I really do like the way that the Bible starts out in Genesis 1:1. Moses writes the first few words of the Bible as a stated fact. He doesn’t ask if we think there was a god, or there might have been a god, but “In the beginning God…” He writes as if he were telling a story about something that happened just that morning.
“This morning, I got up out of bed…” A simple statement about my day and when I make it, no one assumes it’s not true. In fact, if we were to ask the same questions of the atheist when they make an obvious statement like the one found in Genesis 1:1, we might just frustrate them a bit. “Really, how do we know you even exist to get up out of bed?” “What scientific evidence do you have for your rising up out of bed, and for your existence at all?” “How can you prove you got up out of bed this morning, and how do we know you won’t skew the results of this proof?” Or worse, “Sorry, but you don’t exist, therefore you did not get out of bed at all.”
When we understand the way in which Moses makes the statement, we begin to see how ridiculous the atheist, skeptic and agnostic are. Moses writes the statement the way he did because God does exist, there was a beginning and the account given is as factual as our rising from bed every morning.
Now some skeptics might say: “but how did Moses know this to be true, he wasn’t there?”
This is why we call the Bible “special revelation.” There are two kinds of revelation, special and general. General revelation is that found in nature and the world around us that points to the existence of God, and a creator. This is why so many cultures that exist without the Bible still have some concept of a god. The creation is meant to point us back to the Creator. Yet, because of our fallen nature, creation is not sufficient in telling us what we need to know about God, our fallen estate and God’s solution for the problem.
Because of this, the world ends up with hundreds of religions, all based on the religion of Cain (Genesis 4), trying to do what we want in order to please God. But all religions fall short, and the one who practices false religions are without excuse (Romans 1:18ff).
The point is that Moses knew what took place in Genesis 1-2 because God told him. There was only one witness to the creation: the Triune God. No one else existed to watch what took place. Therefore God had to tell Moses. When Moses heard the story, he wrote it down, being carried along by the Holy Spirit, to give us the account.
So that we know that there is a God, whom we have sinned against, and God provided an answer to that sin through His Son. But the full revelation of that would take a bit longer than the life of Moses. He knew of the Prophet to come, but He did not know the name of the Savior. He did however, know the Savior. I believe that since Christ is the Word, He is also the One who told Moses the story of the beginning, because Christ was the One who spoke it into existence.
We don’t know how God created the heavens and the earth, other than He spoke it all into existence. That may seem farfetched to our minds because we don’t speak things into existence at all. And that is the point of Moses telling us that God did so. Had God not revealed these truths about what took place, we wouldn’t know at all. We need special revelation, and God’s account of how He brought creation into existence because there was no one else there to give us that account.
This is why the account begins with the words, In the beginning, God…