Written by Vicky Ng, Art by Christine Hwang
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1)
Most fairy tales start out with “once upon a time a long long time ago” and end with “and they lived happily ever after.” We love fairy tales and their happily ever afters and we don’t question their validity because they represent our dreams. But oftentimes people question the validity of the Bible and its opening statement. The Bible is a book that is widely accepted and published, yet many regard it as a fairy tale, something that is make-believe. It is true that there are many things in common between the Bible and fairy tales. In fairy tales there is usually a prince or princess that is fooled by an evil witch. Unaware of their true identity, they are eventually rescued by another prince or princess and then brought back to the castle and reunited with the royal family. The Bible starts out with a loving God who creates the world and human beings. When the first man and woman were misled by Satan, they are driven out from God’s presence. But God loves His children and He sent His own Son to come to the world to make peace and reconcile us with God. Then the last book of the Bible, Revelation, tells us how we will live happily ever after. It’s our hope and our future! And it’s NOT a fairy tale!
Have you ever wondered why the Bible starts out with the statement “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth?” Such a black-and-white statement turns many readers off, especially those who believe that the world came about by chance and that every living creature is a product of evolution. Years ago, when my husband and I were involved in college campus ministry, we passed out free Bibles to international students from Mainland China. These scholars were specially sent by their country for their intelligence and brilliance. We knew it would be difficult to persuade them about our faith, so we chose to give them Christian literature hoping that the truth would reveal itself to them. However, most of them stopped reading at Genesis 1:1 and refused to read on. “Who could accept such backward thinking?” they told us after reading the first passage, “Only the illiterate farmers would be fooled to believe in such nonsense!”
I was shocked by their response and asked God why the Bible had to start out talking about creation. Why couldn’t He have made things easier to accept by starting the Bible with Jesus’ teaching and his instructions for doing good? In response to my query, God revealed to me how our acceptance of Him as Creator of this world and humankind is the pre-requisite of accepting salvation. He sent His Son to save us because we are His and because He created this world for us. You cannot accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior without first believing that He created this world for us.
Many read the Bible with the motive of learning “how” this world came about, but instead they are disappointed and their curiousity is not satisfied. We have to remember that the main purpose of the Bible is not to reveal “how” God created this world or even “when” he created it, but it is to reveal “why” he created it. If you keep insisting on figuring out how the earth came about, how the speciation of created beings originated, how long the earth has been around, for how long has God existed, you will eventually get lost in an ocean of details and lose your grasp on one easy-to-understand truth: God has created the earth and everything else for you and me!