A few days a week, our notoriously chaotic and tardy household experiences a mini miracle. Somehow, we make it downstairs in time to eat breakfast, and inevitably, my four-year-old daughter asks to listen to her favorite catechism songs. And before I’ve had one sip of coffee, it starts: kid voices, electronic synth background music, and “GOD IS THE CRE-A-TOR OF EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING!” Then it repeats, and repeats again, and even in my pre-caffeinated state, I’m aware and grateful that this will be the song my girl has stuck in her head all day.
“What is God?” The answer to this question, in some form or fashion, is foundational to every Church creed. It’s also touched upon in the very first sentence of Scripture. Everything started from God, who has no beginning and no end. And implicit in the story of creation is the sheer goodness, creativity, and affection of our Maker.
This is the truth God thunders from the whirlwind when He appears to the long-suffering Job. His speech in chapters 38 and 39 hearkens back to the story of creation in Genesis chapter 1: God created the earth and sea, the light and dark, the weather, the stars, and the animals (Job 38:4–39:30).
God presents two challenges to Job during His speech, and these two chapters contain the first. God is essentially asking, Do you understand how all this was made? How it all works? He is challenging Job’s finite understanding with all these questions. He’s challenging Job’s focus on himself.
God is not finished with His speech, but the start of it is more than enough for Job to fall back into his place. He has been reminded of Who he is speaking to, and just what the Maker of heaven and earth is capable of doing. And we, like Job, can marvel at His majesty and find our provision in His mercy.
The Heidelberg Catechism, written in 1563, poses this question and answer about the first line of the Apostles” Creed:
Question: What do you believe when you say,“I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth”?
Answer: That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who out of nothing created heaven and earth and everything in them, who still upholds and rules them by his eternal counsel and providence, is my God and Father because of Christ the Son. I trust God so much that I do not doubt he will provide whatever I need for body and soul, and will turn to my good whatever adversity he sends upon me in this sad world. God is able to do this because he is almighty God and desires to do this because he is a faithful Father.
God is almighty and faithful, full of mercy and majesty, creativity and care. As He declares His infinite holiness in these chapters, He does so to one man, Job. But God’s message is an eternal, cosmic truth, an invitation for each of us to rest in the security of knowing that we, too, are intimately loved by our Creator.