Saturday, January 5, 2019

In the Beginning: Thoughts on Creation

I. Love. Genesis.

Maybe it's because I love a fresh start. New beginnings are so full of potential, of promise, of hope. God's beginning is no exception. It sets patterns and standards in motion that even today, generations and generations later, have completely impacted my life in the most incredible way. How God created in the beginning, how He brings order, purpose, and rest of a weary soul is still how our unchangeable God has been doing it since the very beginning of time. Wow. 

 In Hebrew, this word, pronounced “Bereisheet” (you read right to left) is the very first word in the Bible, and it is translated in your Bible as “IN THE BEGINNING” –

However, it can also be translated “FOR” the beginning/head/leader or “BY” the beginning/head/leader. 

The first letter (the large one on the right, is Bet. Every letter in the Hebrew alphabet is also a picture – and Bet is a picture of a house. 

God put the key to understanding the whole Bible, and His whole plan, right at the beginning, at the first word, and the first letter – because through His word and His plan, He is building a house, a family,  “for, by and in” the beginning

The beginning is more than a reference to the start of time – it is also a PERSON:

Here are a few verses that give us a key:

For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.

Colossians 1:16

He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.

Colossians 1:18

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 came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

John 1:1-3

All of these verses are in reference to Jesus Christ – He is the head, the beginning, the one who was with God when it all began. So, from that first word in the Bible, we can see:

Our Heavenly Father is building a house for His son JESUS, so that He can take a bride. That’s you! That was always His plan. That’s why Jesus says “Abide in my love” and “I go to prepare a place for you.” God’s love and Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice has created a home, a family, safety and refuge – through His obedience, and for the glory and honor of Jesus. 


The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.

So God created these elements, the ingredients of all creation, and yet it is described as  

Formless –  without order, chaos, confusion, useless

Void – empty, wasteland

What I take from that is that without heavenly light, we can have all the potential and possibility in the world, but we will still find ourselves without meaning, feeling empty, and feeling unseen, hidden away.

But even in that chaos, in darkness, God’s spirit is hovering, and moving. We are NEVER too far away from Him to escape His presence. He is always right there with us – maybe on the cusp of incredible God-appointed renovation and recreation!

And the good news is, He will never leave us in darkness – he wants to bring us in to the light:


Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

Now, you just imagined daylight, sunlight, a lightbulb snapping on. But let’s look at some other places in scripture where this word is used and what it means there:

Job 3:16, 20: light is life

Job 28: light is awareness

Psalm 38:10 – light is the ability to see, vision, understanding

Psalm 119:105: God’s word is light

Proverbs 6:23: God’s commandments and teaching are light, illuminating

1 John 1:5: God is light, his presence is light

John 8:12 (Jesus): I am the Light of the World

Notice, God doesn’t CREATE light in this verse – he simply brings it from the heavenly realm into the earth.

This is not light in the physical sense - Instead, this is a spiritual light, life, awareness, and it comes with being close to HIM! God brought literal consciousness and enlightenment that leads to life, a piece of Himself, calling it forth into the physical world. 

The proof of this is in Revelation, where we are told that when Jesus returns and establishes His king on earth, HIS presence will be our very light:

And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them…

Revelation 22:5

God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.

So here we see spiritual light and darkness separated. He doesn’t say that darkness is good – why? Because separation from him, ie darkness, is not a part of His nature or plan – it’s not his best for us. It’s not complete, which is a more full meaning of the word TOV, or good. 

Light leads to life

Darkness is associated with separation from God, uselessness, and death

These are opposites. They cannot dwell together, in order to create ORDER, God divides the light and the darkness.

This principle we will continue to see. God separates things that are not the same – he doesn’t like mixtures (old wineskins, cloth, fabrics, you see tons of examples in scripture). Jesus Himself says “I came not to bring peace, but a sword.” The sword of the Spirit divides things, truth from lies, physical from spiritual, right from wrong. 

Paul shows us how this applies to our lives in this verse:

…for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?

2 Corinthians 6:14

I told you before we studied Genesis that there was a “TYPE” in Genesis 1 – maybe you have begun to pick up that there is a pattern here that applies even to even YOUR life! Let’s recap: 

God creates something good, and with purpose

It needs his presence in order to leave chaos, darkness, and death and enter into life and purpose. So at the right moment, He calls forth light and life through His word, a piece of Himself, and begins to redeem it for His purposes, according to his plan.

I don’t know about you, but this sounds A LOT like my testimony. I know we were created in God’s image, but man’s sin corrupted God’s design – so, one by one, He calls us back – He says “let there be light” – maybe in the middle of a sermon, through a friend, in a desperate hour of darkness or in a moment of triumph – however it happened, suddenly you knew that there IS a a God, and there is a difference between good and evil.

God redeems in the same way all the time – In Genesis 1, what you are seeing is a type – a picture of REDEMPTION. 

VS 5

God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

Notice that the separation comes before the calling. This word, “call” means to be purposed. The light was given dominion over the day, it was not named day. It was ordered, given a purpose and a place. You can’t possibly find your purpose outside of God, who created you.

God has a purpose and a plan for YOUR life, work for you to do – that’s why you have the interests, friends, families and life circumstances that you do – it is to achieve everything that He created you to achieve. He has made you a steward of a very specific set of people and things:

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Ephesians 2:10

Day two: VS 6-8

On day two, the waters are separated – notice that this is the only day God does not call the activity GOOD.

Why do you think that is?

Here’s my theory – I remember when I first came to know the Lord – I picked up His Word for the first time, and began to read the definition of holiness. I read that I was supposed to love, to behave myself, to put the needs of others first. I was told that I needed to read and seek to understand and apply the whole Bible, which was intimidating and overwhelming.

I knew when God called to me that He had bigger and better things for me, but those things seemed so far from what I found myself to be – and THAT is what I believe this big space between the waters above and the waters below is all about.

Things that are alike are not supposed to be separated. It’s not good, because it’s not finished. With awareness of God comes the awareness that we are not where or what we should be – we recognize our spiritual poverty, as well as our potential - and we desire for that space between who we are and what God wants us to be to go away. We feel conviction, shame, and suddenly we long to be united with our heavenly father and our heavenly family (our brothers and sisters in Christ) – to become the best version of ourselves. See, that’s just the beginning. It’s not done yet, so it cannot possibly be “tov” (according to God’s perfect design, complete).

Day 3: v 9-13

This day is all about acting on the desire to close the gap that we experience. 

Do you see how the land rises up out of the water – it was once in the darkness, below the surface of the water, far beneath the depths, drowned, a picture of death – and we see it powerfully and triumphantly rises up out of the water, new life blooming all over it.

What do rising up out of the water and new life make you think of? ...

...Baptism! We are, after all, made up of dust (see genesis 2). And when we are baptized it is a symbol that our past sin and self are buried and washed away, but we are now walking in the newness of life, committed to God’s plan and the lordship of Christ. And that heart change makes new life, eternal life, accessible to us! 

Day 4: vs 14-19

Now we see God bringing spiritual order to our lives, signs, appointed times, days and years, governance.

These “lights” are a different word in Hebrew than “light” – where the first occurrence is the presence of light, uncontained, these here in day 4 are light that is contained in something, a luminary that holds and reflects the light. Kindof makes me think of Jesus’ words “YOU are the light of the world.” We aren’t the source, we are just the reflection. We have physical Bibles, commandments, mentors, parents, teachers – that are hopefully exhibiting and reflecting heavenly light for us, who help us in understanding and walking out God’s perfect plan and will for us.

And hopefully we are becoming those in the lives of others! Once we submit to God’s authority in our lives, we can begin to see and understand heavenly things. (The sun, moon and stars are kindof a picture of the heavenly realm in the Bible). We can see that everything has a heavenly purpose and design, and that God is always speaking to us, instructing and guiding us.

Day 5: vs 20-23

The first four days were all about separating things – in the beginning of our journey with God, a lot of things have to be divided away from us – negative an sinful behaviors, influences, relationships – and as we mature and are obedient to seek first the Kingdom of God, He begins to add things in. 

When we first saw life blooming on day 3, it was on the surface of the land – but what we see here is that life is bursting forth at the heights and the depths – This is a picture of growth. A great example of this is in reading scripture – as we grow spiritually, things that seemed dull and meaningless and hard to understand become full of light and meaning and excitement. 

Day 6: vs 24-31

Ah, here is the day that God creates animals and man -

I never noticed it before, but I believe a distinction is being subtly made – we have a choice before us – we can be like those wild animals, living according to our appetites and instincts – or we can obey God and let Him make us into the Image of His Son.

The more we grow and walk with Him, the more like Him we should become in our outward appearance. In His Image simply means that we have His characteristics and attributes, that through our action we become an accurate reflection of Him – this is a picture of spiritual maturity and also a reminder of the ministry we can have to those we encounter.

We also see that when we seek holiness, when we align our will to His, that he blesses us and gives us even more to steward. As His ambassadors, it is our job to protect life, and cultivate it wherever we go. And as we are faithful with that, more will be given to us. 

Day 7: 2:1-3

All our lives we should be moving toward maturity – Paul calls it perfection. God calls is tov (good). The number 7 is the number for completion, perfection. We should always be growing and working on His behalf. Until He returns, the work is never done.  

However, the fact that God’s design calls for rest – a Sabbath – is important. Because of His design, we get to experience rest from our work to try to earn salvation – and it also serves as a reminder to us that we look forward to His kingdom on earth, where there will be no more struggle with sin and death, the ultimate believer’s rest. 

And because we have submitted to His plan and trust in His return, observing His weekly Sabbath shows the world that we live by His design and trust His plan. It’s a ministry to the world to show that you have rest and live by God’s order for your life. It shows that there is perfection and completion and wholeness in this life, but only HE can give it to us.

He is, and always was, building a house for Jesus that He knew you would come to live in, to rest in, forever, through the salvation that only Jesus can give to us. 

Every new beginning can remind us of His ultimate plan of salvation, can remind us to make sure we are in tune with His plan and not just our own – because that is the plan that leads to life and prosperity. All other plans lead to separation, chaos, and death. We must have order in our lives, that means separating from some things. What needs to be separated from your life right now? Do you need a new beginning?

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