(Today’s post by Joshua Jones)
Genesis 1 & 2
Man, those words come chock full of meaning. Have you ever stopped to think about why the Bible starts off with those four words? It’s not a “Once upon a time…” tale, but a concrete, “before anything, before time itself began” premise. Honestly, I can’t wrap my mind around that. I have a finite view of time, like most of us. For me, my set beginning was the day I was born. Well, you can say it was before that around nine months or so, but thinking about that set point in time is kinda awkward. But I had a “start point” if you will. So did you. So did everyone around us. No one on earth can say they have just always “been”. But God existed before time began. Whoa. Still can’t wrap my mind around that.
So here in verse 1 of Genesis, we see God, who existed before time began, creating what we know today, initially kick-starting time itself. But in verse 2, we see something just as interesting.
“The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”
Whoa. The Spirit of God? Enter character #2 in the story. But wait, there is more!
Fast forward to the book of John, chapter 1.
“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 without him was not any thing made that was made”
Enter character #3 in our story. So far we have God, the Spirit of God, and the Word. But wait – John explains a little more about this Word character.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
The Word is the Son sent from the Father, Jesus Christ himself.
So before time ever was there was God. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit. Three in one. Trinity. All three characters of this story, unified in one purpose.
And God created.
“And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.” (vs 3)
When God spoke, there was. Have you ever tried to will something into existence? Maybe tried speaking a bacon-wrapped filet into existence out of thin air? How’d that go for you? I’m willing to bet that if you got that bacon-wrapped filet, someone had to kill the pig, and kill the cow, cut the meat, package it, ship it to the store where someone had to pick it up, pay for it, and prepare it for consumption. But God spoke. And it was. Genesis 1 gives us an account of God speaking things into existence- we call this Creation:
- Day 1- light; light became day, darkness became night.
- Day 2- an expanse above the waters; called it Heaven.
- Day 3- dry land; called it earth. Waters gathered together; called it sea.
- Day 4- created lights in the heavens; two great lights- one for the day, one for the night.
- Day 5- created fishes of the sea, birds of the air.
- Day 6- created livestock, creeping things, beasts of the earth.
On Day 6, after the animals had been created, we see the fourth character of this story introduced- man. And we thought it was all about us, didn’t we?
“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
In Genesis 2, we see a more detailed account of God’s creation of man during the sixth day.
“The Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed.”
God created man, placed him in Eden, and commanded him to work it and keep it. However, he told the man that he could eat of every tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; everything else was his domain and could be consumed.
Additionally, God created this first man, Adam, a helper. Out of Adam’s rib, God created woman, Eve. And they were in the garden together, naked and unashamed.
After all of this creating, we come to Day 7. On the seventh day, God rested. He blessed the seventh day, and made it holy. Now, did God have to rest? Was he tired from all of that creating? No! God does not grow tired or weary. (Isaiah 40:28). Here, God sets the seventh day apart as a day of rest for his creation. Rest is a part of the natural order of things.
Now, what can we learn from the account of Creation?
- God exists in community. The Trinity, (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) existed together as one before time began. One does not exist without the others.
- Man was created in the image of God. This has numerous implications. One of the most important is that being made in God’s image means that we exist best in community. In community with God, and in community with others, we are the most fulfilled because we come closest to what we were created as. Are you invested in a community with others and with God?
- We are carriers of God’s glory. In the creation account, nothing else was created in the image of God except mankind. Being made in that image, we all reflect our Creator. Look in a mirror. Go for a walk. Watch the news. Every person on this earth reflects the Creator and His Glory. No one race is “higher” than the other. God’s kingdom represents every color, every race and every tongue of his creation. Do you treat others that way?
- Lastly, God is creator. He is powerful. Again, God spoke, and things popped into existence. Whether you believe that the seven days of creation were seven literal 24 hour days, or you believe that these days were actually longer periods of time spanning over thousands of years, one thing is ultimately the same: God spoke; stuff happened. Everything we know is here because God spoke. Our universe is not random. God spoke; it came to be. And he said that it was good.