By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” (Hebrews 11:3, ESV)

There is dual purpose in this statement by the author of Hebrews.  First, he sets forth the truth that creation was from nothing, and it came about, not by the cataclysmic explosion of a so-called “singularity” in the Big Bang, but by something far more understandable: the word of God.  God spoke.  The world was.  The Scriptures do not address the science of everything that took place as a result of God-speaking, but the Bible is clear about the first cause:   God spoke.

The second purpose for this statement is to reinforce the point that the author has just made in verse 1:“To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot seen.” (GNB).

In the same way that God created all things from nothing, from things that weren’t visible, from no construction materials, in that same way we live out our lives by faith.  We must believe God’s promises and not expect him to lead by revealing what he is going to do before he does it.  This is not the way that God operates, nor is it the way that results in the greatest glory for Him.  Greater glory comes to God when we trust in his word; the same word that brought about all that we see.

The Zondervan NIV Study Bible puts it this way: “This fills in the implied point: we can be assured “about what we do not see” (v. 1b) when God is at work in the situation.”

Just so.