Author: Ron Graham
Where Was God at Creation?
—Heaven, Earth, or Both?
When God created the heavens and the earth, and everything in them, where was he? Was he in Heaven outside the Creation? Was he on earth within the Creation? Or is the answer both of those? To answer that question, we need to think about three attributes of God. He is everywhere; he is almighty; he knows everything.
1 God is Everywhere
One of the Bible’s key creation statements is by the writer to the Hebrews. He says, ¶ "By faith we understand that the worlds were formed by the word of God, so that the things we see were made of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:3).
The universe and the ages came into existence by commands uttered by God. When God first spoke to create the universe, where was he? Well, he was not on any of the worlds or somewhere in the universe, because there was no universe until he had spoken. We can only assume that he was in his eternal Heaven whence he gave the word that began the universe.
However, this does not mean that God remained outside of the universe as he continued to speak and create. In Genesis chapter 1, it tells us that, at the beginning, "the earth was formless and empty; there was darkness on the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters" (Genesis 1:2). So God was present in his creation from the first instant.
God’s presence is everywhere at once. If you or I want to go somewhere, we have to move there, which incurs time. But if God wishes to be somewhere in particular, he is already there because he is everywhere. So no motion is required and no time is involved. Thus God can be everywhere and anywhere, both in his Heaven and in his creation.
God created energy, matter, motion, space, time, particle, wave, and so forth. God and his word are wholly independent of that Creation, yet every part of Creation is wholly dependent upon him and his presence in it. God is not only enthroned in Heaven, but he is also present in all his creation.
Thus we read that God "planted a garden in Eden" (Genesis 2:8), and was "walking in the garden in the cool of the day" (Genesis 3:8). Yet we don't imagine that he was isolated from Heaven while doing these things. His presence on earth does not require his absence from Heaven.
David wrote, "Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? Though I ascend to Heaven, you are there! Though I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! Though I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. (Psalm 139:7-16)
Where was God at Creation? He was everywhere; he was in his Heaven; and he was here on earth.
2 God is Almighty
In another key creation statement, the Bible says, "For since the creation of the world God’s invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made..." (Romans 1:20).
When we observe the creation, whether with the naked eye or with the most advanced instruments, we see the work of Almighty God. We see evidence of his unlimited and infinite power.
Take note that God’s power is an "invisible attribute" and it is "eternal" and of "divine nature". We do not see God’s power itself, but we do see ample evidence of it in the creation.
As David says, "The heavens declare the glory of God and the sky displays his handiwork" (Psalm 19:1). "Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands" (Psalm 102:25)
Now consider this idea that creation is God s "handiwork" or the work of his hands. This is poetic language, but it does have meaning. When God exercises his power, he is there doing the work, like a potter at the wheel, or a farmer on his tractor. God doesn't distance himself from his work of creation, like the remote control operator of a mining vehicle a thousand kilometres away. God is “hands on”. He is where his power operates, and where his handiwork is done.
Again, this does not mean that he is absent from Heaven while using his infinite power to create. Nor does it mean he can only do one job at a time. God’s power is eternal like God himself. His power is not limited by time.
Where was God at Creation? He was everywhere. He was certainly in his Heaven. And he was also present wherever his command and his all‑powerful “hand” were creating.
3 God Knows Everything
In another key creation statement, the Bible says, "The LORD by his wisdom founded the earth. By understanding he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths were divided and clouds drop down the dew" (Proverbs 3:19-20).
We remember that "the worlds were formed by the word of God" (Hebrews 11:3). Creation is the product of God’s word; and God’s word is the product of unlimited wisdom, knowledge, and intelligence. In everything God made, he left the imprint of his infinite mind at work.
The mind of God contains all wisdom, all knowledge, all truth, all light. This, by the way, also applies to the Son of God whom John calls the logos or Word.
John says, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and nothing made was made without him. In him was life, and the life was the light of men" (John 1:1-4). The Son of God is described as "the power of God and the wisdom of God" (1Corinthians 1:24).
Now Paul makes a key creation statement about the Son: "By him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers, all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things cohere" (Colossians 1:13-18).
This seems to view creation not only as the initial act of commanding the universe to exist, but also of ongoing involvement in the creation, especially here on earth. Of course some might say that God created all things in one act, including the timeline of the ages. In this view, the universe was like clockwork, wound up and left to run its course.
However when Paul says, "In him all things cohere," he indicates that Christ, although exalted to the right hand of God, and no longer present in the flesh, is nevertheless ever present in the creation. He is holding all things together, over all time, by his infinite knowledge and power.
- (1) God is Present Everywhere. Sometimes this fact about God is called omnipresence. That word is derived from Latin. The prefix omni- means ALL. God is an all‑present God.
- (2) God is Almighty. This also has a label derived from Latin. God is said to have omnipotence. The ‑potence part means power. God is an all‑powerful God. (Sometimes the label omnificence is used. It means the unlimited power to create.)
- (3) God Knows Everything. The label for this is omniscience. The ‑science part means knowledge. God is an all‑knowing God.
I mention those labels just in case you did not know them. You are likely to come across them and it's handy to know what they mean. However, I have not used those labels or technical words in the lesson above. I'm content to say that God is everywhere, almighty, and knows everything. And by the way, these are not the only attributes of God. He is loving, righteous, true, eternal, and many other things.