Ray Ortlund|11:28 AM CT

Ten words changed the world

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  Genesis 1:1

Those ten words changed the world.  How?  By giving us the precious gift of rational thought.

Until God spoke, our m.o. for managing reality was sympathetic magic.  Like voodoo.  You get a doll representing your enemy, say the magic abracadabra, stick a big pin into the doll, and somehow that might trigger a disaster in your enemy’s real life.  So in pagan religions, ritual sex, for example, was not due to normal human glandular intensity.  It was felt to be the means by which human behavior could precipitate the fructifying of the earth by the gods.  The burden of sustaining life lay on us.  The divine powers above had to be activated by a corresponding stimulus from below.  And we had no idea what to do about that except to try something, anything, with our own made-up, sub-logical mumbo jumbo.

Then Genesis 1:1 exploded into the world.  Ten words wiped the universe clean of the filthy gods and goddesses.  It was as if this cosmic haunted house was finally lit up, and we saw there was nothing there to manipulate.  Instead, we saw a transcendent Creator God outside the universe, not subject to our control but controlling all things with blessing and judgment according to revealed and just principles that can be known and thought about and discussed and obeyed.  God was finally glorified.  We were finally dignified.

The world changed forever, for the better, with the ten words Genesis 1:1.

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