Holy Spirit—At Work in Creation!
“By the word of Jehovah the heavens themselves were made, and by the spirit of his mouth all their army.”—PS. 33:6.
1, 2. (a) How has man’s knowledge of the heavens and the earth increased over time? (b) What question requires an answer?
WHEN Albert Einstein published his special theory of relativity in 1905, he and many other scientists believed that the universe consisted of just one galaxy—our Milky Way. How greatly they underestimated the size of the universe! It is now thought that the heavens contain over 100 billion galaxies, some consisting of billions of stars. As ever more sensitive telescopes are used on earth or put into orbit around it, the number of known galaxies keeps climbing.
2 Just as scientific knowledge of the heavens was limited in 1905, so was knowledge of the earth. True, people living a century ago knew more than their forebears. Today, however, the beauty and complexity of life and the terrestrial systems that sustain it are far better understood than they were at that time. And we will undoubtedly learn much more about the earth and the heavens in the years ahead. But especially is it appropriate to ask, How did all of this come to be in the first place? The answer to that question can be known only because the Creator has revealed it through the Holy Scriptures.
The Miracle of Creation
3, 4. How did God create the universe, and how do his works glorify him?
3 How the universe came to be is explained in the Bible’s opening words: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen. 1:1) Starting with no preexisting material, Jehovah used his holy spirit—his powerful active force—to create the physical heavens, the earth, and everything else in the universe. A human craftsman uses his hands and tools to make things, but God sends forth holy spirit to accomplish his great works.
4 The Scriptures figuratively refer to holy spirit as God’s “finger.” (Luke 11:20; Matt. 12:28) And “the work of his hands”—what Jehovah created by means of his holy spirit—brings him great glory. “The heavens are declaring the glory of God,” sang the psalmist David, “and of the work of his hands the expanse is telling.” (Ps. 19:1) Indeed, physical creation testifies to the awesome power of God’s holy spirit. (Rom. 1:20) How does it do so?
God’s Limitless Power
5. Illustrate the creative power of Jehovah’s holy spirit.
5 Our unimaginably vast universe gives evidence that Jehovah’s power and energy are inexhaustible. (Read Isaiah 40:26.) Modern science is aware that matter can be changed into energy and energy into matter. Our sun, a star, provides an example of matter being turned into energy. Every second, the sun converts about four million tons of matter into sunlight and other forms of radiant energy. The small fraction of that energy that reaches us is sufficient to sustain life on the earth. Obviously, tremendous power and energy were required to create not just the sun but also all the other billions of stars. Jehovah possesses the energy that was needed—and much more.
6, 7. (a) Why can we say that God has used his holy spirit in an orderly way? (b) What shows that the universe did not come about by chance?
6 We are surrounded by evidence that God used his holy spirit in a very orderly way. To illustrate: Suppose you had a box containing balls of different colors. You shake the box, thoroughly mixing the balls. Then you throw them out onto the ground all at once. Would you expect the balls to land grouped according to color—the blue balls together, the yellow likewise, and so on? Of course not! Uncontrolled actions always tend to result in less order, not more. That fact is accepted as a fundamental law of nature.*
7 Yet, when we raise our eyes and telescopes heavenward, what do we see? We find an immense and highly ordered system of galaxies, stars, and planets, all moving with great precision. This could not be the product of chance or of an unplanned and uncontrolled cosmic accident. So we must ask, What force was originally employed in order to produce our orderly universe? We humans are limited in our ability to identify that force through scientific observation and experimentation alone. However, the Bible has identified it as God’s holy spirit, the most powerful force in the universe. The psalmist sang: “By the word of Jehovah the heavens themselves were made, and by the spirit of his mouth all their army.” (Ps. 33:6) And with our eyes, we can see only a very small part of that “army” of stars as we survey the night sky!
Holy Spirit and the Earth
8. How much do we really know about Jehovah’s works?
8 What we presently understand about nature is infinitesimal when compared with all there is to learn. As for the scope of our knowledge of God’s creative works, the faithful man Job concluded: “Look! These are the fringes of his ways, and what a whisper of a matter has been heard of him!” (Job 26:14) Centuries later, King Solomon, an astute observer of Jehovah’s creation, declared: “Everything [God] has made pretty in its time. Even time indefinite he has put in their heart, that mankind may never find out the work that the true God has made from the start to the finish.”—Eccl. 3:11; 8:17.
9, 10. God used what force when he created the earth, and what were some developments during the first three creative days?
9 Jehovah has, however, revealed essential details about his works. For instance, the Scriptures inform us that God’s spirit was active on the earth aeons ago. (Read Genesis 1:2.) At that time, there was no dry land, no light, and apparently no breathable air at the earth’s surface.
10 The Bible goes on to describe what God did during a series of creative days. These are not 24-hour days but are epochs. On the first creative day, Jehovah caused light to begin to appear at the earth’s surface. That process would be completed when the sun and the moon later became discernible from the earth. (Gen. 1:3, 14) On the second day, the atmosphere began to be formed. (Gen. 1:6) Earth then had water, light, and air but still no dry land. Early on the third creative day, Jehovah used his holy spirit to produce dry land, perhaps harnessing powerful geologic forces to push continents up out of the global sea. (Gen. 1:9) There would be other astounding developments on the third day and during later creative periods.
Holy Spirit and Living Creatures
11. What is demonstrated by the complexity, symmetry, and beauty of living things?
11 God’s spirit also produced highly organized works in the biological sphere of creation. By means of his holy spirit, during creative days three through six, God created an astounding variety of plants and animals. (Gen. 1:11, 20-25) Thus, living things provide countless examples of complexity, symmetry, and beauty that bespeak design of the highest level.
12. (a) DNA performs what function? (b) What should we learn from the continuing successful function of DNA?
12 Consider DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), one of the chemical mechanisms involved in passing on the characteristics of organisms from one generation to the next. All living things on the earth—including microbes, grass, elephants, blue whales, and humans—reproduce using DNA. Although the earth’s creatures differ widely, the code that controls many of their inherited characteristics is very stable and has served to maintain the distinction between basic kinds of creatures down through the ages. According to Jehovah God’s purpose, the earth’s various organisms therefore continue to perform their functions in the complex web of life. (Ps. 139:16) This very effective, orderly arrangement provides further evidence that creation is the work of God’s “finger,” or holy spirit.
The Climax of Earthly Creation
13. How did God create man?
13 After aeons had passed and God had produced innumerable animate and inanimate works, the earth was no longer “formless and waste.” Yet, Jehovah had not finished using his spirit for creative purposes. He was about to produce his highest earthly creation. Toward the end of the sixth creative day, God created man. How did Jehovah do so? By using his holy spirit and the elements of the earth.—Gen. 2:7.
14. In what important way do humans differ from animals?
14 Genesis 1:27 states: “God proceeded to create the man in his image, in God’s image he created him; male and female he created them.” Being made in God’s image means that Jehovah created us with the ability to display love, to exercise free will, and even to establish a personal relationship with our Creator. Hence, our brains differ greatly from those of animals. Specifically, Jehovah designed the human brain so that we could go on joyfully learning about him and his works forever.
15. What prospect was placed before Adam and Eve?
15 At mankind’s beginning, God gave Adam and his wife, Eve, the earth and all its wonders to investigate and enjoy. (Gen. 1:28) Jehovah provided abundant food and a paradise home for them. They had the opportunity to live forever and become the beloved parents of billions of perfect descendants. Yet, things did not work out that way.
Acknowledging the Role of Holy Spirit
16. We have what hope despite the rebellion of the first humans?
16 Instead of gratefully obeying their Creator, Adam and Eve selfishly rebelled. All imperfect humans have descended from them and have suffered as a result. But the Bible explains how God will undo all the damage caused by the sinful course of our first parents. The Scriptures also show that Jehovah will fulfill his original purpose. Earth will become a paradise filled with happy, healthy people blessed with everlasting life. (Gen. 3:15) To maintain faith in that heartwarming prospect, we need the help of God’s holy spirit.
17. What kind of thinking must we avoid?
17 We should pray to Jehovah for holy spirit. (Luke 11:13) Doing so will help us to reinforce our conviction that creation is the work of God’s hand. Today, there is a rising tide of atheistic and evolutionist propaganda dependent on flawed and baseless reasoning. We should not let this flood of faulty thinking confuse or intimidate us. All Christians must prepare themselves to resist such an onslaught and the peer pressure associated with it.—Read Colossians 2:8.
18. When considering the origin of the universe and mankind, why would it be shortsighted to rule out an intelligent Creator?
18 Faith in the Bible and in God himself is sure to be strengthened by an honest examination of the evidence in favor of creation. In contemplating the origin of the universe and mankind, many would like to rule out the influence of any force outside the physical realm. If we were to discuss matters from that standpoint, though, we would not be weighing all the evidence impartially. Moreover, we would be ignoring the obvious existence of orderly, purposeful creations “without number.” (Job 9:10; Ps. 104:25) As Christians, we are certain that the active force involved in creation was holy spirit under the intelligent direction of Jehovah.
Holy Spirit and Our Faith in God
19. What provides personal proof of the existence of God and the operation of his spirit?
19 We do not need to know everything about creation in order to have faith in God as well as love and profound reverence for him. Like friendship with a human, faith in Jehovah is based on more than cold facts. Just as a relationship between friends grows as they get to know each other better, our faith in God increases as we learn more about him. Indeed, his very existence is impressed upon us when he answers our prayers and we note the good effects of applying his principles in our life. We draw ever closer to Jehovah as we see mounting evidence that he is guiding our steps, protecting us, blessing our efforts in his service, and supplying the things we need. All of this provides powerful confirmation of God’s existence and of the operation of his holy spirit.
20. (a) Why did God create the universe and man? (b) What will result if we continue to follow the lead of God’s holy spirit?
20 The Bible is an outstanding example of Jehovah’s use of his active force because its writers “spoke from God as they were borne along by holy spirit.” (2 Pet. 1:21) Careful study of the Scriptures can build our faith in God as the one who created all things. (Rev. 4:11) Jehovah became the Creator as an expression of his endearing quality of love. (1 John 4:8) Let us, therefore, do our utmost to help others to learn about our loving heavenly Father and Friend. In our own case, if we continue to be led by God’s spirit, we will be privileged to learn about him forever. (Gal. 5:16, 25) May each of us keep on learning about Jehovah and his great works and reflect in our lives the boundless love he showed when he used his holy spirit to create the heavens, the earth, and mankind.
Can You Explain?
• What does the existence of the heavens and the earth teach us about God’s use of holy spirit?
• Being made in God’s image gives us what opportunities?
• Why do we need to examine the evidence for creation?
• In what ways can our relationship with Jehovah grow?
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What does the order seen in the universe teach us about creation?
Stars: Anglo-Australian Observatory/David Malin Images
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How is DNA common to all these things?
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Are you prepared to defend your faith?