My wife and I recently watched The Martian again. Having read the book after seeing it last, I wanted to see what was missing, and fill her in on some of those gaps. It’s an incredible tale of survival, hope, and the decision to continue. (If you haven’t seen the movie or read the book, be warned there is a degree of language in both.)
At one point, Astronaut Mark Watney, played by Matt Damon, is on a long journey to another landing site on the planet. Along the way, he describes how he is the first to do so many things on Mars. He even states, “I’m the first person to be alone on an entire planet.”
Considering all that just one planet can contain, and having in mind the unfathomable number of stars and planets floating around out there, my wife made an interesting comment. “It makes you wonder why God made so much.”
When I went to our prayer meeting at church Sunday night, I hadn’t yet taken the time to think about what she said. But as I was walking and praying, I found an answer. God created all of that we see around us and dream about in the great, wide universe. But why?
Believing God created it all
To be a true Creationist in our time is almost unheard of. Even in the church, the number of those who believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis 1 and 2 is declining. Whether they think of it as a myth or legend, an old-fashioned way of explaining the beginning of it all, or prefer scientific theory to biblical text, people find the possibility of Creation difficult, or even impossible.
If we were to take Creation at face value, we would have to admit there is only one God, and our universe begins by the proclamation of His word, “Let there be light.” From that moment on, God continued to shape, move, create, and breathe life into what was once “formless and void.”
After creating time itself, God “took some time” to complete His work. After those six days, He stopped. Therefore, to be a Creationist is to believe God made it all then, and only then, and hasn’t created since.
Sounds simple, right? Hardly. Though the laws of physics agree. Everything is already here. Nothing can be added or taken away.
But this involves more than the energy or mass contained in the system of our universe. The true Creationist believes God created every kind of thing as it can be found today. Whether it is a type of star or planet, or a bird, bush, or beetle, every kind was made at Creation.
Imagination, not evolution
Here is where things start getting dicey for people. Suddenly, the one who chooses to believe the Bible as the Word of God has to decide between Creation and Evolution. Either the theories of science regarding the origin of species, adaptation, and evolution are true, or they are just theories.
To believe in the biblical concept of Creation, though it attacks the heart of evolutionism, points us to an aspect of God we dare to limit by believing in evolution. We hardly even speak of it. Yet the vastness of creation screams it to His glory.
While evolution chalks up the differences of our world and the universe to chance, creationism points to the imagination of Almighty God. To believe in Creation is to believe God was not only able to create the immense variety of what we have found and what still eludes us, but is also able to imagine such a variety.
Nothing was left to chance. No bird was placed where it would not survive. No fish swam in waters where it could not thrive. No plant burned unexpectedly for generations or the sun, or found itself surprised to drown in the rain forest. Everything was planned and placed according to the imagination of God.
Calling the question
For those who doubt, consider for a moment the possibility. What if God really did create it all? What if there were no accidents that needed to be “corrected” or “adapted” to? What if God’s imagination is as incredible as the power the create? Why would God create so much?
It wasn’t because of arrogance or showmanship. God wasn’t bored and trying to fill up extra days so we would have seven in a week. God brought to existence the variety of Creation in an effort to amaze us. Not to drop our jaws, but to be amazed at God.
If they were honest, one of the reasons people choose not to believe in Creation is because they don’t believe God could be that imaginative. Or they have trouble believing He is powerful enough to create every type of animal, plant, star, planet, galaxy, nebula, organ, or whatever.
And yet, to believe God is … well … God, is to assume all of these, and so much more, are not only possible, but true. God is able to design and give life to far more than we could ever dare to dream or imagine. We are limited, but He is not.
In what theologians call “eternities past”, the ages before time even existed, God dreamed of a world, a sun, a solar system, a galaxy, and a universe, within which He greatest love would live. Until one day, He began making it a reality. So that we might be amazed by it all, and find Him.
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made… (Romans 1:20, NIV)
The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The skies display his craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak;
night after night they make him known. (Psalm 19:1–2, NLT)