that God, who claims to have created everything, did so and then had Moses write down what happened many years later in a book in case anyone was curious. That is what we find in Genesis 1-3, an explanation of the beginning of the universe.
Now some might say, well, there are multiple different versions of the creation story found throughout ancient literature and other cultures. This is true, so why trust only the Bible? One of the most prominent creation stories is from ancient Mesopotamia called the Enuma Elish. This document describes various elements of creation and many scholars have suggested that the Genesis account took its opening chapters from these ancient myths. Of course, these scholars fail to note these ancient myths were indeed written as myths, whereas the Genesis account was written as narrative history. Any Hebrew linguist would readily agree that Genesis is written as history with the same syntactical markers that are used in other narration texts. Ancient Near Eastern creation documents portray man having been created for the purpose of easing the workload of the deities. Genesis, on the other hand, promotes a high view of mankind over and against the man-as-slave framework of others. Jesus affirmed the historicity of Genesis when He answered a question about divorce in Matthew 19:4: “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female?” Not to mention, Christians and Jews around the world have affirmed the account in Genesis as accurate and have fashioned their beliefs around it for centuries. The fact that this story has been so meaningful to so many for so long surely carries some weight in the conversation about our origins. The Genesis account also explains why cultures around the world still hold to a seven-day week today. There’s something significant about this story.
This is a complex subject and varying viewpoints are plenty, but I’m inclined to take God at His Word. Where you land on this subject ultimately depends on whether you believe there is a God. Could God have created everything and had it written down in a book? Yes. Not only that, but it is a world I’d rather live in anyway. If humans are made in God’s image, then you and I have inherent worth as individuals regardless of race, culture, or behavior. This gives me confidence to live and invest myself in taking care of His creation now. Genesis provides both an intellectually and spiritually satisfying answer to where everything came from.
So, maybe I don’t have all the answers. That’s okay. I’ll just keep planting cereal in the backyard in hopes that it will sprout a tree and when it does, we’ll have to get some milk.