Thursday, 28 February 2019
By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. Hebrews 11:3
The previous verse mentioned that it was by faith that the elders obtained their testimony. The author now begins to give examples of what it means to exercise faith, but he does not begin with that of the elders. Instead, he begins with the framing of the universe. Thus, what he says here includes something that requires faith in all men at all times.
“By faith” signifies that even now, what is recorded concerning creation requires a mark of faith to accept. There is, and there always will be, an unknown aspect of the working of God in creation. But Scripture has given us an account of what God did. As this cannot be fully comprehended by us, then “By faith we understand.” In other words, “The Bible says these things, and it is by that word that we understand that they came about, but it is only by faith in that word that we can fully accept what is written. And that is speaking of “the worlds.”
The word in Greek is aiōnas, ages. This is more than just the worlds which fill the universe, but everything associated with the universe. In other words, before God created those things which comprise the universe – time, space, matter, etc, there was only God. The author is saying that we cannot comprehend the act of God’s creation as it is, but can only, by faith, accept the account as given by Scripture which says that the ages “were framed.”
The Greek word signifies “to prepare,” or “to mend.” It is used, for example, of the apostles mending their nets. The nets needed to be fixed in order to work properly again. In the same manner, God “prepared,” or “fashioned,” the universe in such a way that all things work properly. Everything is as it should be, and every discovery we make fits into that woven tapestry of the universe. This is from its overall size and structure, down to the smallest conceivable particle (quark, string, or whatever is claimed to be the minutest thing in existence). Further, the entire framing of the ages (meaning time) must fit into this construction. God created time, and therefore all time is known and apprehended by God – even into eternity itself. Nothing is unknown to Him from age to age. Thus, all redemptive history was known to Him before He spoke the first word of creation. All were “framed by the word of God.”
God spoke, and the universe came into being. Nothing apart from God existed, and now these things exist. Einstein demonstrated that time cannot exist without space or matter, space cannot exist without time or matter, and matter cannot exist without time and space. They are all interdependent on one another, and are all a part of what God created ex nihilo or, “out of nothing.” He did not create them out of Himself (ex Deo), nor did He create them out of preexisting matter (ex hules). These things are a fabrication of His wisdom and are by His spoken word, just as the Genesis account demonstrates. As it repeatedly says there, “Then God said…”
Next, the author continues with, “so that the things.” Some manuscripts say, “the thing.” In other words, it is speaking of all that exists in the singular. It is one giant tapestry that is beheld by man, despite having innumerable parts. All things are interwoven and interconnected into one THING. Whether this is correct, or whether it is speaking of “things,” the intent remains the same, because these things are still a part of one THING. It is a universal expanse of things “which are seen,” and which come together to form a whole. And these things, the author says, “were not made of things which are visible.”
This takes faith for us to accept. Einstein, after developing the Theory of Relativity, went on in his work attempting to discover a “theory of everything.” This is because he, and those who have followed after in this same search, did not have faith that God did what the Bible claims. Instead, they continue to look for a naturalistic explanation of the universe’s existence. But the Bible says that we are to have faith in the account. That certainly means “the account as written.”
To varying degrees, countless Christians have the same lack of faith in the biblical account that these scientists and philosophers have. They say they believe that God created, but they then say that it didn’t occur as the Bible records. But if the author of Hebrews is citing this very Genesis account (and which he will continue to cite), then it is something that continues to require faith in each word.
The Book of Genesis and people in Genesis will be referred to until verse 22. From there, Moses will continue to be cited until verse 29. The thing is, it is Moses who received the Genesis creation account. Therefore, everything written through verse 29 requires faith that it occurred as has been recorded. And, logically, because all that is recorded in this chapter, even to the very last verse, is a part of “the ages” of what God has prepared, then we are to have faith in everything the author has presented, and will present, as it is written.
What is being relayed in this verse is not a trivial thing. Rather, his words which speak of faith in the Genesis account ask us to have faith in the entire Genesis account, and the Exodus account, and the words of Leviticus, and etc.
Life application: As has repeatedly been the case throughout history, science has had to catch up with the Bible. In addition, science validates the veracity of the Bible, and it disproves all other religious systems along the way. All things came into being at a set point in time, before which they didn’t exist. Simply stated, only monotheism is possible because of this scientific revelation. All other religious systems are proved false in the process. The details of the creation account are given in Genesis 1 and 2 and are to be held as truth, not merely considered a myth or fairy tale. There is only one truth and that truth is immutable. If science conflicts with the revelation given in the Bible, then either the science is faulty, or our understanding of the biblical account is wrong, but the Bible – as recorded – is accurate. It is therefore of great importance that we study and properly analyze the creation account if we are to know and understand what it reveals. As an interesting parallel to this verse, the same concept of creation ex nihilo is also recorded in the psalms –
For He spoke, and it was done;
He commanded, and it stood fast. Psalm 33:9
Think on these things and know – with certainty – that there is one God, the Creator.
Lord, let us not be so foolish as to think all religions are equal. You, O God, are logical, orderly, and infinitely wise. To assume that all religions lead to You is to assume You are incompetent and like shifting shadows. Let us never come to that conclusion. You are One, You are the God of Scripture, and You alone are to be worshiped! All other “gods” are false. Glory, majesty, splendor, and honor belong to You alone. Amen.